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Visitors with a foreign criminal record

Region: Ontario Answer # 682

In addition to other immigration requirements such as visas, people who have or had a foreign criminal record and who want to visit Canada must, in most cases, obtain special permission. This permission can be given through either an Approval of Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit. Which of these documents is appropriate for you, will depend on the date of your conviction. Both applications require you to provide copies of all the police documents, court transcripts, and other documents that relate to your conviction.

It is important to note that a person is not criminally inadmissible to Canada for having committed one single offence abroad that, if committed in Canada, would be one single summary offence.


Application for Criminal Rehabilitation

If an application for Criminal Rehabilitation is approved, an approval letter will be issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This removes a person’s inadmissibility to enter Canada due to a foreign criminal record. The approval never has to be renewed and lasts for your entire lifetime as long as you are not convicted of any other subsequent crimes.

The eligibility period to qualify for a rehabilitation is at least five years from the date you completed your sentence for an offence that if committed in Canada would be a summary (less serious) offence, and 10 years from the date you completed your sentence for an offence that if committed in Canada would be indictable (serious). Also, to be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, you must not currently be charged with a crime.

Canadian Immigration authorities need to be satisfied that you are fully rehabilitated and will not likely reoffend in order to approve your application. As such, in addition to the required forms, documents, and fees, it would also be advisable to include supporting documents demonstrating your law-abiding and stable lifestyle since the completion of the sentence.

It takes about one year for a Criminal Rehabilitation application to be processed.


Deemed Rehabilitated

In some cases, individuals can be deemed rehabilitated by IRCC. In such circumstances, an application is not necessary. To be deemed rehabilitated, five years (for two or more summary offences) or ten years (for an indictable offence) must have passed since the individual completed the sentence imposed by the court. In addition to the five or ten-year waiting-period, other criteria, such as whether the individual was charged with one or more offences, the nature of the offences, and whether there are any outstanding current charges, will be considered. Individuals who are unsure of whether they qualify to be deemed rehabilitated may make an official inquiry. To do this, the person will simply complete the Application for Criminal Rehabilitation form, and check the box labelled “For Information Only”. The Immigration office will make an assessment based on the details of the events and provide the individual with an official response. If IRCC determines that the person is deemed rehabilitated, it is in the individual’s best interests to carry this official IRCC letter whenever coming to Canada for presentation to IRCC border officers.


Temporary Resident Permit

A Temporary Resident Permit, commonly referred to as a TRP, is a document that will give you temporary permission to enter Canada even though you have a criminal record. A TRP is issued by IRCC for a compelling, specific, and temporary purpose. IRCC will assess several factors and will need to be satisfied that the need for you to enter Canada is greater than the risks that you pose to the Canadian public. This permit can be for a single entry or for multiple entries during a specific time-period, such as six months. A TRP may be cancelled at any time. For more detailed information about TRP and Rehabilitation Certificate applications, refer to other sections of Legal Line.

Get help

If you enter or attempt to enter Canada without proper authorization, it is an offence under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. For more information, or to obtain forms, contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. To find foreign consulates and embassies in your province, click here.

A criminal record will delay, and can even prevent you from getting your immigration status. To erase your Canadian criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

For legal advice and representation with your Criminal Rehabilitation application, contact our preferred Immigration experts, Bright Immigration Consultants .

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