Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation applies to people who may have committed a particular crime outside of Canada. It you have been rehabilitated, it means that you lead a stable lifestyle and that you are unlikely to be involved in any further criminal activity. It removes the grounds of criminal inadmissibility and is granted for worthy cases when the Canadian authorities are satisfied that:

  • the person concerned meets certain criteria;
  • has been rehabilitated;
  • and is highly unlikely to become involved in any further criminal activities.

The two main eligible requirements for any rehabilitation application are that you must meet the following:

  • committed an act outside of Canada and five (5) years have elapsed since the act;
  • been convicted outside of Canada and five (5) years have passed since the end of the sentence imposed.

Depending on the crime, how long ago it was and how you have behaved since, you may still be allowed to come to Canada, if you convince an immigration officer that you meet the legal terms to be deemed rehabilitated, or you have applied for individual rehabilitation and were approved.

Deemed Rehabilitation

Under Canada’s immigration law, deemed rehabilitation means that enough time has passed since you were convicted that your crime may no longer bar you from entering Canada. To be deemed rehabilitated, the person must not have committed or been convicted of any additional indictable offence.

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.

In all cases, you may only be deemed rehabilitated if the crime committed outside Canada has a maximum prison term of less than 10 years if committed in Canada.

If you were convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:

  • You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after completion of the sentence imposed.
  • You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years after completion of the sentence imposed.

If you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:

  • You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after commission of the offence.
  • You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years after commission of the offence.

If you were convicted of an offence or you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more:

  • Deemed rehabilitated is not applicable.
  • You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: five (5) years from completion of the sentence or commission of the offence.

If you were convicted for two (2) or more offences outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute summary conviction offences:

  • You are deemed rehabilitated: at least five (5) years after the sentences imposed were served or to be served.
  • Eligibility to apply for rehabilitation is not applicable.

If you have a criminal conviction in Canada, you must seek a record suspension (formerly a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada before you will be admissible to Canada.

Individual rehabilitation

If a person who was convicted of an offence or who has committed an act or omission does not meet the eligibility criteria for deemed rehabilitation, that person may be eligible to apply for Individual rehabilitation by presenting an application for Criminal Rehabilitation.

If you apply for individual rehabilitation to enter Canada, it is at the discretion of the Minister, or their delegate to grant it or not. 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.

This may require demonstrating community ties, a stable lifestyle, social and vocational skills, the crime was an isolated event and that you are in fact rehabilitated which means you are not likely to commit new crimes.

If you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), you have to submit a separate application for criminal rehabilitation before you apply for your eTA. Once you have received confirmation of your rehabilitation, you may apply for an eTA. If you apply for your eTA before you receive your rehabilitation, your application will be assessed based on the information currently available, and may result in the refusal of your application.

For further information contact us for a consultation on how to overcome potential issues surrounding inadmissibility to Canada.

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