Area of Law: Immigration Law
Answer Number: 686
Temporary Resident Permits (TRP) and Criminal RehabilitationRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 686
If you are inadmissible to Canada because you have a criminal record, you may still be able to enter Canada legally by obtaining proper authorization from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in the form of a Temporary Resident Permit or an Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation.
A Temporary Resident Permit gives you only temporary permission to enter Canada and can be cancelled at any time; whereas an Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation does not expire.
Temporary Resident Permits (TRP)
If you have a criminal record and want to enter Canada within a short period of time, and on a temporary basis, then you should apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). A TRP will stipulate the time-period for which it is valid, and any other conditions, such as whether the person can enter Canada only once or multiple times. A TRP can be granted to a visitor or to someone who wishes to work or study in Canada.
To apply for a TRP, you must submit your application with all the necessary documents and the non-refundable application fee to a Canadian consulate outside Canada. Your application must include:
- a copy of all court documents describing all of your charges, convictions, and sentences;
- a copy of the law you were convicted under;
- police clearance certificates;
- letters of reference including a letter from your employer; and
- a personal statement from you.
If you lived in the United States during the past 10 years you must also submit an FBI police certificate.
Although it may take several months for your TRP application to be processed – depending on the consulate where you submit your application – it will be expedited in appropriate circumstances requiring urgency. A single entry TRP expires once the individual enters Canada (although they can remain in Canada until the date set out in the TRP), whereas a multiple-entry TRP allows the holder to enter multiple times before its expiry date. Once you receive a TRP you may apply to enter Canada temporarily.
A TRP can be cancelled by IRCC at any time if the person’s circumstances change, and the officer believes that the individual has failed to comply with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, such as committing another crime. Cancellation of the TRP, in almost all cases, will require that the person leave Canada as of the date specified by IRCC.
Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation
An Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation is a document issued by IRCC, which removes a person’s inadmissibility to enter Canada due to a criminal record. The Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation never has to be renewed and lasts for the entire lifetime of the individual as long as they are not convicted of any other crimes in the future.
The eligibility periods to qualify for criminal rehabilitation for crimes committed outside Canada, are as follows:
- If you were convicted of two or more ‘less serious’ offences (that if committed in Canada would be considered summary offences), you are deemed (considered) rehabilitated if at least five years have passed from the date you completed your sentence. In such cases, you do not need to apply for criminal rehabilitation.
- If you were convicted of an offence outside Canada, that if committed in Canada would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum jail term of less than 10 years, then you are eligible to apply for rehabilitation 5 years after completing your sentence. However, in such cases you are deemed rehabilitated if at least 10 years have passed since the completion of your sentence.
- If you committed an offence outside Canada, that if committed in Canada would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum jail term of less than 10 years, then you are eligible to apply for rehabilitation 5 years from the commission of the offence. However, in such cases you are deemed rehabilitated if at least 10 years have passed since the completion of your sentence.
- If you were convicted of an offence, or committed an offence outside Canada, that if committed in Canada would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum jail term of 10 years or more, then you are eligible to apply for rehabilitation 5 years after completing your sentence, or from the commission of the offence. However, in such cases, you are not eligible to be deemed rehabilitated.
Also, to be eligible for a rehabilitation, you must not currently be charged with any crime. It takes about one year for an Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation application to be processed.
To apply for Criminal Rehabilitation, you must submit your application with all the necessary documents and a non-refundable processing fee. If you live outside Canada, the application will be submitted to the Canadian visa post designated by IRCC and which is determined by your country of nationality. If you live in Canada, the application will be submitted to the Central Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta, or to your local IRCC office.
As with a TRP, your application must include: a copy of each court judgment made against you; police clearance certificates; a copy of the foreign law you were charged under; and any other documents that relate to your sentence, parole, probation or pardon (known as a record suspension after March 2012). You will also be asked to explain why you think you are rehabilitated. If you lived in the United States during the past 10 years you must also submit an FBI police certificate. Once you receive a written Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation from IRCC, you may apply to enter Canada as a visitor or as a permanent resident.
For more information, view the IRCC guide on Rehabilitation for Persons Who Are Inadmissible to Canada Because of Past Criminal Activity.
In considering whether to grant a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation, IRCC Officers will evaluate factors, such as: the seriousness of the offence, behavioural factors, evidence that the person has reformed, whether there is a pattern of criminal behaviour, and whether there are any outstanding criminal charges.
For more information about criminal records and how to remove them, refer to our Criminal Records area of law, which provides 95 answers.
To find foreign consulates and embassies in your province, click here.
HSBC Bank Canada offers a Newcomers to Canada Program, valued up-to $700 including a $500 Joining Bonus Reward.
A criminal record will delay, and can even prevent you from getting your immigration status. To erase your Canadian criminal record, call toll-free 1-800-874-2652 or learn more at Parole Board of Canada. It’s easier than you think.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you should consult a Criminal Defence lawyer.
Immigration applications are complex. For advice and representation with your application, contact our preferred Immigration experts:
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