Criminal Inadmissibility

Criminal Inadmissibility

Foreign nationals who have applied for permanent residency in Canada or are temporary residents may be ineligible to enter Canada if found to have indulged in criminal activity. We can help you with Criminal Inadmissibility.

Many persons visiting Canada may find that even minor violations or offenses can lead to refusal of their entry into the country, which is known as Criminal Inadmissibility.

You may be planning to visit Canada for work, visit or study, do take the time to determine the concept of criminal inadmissibility and what are your options if you are found to be Criminal Inadmissibility.

What Is Criminal Inadmissibility?

A foreign national who is a temporary Canadian resident or applying for permanent residency in Canada is deemed to be criminally inadmissible in the below circumstances:

  • Has been convicted for an offense within Canada;
  • Has been convicted for an offense committed outside Canada but is equivalent to a crime in Canada;
  • Has committed an act in another country, which is considered a crime there and is also punishable under Canadian law

This criminal history of the applicant is generally revealed when the application for a visa or permit from foreign nationals is received by Canadian immigration officials.

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) screens all foreign nationals entering Canada from countries that do not require any visa to enter Canada at different ports of entry. They are guided by the information shared by other countries for national security reasons, by which they are able to determine which persons are criminally inadmissible.

Police Clearance Certificates are required from all Canadian permanent residence applicants from all countries where they have resided for more than 6 months. They are also supposed to voluntarily disclose all sentences, detentions, arrests, and convictions which may have occurred at any point in time. They may be asked to give further details on the activities based on the discretion of the officer reviewing the application.

If at the time of entry, any person is deemed to be criminally inadmissible, they can be denied entry into Canada. If you face such a situation, you have various options.

How Can Inadmissibility Be Determined?

Inadmissibility is determined in different contexts by the Canadian immigration officers in the below circumstances:

  • At Canadian ports of entry
  • At foreign visa offices at the time of visa application
  • In Canada, while the foreign national resides with a temporary visa
  • In Canada, the resident foreign national holds permanent resident status

What Are the Options to Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility? Can I Become Criminally Rehabilitated?

Many foreign nationals found to be criminally inadmissible can apply to be criminally rehabilitated. The process of rehabilitation involves demonstrating that a person can lead a stable lifestyle and has no reason to be involved in any criminal activities in the future. You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation in the below circumstances:

  • Have committed the act outside Canada and more than five years have passed;
  • Have been convicted outside Canada and five years have passed since the sentence has been imposed.

For all offenses and convictions within Canada, criminal rehabilitation is not applicable. Cases under this category will need to be addressed by seeking record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada.

You will need to complete the necessary forms on the IRCC website in the criminal rehabilitation application process. For supporting the application, you will need to provide evidence of rehabilitation, court documentation of your offenses, and the relevant police clearance certificates.

Typically, processing the applications can take up to 24 months, so be informed of the timeline before you make your travel booking to Canada.

Can You Enter or Remain in Canada Without Receiving Rehabilitation Approval?

You may be eligible to enter Canada without going through the rehabilitation process. In certain cases, you may not be able to apply for rehabilitation due to a lack of eligibility for record suspensions or five years may not have passed since the sentence was imposed. In such circumstances, special permission will need to be requested to enter or remain in Canada.

If less than five years have passed since the completion of your sentence, you may still be able to overcome criminal inadmissibility by applying for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP).

Which Kind of Convictions Are Allowed for the Fee Waiver to Enter Canada?

There are some convictions that are considered equivalent to criminal offenses under Section 36(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This does not include convictions for any sexual offense or child pornography.

Though the actual convictions may vary amongst different countries in terms of equivalence, they include:

  • Shoplifting;
  • Driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol;
  • Public mischief

As per Section 36(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the below criminal offenses are considered serious and are not eligible:

  • Assault causing bodily harm;
  • Robbery;
  • Fraud over the value of CAD$5000

If A Person Received a Pardon for Their Crime, Can They Enter Canada?

If any Canadian record suspension or pardon was received by a person, he/ she will be considered admissible and can enter Canada in most cases. IRCC in the country of residence needs to be consulted when a foreign national receives a pardon or discharge from the other country.

What Are My Options If I Want to Enter Canada but Do Not Qualify for Rehabilitation?

If you do not qualify for rehabilitation, you may enter Canada by applying for a temporary resident permit. For this application, you will need to demonstrate:

  • A valid reason or justification for traveling to Canada under the circumstances; and
  • Your being inadmissible does not pose a risk to anyone in Canada.

We Can Help

The well-informed immigration lawyers and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) at Pickford & Associate Lawyers will assist you in all matters regarding Inadmissibility claims. If being inadmissible restrains you from entering or remaining in Canada, connect with us to discuss the options available to you. We will impart sound legal advice to help you on the path to a better and safer future.

Our Mississauga Immigration Lawyers are available for a no-obligation-free consultation. Come and experience our quality legal counsel and the personalized care we give to each client. We ensure prompt communication and a professional approach to achieve successful outcomes for you.

Feel comfortable interacting with our caring team who speak more than 15 languages like English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Albanian, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, and much more.


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