Being denied entry at the border is never a fun experience, so it is strongly advised that you apply for special entrance permission in advance of your Canadian travel if you have a felony criminal record rendering you inadmissible and you need to travel north of the border.
Although the Canadian border strictly prohibits foreigners from gaining access to the country if they have a recent criminal record that equates to a hybrid or indictable offense, they are particular stringent on Americans with a felony.
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This means the absolute only way for a criminally inadmissible felon to ensure successful passage into Canada is to get approved for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. Whether you have been convicted of domestic violence, assault, possession of a controlled substance, robbery, burglary, theft, drug dealing selling drugs , fraud, manslaughter, tax evasion, arson, vandalism, sexual assault, or any of the other felonies possible, an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer can help you apply for authoritative dispensation via a TRP or CR. Please note: if a possession with intent to deliver or distribute PWID charge is reduced to simple possession as part of a plea bargain, the equivalent offense in Canada could still be considered serious criminality depending on the quantity of drugs involved and exactly how it equates to Canadian law.
Immigration officials are typically less likely to issue a Canada Temporary Resident Permit to a person with a felony compared to one who only has misdemeanors on their criminal record. This means a felon's application must be excellent in order to demonstrate to authorities that they are properly rehabilitated and do not pose a danger to the Canadian public if permitted entrance.
Without official permission for entry, it can also be more likely that a felony record will cause a person to be denied entry compared to someone with a lesser conviction such as a petty theft offense. Entrance to Canada is always at full discretion of the border agent, and if he or she notices that a visitor is a felon, they will likely want to thoroughly screen that person before letting them in, which means the traveler will often be refused admittance and told to attain Rehabilitation before coming back.
While a misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI can both equate to the same crime in Canada, obviously a felony conviction is going to be more concerning to Canadian immigration authorities.
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Felons who attempt to cross the international border between Canada and the United States of America may risk being denied entry due to criminal inadmissibility, even if their criminal conviction happened 20 or 30 years ago. Foreign nationals with felonies on their record may never be "deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time", and can be stopped at the border and sent home regardless of how long ago their crimes occurred.
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Admissibility to Canada is determined by the severity of the equivalent crime north of the border, and if the Canadian equivalency is punishable by a maximum imprisonment of ten years or more, the individual does not qualify for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation. Call us support official-canada-eta. Anyone with a criminal record trying to enter Canada, for example, on a Canada visa, may find that their former criminal offenses can be a problem.
When it comes to entering Canada, the past can come back to haunt some individuals. Criminal inadmissibility applies to those who've had a brush with the law or the courts in their homeland. Moreover, an individual can't always leave convictions behind them as time passes, which is a concept known as 'rehabilitation'.
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This applies when someone is no longer inadmissible and a year period has passed from the time they completed their sentence. Past offenses can have long-lasting consequences, depending on how many offenses someone may have on their record and the kind of convictions these are. Usually, these can be addressed through criminal rehabilitation, with approval sought by Canada's immigration authorities when someone wishes to enter the country.
However, the issue becomes more complicated when an individual has multiple offenses on their criminal record.
In normal circumstances, deemed rehabilitation won't be granted unless these offenses are judged as very minor. In such instances, even though time may have passed and the individual may have changed, they must officially apply for criminal rehabilitation. Inadmissability also applies to offenses that the Canadian legal system would consider to be serious had they taken place in Canada itself and if these could have lead to over 10 years in jail.
In such cases, the nature of the crime and how it was judged by the courts in the individual's home country are not important.
If a judge in Canada could have sentenced the individual to 10 years or more in jail, the offense is considered to be serious. For example, crimes like assault, theft, bodily harm, the use of weapons and dealing in narcotics are all considered to be serious. Such crimes will never lead to a resolution of criminal inadmissibility through deemed rehabilitation.
The individual will have to specifically apply for criminal rehabilitation if they want to enter Canada or pass through the Canada immigration system. Even if the reason you are inadmissible seems minor, you must show that your visit is valid. More information about temporary resident permits is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. An article about travel restrictions based on a criminal record can be found on the Collateral Consequences Resource Center website.
Although this is written with an American audience in mind, the information is still relevant to travellers from the UK. The personal stories below have been posted on theRecord , our online magazine. Read and share your experiences on our online forum.
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