When someone has committed a crime in another country, they aren’t permitted to enter Canada freely. They are first required to fill out an application for rehabilitation, acquire a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit (TRP),
or be deemed rehabilitated in order to prove to an immigration officer that they aren’t likely to be involved with any future criminal activity. If you aren’t considered admissible to Canada you could be stopped at the border and prevented from entering the country.
Through this article, we are going to go through the process of gaining entry to Canada when you have a criminal record.
Canadian Temporary Resident Permit
A Canadian TRP is the quickest way to be admitted into Canada if you have a criminal record, but as the name states, it is temporary and will expire eventually. Canada TRP`s enable foreign nationals with criminal records to cross the border for a small amount of time and can be issued for single entry, or many entries over a period of as long as three years. If it has been under 5 years since you have completed your sentence, the only option you have for travelling to Canada with a criminal record is with a TRP.
For those who have committed a crime in another country and wish to gain permanent residence in Canada, they must go through a process called Criminal Rehabilitation. This takes much longer to obtain than a TRP due to it granting permanent residency. The Canada Criminal Rehabilitation Program awards somebody with a criminal record a clean record forever. However, this is only available to those who have completed their entire sentence and all it entails, including paying all fines, completing their probation or any other court-mandated orders. Also, the sentence must be completed 5 years before you can apply for the program.
Requirements for the Criminal Rehabilitation
If you are looking to apply for the Canada Rehabilitation Program and have completed your sentence at least 5 years ago, the government will have some requirements you must meet in order for you to be eligible. For rehabilitation, you will be asked to show that:
- Your sentence was completed at least 5 years prior to applying
- You have a stable lifestyle
- You are living in a permanent home
- You are employed
- You have a reference letter about your good character
You must send your application for rehabilitation to the nearest Visa office if you are outside of Canada. If you are in Canada, you must send your application to the nearest Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office.
In some cases when an individual has only a single misdemeanour on their record, and ten years have passed since they have completed their sentence, they may be deemed rehabilitated due to the length of time and are then considered admissible to Canada. For those who have more than one misdemeanour, an indictable offence, or their crime involved a weapon, property damage, or was violent in nature, Deem Rehabilitation may not apply to them, even after ten years.
The way the Canadian government determines admissibility is by equating the foreign criminal offence to Canadian law. This means that if the crime committed in a foreign country is considered an indictable offence (a serious crime), then the visitor may be refused entry and consider inadmissible to the country. If the crime committed was equivalent to a summary offence (a less serious crime), then the visitor may be considered admissible and allowed to enter, as long it was a single conviction and it has been over five years since their last conviction, even without acquiring a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation. For hybrid offences (offences that could be considered summary or indictable), the person will be deemed inadmissible to the country due to the potential of it being prosecuted as an indictable offence in Canada.
Entering Canada can be a difficult process if you have a criminal record and will require a bit of effort and research. If you are looking to enter Canada temporarily, you will have to apply for a TRP. If you are looking to enter permanently, you will have to wait 5 years after you have finished your sentence and apply for Criminal Rehabilitation, or if you do not have serious crimes and it has been over 10 years you could simply be deemed rehabilitated and allowed to enter the country. If you meet the criteria for any of these methods for entering Canada you may be applicable and should consult a professional.
Pardons and Waivers Canada
If you’re looking for professional help to guide you into entering Canada with a criminal record, Pardons and Waivers Canada has years of experience helping those with a criminal record enter Canada. We have helped many foreigners and Canadians with criminal records travel without any trouble.
Contact Pardons and Waivers Canada today at 1-800-543-2137, to talk with one of our representatives about applying for a pardon or entry waivers.