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Criminal Inadmissibility


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Criminal Inadmissibility

If you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you may be criminally inadmissible and may not be allowed into Canada.

This includes both minor and serious crimes, such as:

  • theft
  • assault
  • manslaughter
  • dangerous driving
  • driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Possession of or trafficking in drugs or controlled substances.

Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility

There are potential options to overcome criminal inadmissibility and still enter Canada. Each case is different and it would depend greatly on the crime, how long ago it was and how you have behaved since.

You would need to have done any of the following options:  

  1. Be  deemed rehabilitated
  2. Applied for rehabilitation and were approved, or
  3. Be granted a record suspension  or
  4. Have a temporary resident permit.

Deemed rehabilitation

Deemed rehabilitation means that enough time has passed since you were convicted that your crime may no longer bar you from entering Canada.

You may be deemed rehabilitated depending on the crime, if enough time has passed since you finished serving the sentence for the crime and if you have committed more than one crime. Also if the crime committed outside Canada has a maximum prison term of less than 10 years if committed in Canada.

Individual rehabilitation

Rehabilitation means that you are not likely to commit new crimes.

You can apply for individual rehabilitation to enter Canada.  It is granted at the discretion of the Minister, or their delegate.  To apply, you must show that you meet the criteria have been rehabilitated and be highly unlikely to take part in further crimes. Also, at least five years must have passed since:

  • the end of your criminal sentence (this includes probation) and
  • the day you committed the act that made you inadmissible.

Record suspension or discharge

If you have been convicted in Canada, you may be able to apply for a record suspension (previously known as a pardon), with the Parole Board of Canada. If you get a Canadian record suspension, you will no longer be inadmissible.

If you received a record suspension or a discharge for your conviction in another country you will need to check with the visa office in your home country if the pardon is valid in Canada

Temporary resident permit

A temporary resident permit lets you enter or stay in Canada if it has been less than five years since the end of your sentence or you have valid reasons to be in Canada.

Contact us to arrange a consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you with potential criminal inadmissibility to Canada.