Canada welcomes millions of tourists, visitors, immigrants, foreign workers, and students annually. However, before coming to Canada, whatever the reason, it’s important to know that a past criminal record can make you inadmissible.
If you have a past criminal conviction, Canadian authorities calculate your admissibility to Canada based on the equivalency of the foreign criminal offense to Canadian law.
If your crime was considered a summary or less severe offense, you may still be admissible and not require any additional permission or documentation to enter the country.
Ensure a smooth entry to Canada by understanding the impact of your criminal record and the admissibility criteria based on the offense’s severity. Plan your visit or immigration to Canada wisely. Learn how past criminal records can impact admissibility and the criteria for entry based on the severity of the offense.
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Understanding Criminal Record Impact on Entry to Canada
However, if you are facing an indictment, Canadian authorities may consider it a more severe crime and will likely deny your entry to Canada. Further, if you have two non-indictable offenses on your record, it can render your inadmissibility.
Common types of convictions that lead to inadmissibility:
- Impaired driving
- Reckless Driving
- Drug offenses
Having any of these convictions on your record may impact your eligibility to enter Canada. Understanding the consequences of a criminal record and its effect on admissibility is essential.
Before planning your trip to immigrate to Canada, seeking legal advice and exploring potential avenues for overcoming inadmissibility is crucial. Consulting with immigration experts can help you navigate the process and increase your chances of successfully entering Canada.
Overcoming Inadmissibility Made Easy
If you’re facing inadmissibility to Canada, you have options to overcome it: Temporary Resident Permits (TRP) and Criminal Rehabilitation applications.
A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) grants legal entry to Canada for a specified duration, up to three years, based on the purpose (e.g., work, family).
You should apply for a TRP if:
- Convicted abroad of a crime that, in Canada, would be equivalent to an indictable offense with a sentence of less than 10 years.
- Convicted abroad of a crime equivalent to a hybrid offense punishable by less than 10 years in Canada (hybrid crimes can be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment).
- Convicted of two or more crimes abroad that, in Canada, would be equivalent to two summary offenses.
Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation
Seeking permanent clearance for a past offense? Consider applying for Criminal Rehabilitation. Once approved, future TRP applications won’t be necessary. To be eligible:
- Committed an act outside of Canada that would be considered an offense under the Canadian Criminal Code.
- Convicted of, or admitted to, committing the act.
- A waiting period of five years after the completion of the full sentence or sentences, including jail time, fines, and probation.
Criminal Rehabilitation Options
There are two forms of Criminal Rehabilitation to resolve inadmissibility to Canada:
This option is most applicable when five years have passed since the completion of a sentence for a less serious offense. To qualify, you must demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated over time and are no longer a risk for criminal activity. This can be proven by showcasing a stable lifestyle, strong community ties, and social and vocational skills or by presenting the criminal offense as an isolated event.
If you have a conviction for an indictable offense punishable by less than ten years rehabilitation becomes a suitable option. The prerequisites for deemed rehabilitation are as follows:
- Ten years have passed since the completion of your prison term sentence.
- You have not been convicted of any indictable offense or summary offense in Canada in the last ten years. Or more than one summary conviction in the ten years before.
- You have not committed an offense outside Canada in the last ten years that, if committed in Canada, would be considered an indictable offense.
Applications for both types of criminal rehabilitation can take 6-12 months to process and cost anywhere from $200-$1000. To ensure a smooth process, it is beneficial to plan well in advance.
Enhancing Your Application: The Significance of a Legal Opinion Letter
When seeking a TRP or criminal rehabilitation, including a Legal Opinion Letter addressed to the Canadian government authority responsible for assessing your admissibility can be highly beneficial.
Finally, a qualified Canadian immigration lawyer composes this letter, meticulously explaining how the crime corresponds to Canadian law. The insights provided in the letter assist the immigration officer in understanding the charges. It evaluates the potential impact of different outcomes, such as conviction or sentencing, on your eligibility to enter Canada.
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