Overcoming Criminal inadmissibility

Author: Parminder Singh LL.B, Juris Doctor (Canada)

Can I enter Canada if I am criminally inadmissible?

There are ways of overcoming criminal inadmissibility.

You may be offered a temporary resident permit if:

  • your purpose of travel to Canada is justified; and
  • you do not pose a risk

Family emergencies or business conferences are justified but tourism is normally not justified.

If you are inadmissible for temporary or permanent residence, you may be admissible again if you:

What is Deemed rehabilitated and Eligibility to file a rehabilitation application?

This section gives a summary of the type of offences and length of rehabilitation periods.

Less than 10 year imprisonment:

If you were convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be an indictable offence punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years:

  • You are deemed rehabilitated: at least ten years after completion of the sentence imposed.
  • You are eligible to file a rehabilitation application: five years after completion of the sentence imposed.

Maximum 10 or more imprisonment:

If you were convicted of an offence or you committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more:

  • You are deemed rehabilitated: you are not deemed rehabilitated and you must file a rehabilitation application
  • You are eligible to file a rehabilitation application: five years after completion of the sentence (if you were convicted) or five years after commission of the offence (if you were charged but not sentenced).

2 or more Summary convictions:

If you were convicted for two or more offences outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute summary conviction offences:

  • You are deemed rehabilitated: five years after the sentences imposed were      served or to be served.
  • You are eligible to apply for rehabilitation: you need not file a rehabilitation      application after 5 years because you are deemed rehabilitated after 5 years.

What can I do if I want to come to Canada but I am not eligible for rehabilitation?

You may be able to receive a temporary resident permit, if you can show that:

  • your  purpose of travel to Canada is justified; and
  • you do not pose a risk.

This permit would allow you to enter or stay temporarily in Canada.