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Can I Enter Canada With Criminal Records Or Convictions?

Can one enter Canada with criminal records or convictions? Every year, a countless number of individuals are denied entry to Canada because of criminal records or convictions. Some people who are denied entry to Canada for criminal offenses in the past never thought it would catch up with them later.

Presently, some minor offenses can even lead to what Citizenship and Immigration Canada (or “CIC”) call criminal inadmissibility. So, If you were charged with any criminal offense outside of Canada regardless of whether your charges were later withdrawn or pardoned, you may still be found inadmissible to Canada.

Canada Immigration authorities restrict individuals who have committed an act i.e a criminal offense outside Canada that is punishable by law. Some examples of having committed a criminal act include:

  • You are subject to a warrant where a charge will be put on you
  • Where some charges are pending against you
  • Where your trial is underway
  • Where you are fleeing prosecution in your country

Fortunately, there’s hope, depending on the nature of your trip or visit, and available time to address the charges, there are two options.

Besides, applying for a Temporary Resident Permit to come to Canada, there are other options for people with criminal records and convictions. For example, one could apply for criminal rehabilitation, which could eliminate your criminal inadmissibility.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit

The first option, for individuals who urgently want to visit Canada for work-related matter or emergency family issues etc. If this is your situation, you may be able to work on your inadmissibility at the port of entry or at the Canadian consulate by submitting an application for a temporary resident permit, which is also known as TRP. As the name implies, it is a temporary solution and may allow you to come to Canada only once.

Criminal Rehabilitation Application

The second option, is criminal rehabilitation application, will let you remove or dismiss your inadmissibility to Canada from your records, so in the nearest future, you may be allowed to travel to Canada with no restriction.

These applications are submitted to the visa office or consulate overseas, and it can take many months for processing.

But if you approach this solution as permanent, if you have a past criminal record or convictions and want to cross the border, we advise you consider approaching immigration experts or professionals to avoid any complication that may occur during the processing.