Overcoming your Inadmissibility
Do you have a criminal record but need to travel to Canada for work or an important business event? Have you already applied for temporary or permanent residence and not sure whether having a criminal record will affect your application? Do you have questions about what else you need to do to be allowed to enter Canada with a criminal history? If these are some of the questions you have, or if you simply want to learn more about the types of applications required for individuals who have a criminal history but need to enter Canada, continue to read this blog.
What is Inadmissibility for Criminality
Temporary residents and applicants who apply for permanent residence are considered inadmissible if they have been convicted of a criminal offence either inside or outside Canada. If you have been determined as criminally inadmissible, you will not be allowed entry into Canada. The nature of the offence does not matter. It can be for a minor offence such as theft or drinking and driving, or for a more serious offence such as murder.
How Can I Still Enter Canada If I am Criminally Inadmissible
If you have been found to be criminally inadmissible to Canada, you may have a few options available that may allow you to enter Canada. These options include:
- Applying for a record of suspension;
- Meeting the requirements to be determined as deemed rehabilitated;
- Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation; or
- Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit.
The following sections will provide a brief summary of each type of application.
How Do I Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility with a Record Suspension
One of the available options for overcoming criminal inadmissibility to Canada is to apply for a record of suspension or discharge – also formerly known as a pardon. If you obtained a pardon or record of suspension in another country, it must be valid in Canada. You will need to consult with the visa office in your region to determine its validity. If it is valid, you will not be found by an officer to be criminally inadmissible. For individuals with criminal convictions that occurred only within Canada, pardons can be obtained through the Parole Board of Canada. A pardon obtained through the Parole Board of Canada is valid.
How Do I Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility with Deemed Rehabilitation
You may be deemed to be rehabilitated for past criminal convictions if in addition to other requirements, at least 10 years have passed since you completed the sentence. The offence must be one that if the individual was convicted inside Canada, would be punishable by a maximum prison sentence of less than 10 years.
You do not need to apply for deemed rehabilitation, but it is important you have your criminal eligibility assess before travelling to Canada. To make a determination, the officer will look at the number of offences on record, how much time has passed since the individual finished serving the sentence for the crime and the type of offence on record, including the seriousness of the offence.
How Do I Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility with Criminal Rehabilitation
If eligible, individuals who are otherwise inadmissible to Canada for criminality may apply for criminal rehabilitation to enter Canada. To be eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation, you must have committed an act outside of Canada and at least five years has passed since the act, or you have been convicted for a crime outside of Canada and at least five years have passed since the completion of the sentence. If you were convicted of an offence in Canada, you must apply for a pardon from the Parole Board of Canada.
In order to determine whether you meet the requirements for criminal rehabilitation, the Visa Officer will look at the nature of the offences on record, when the offence was committed, your current situation including evidence that you are unlikely to reoffend. A successful criminal rehabilitation application permanently resolves the issue of criminal inadmissibility for future entries into Canada, so long as there are no other offences.
How Can I Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility with a Temporary Resident Permit
A temporary resident permit is a temporary solution for overcoming criminal inadmissibility for individuals with a criminal history seeking entry into Canada. To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate to the officer that you have important reason to travel to Canada and that reason is justified to override any health and safety risk you may pose to Canadian society.
To apply, you will need to complete the required government forms, include the required support documents and pay the processing fee. If your application is successful, the permit will be issued for the duration of your stay and you will be required to leave Canada by the expiration date. Otherwise, you will need to apply for a new permit before it expires. Once you exit Canada, your issued permit will no longer be valid, unless you are otherwise authorized by an Officer.
Depending on your country of residence, you may be eligible to apply at the port of entry. Otherwise, you can apply through the Consulate.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Every individual applying to enter or remain in Canada as a permanent or temporary resident must meet all eligibility requirements under Canada immigration law. This includes criminal admissibility requirements. There are options available to those who have been determined to be criminally inadmissible and the application process for each, like most immigration application, can be quite confusing. You must know which type applies to your situation, what steps you need to take and what information you will need to submit to help the officer decide on your matter.
At Akrami & Associates, we help many of our clients with these types of applications regularly, even the most complex cases, and with successful outcomes.
At Akrami and Associates, we have a track record for assisting our clients to get results and at Top Immigration Law Firm in Mississauga for two consecutive years, you can trust us to get the job done – and fast. It does not matter how complex your case is, we can help you.
Here at Akrami and Associates we enjoy helping our clients through even the toughest immigration matter, as there’s always a way!