Visiting Canada with a Criminal Record

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Are you Travelling to Canada with a Criminal Record

What to do when visiting Canada with a criminal record? As someone who has gone through the process of being a Temporary Visitor to Canada, you know that it is very difficult to apply and gather all documents required to be allowed entry into Canada. Travelers with criminal history have to go through an extra step by applying for Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation depending on their situation to be eligible for entry into Canada. This blog will tell you how to take care your criminal inadmissibility so you will be able to visit Canada.

Visitor with Criminal Inadmissibility to Canada

In order to travel to Canada, you need to take care of your inadmissibility first or else you will be denied entry into Canada. To be considered criminally inadmissible according to the Canadian law, it means that you have been convicted of criminal offence in the past or present. These offences can range from minor to major offences such as assault, dangerous driving, possession or trafficking controlled substances or drugs, and as previously mentioned driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It may be the offence that occurred in your home country might not have been severe, but the Canadian government does not think so. The most crucial part of a temporary resident permit application or a criminal rehabilitation application is that you will need to determine what the Canadian equivalent for your offense is. In other words, the offence gets equated to the Canadian Criminal Code. This is where a lot of applicants get confused, or sometimes overwhelmed. Therefore, you are highly recommended to seek professional guidance prior to starting your own application.

Temporary Visitors with Criminal Record Outside of Canada

USA citizens or Green Card Holders

If you happen to have criminal record or health issues outside of Canada, then you may be potentially be denied entry into Canada. To overcome your inadmissibility, you will need to apply for a temporary resident permit and/or criminal rehabilitation. Temporary Resident Permit allows you to enter Canada for a limited amount of time, whereas Criminal Rehabilitation helps you overcome your criminal or health inadmissibility for good. For example, if you had a DUI on record and you need to travel to Canada for either business, leisure or family emergency then you may be eligible to apply. If you need to travel urgently then it is recommended to apply for TRP at the port of entry and get same day decision on your application. If you do not have an urgent travel date, then it is highly recommended that you submit your application to the consulate. This is because immigration officers at the consulate are more experienced and thorough than the border officers at the port of entry. If you submit your application at the consulate level, processing times are approximately 12 months. Nevertheless, some complicated application will take more time to process. For example, if you have multiple offenses, or if you do not provide sufficient documentation, then the application process may be delayed.

If you are from a country that needs a visa

As previously mentioned, USA citizens and Green Card Holders can apply for a temporary resident permit at the port of entry and at the consulate. However, if you are from a country that is not visa-exempt (e.g. India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.), then you cannot apply for temporary resident permit at the port of entry to get a same day decision. You can only apply for your temporary resident permit at the consulate in your country.

It is highly recommended to consult with an immigration expert prior to starting any immigration application. Often times, clients start their own TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation application, but their applications were not successful. This is primarily due to the fact that they do not even qualify, or that they have not submitted proper documents. Akrami & Associates have assisted many clients successfully with TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation application so we can definitely help you compile a strong case.

What if My Temporary Resident Permit has Expired

If your temporary resident permit has expired, then you may extend the duration of your TRP. Unlike the temporary resident permit, criminal rehabilitation is the permanent solution for overcoming your inadmissibility. That said, criminal rehabilitation does not have an expiry date. Once your criminal rehabilitation application gets approved, then you will have no issue entering Canada (only if you do not re-offend).

Contact Akrami & Associates

The Canadian government is very strict when it comes to assessing foreign travelers’ inadmissibility. In order to compile a strong temporary resident permit or a criminal rehabilitation application, you will need to prepare for the correct documents. However, having to prepare all the required documents can very confusing and exhausting. It is also essential to note that this type of application is difficult to pursue on your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients create strong temporary resident permit and criminal rehabilitation applications. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 1-416-477-2545 ( for more information, or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!