It is important that a newcomer to Canada be aware that deportable offences do exist. Deportation is a common occurrence for both immigrants and non-immigrants. If you’re convicted of any of the following crimes, deportation is usually one of the punishment.
This should not be a surprise, as Canada fights to keep its place in world record as the 6th safest country to live in.
This struggle is not without certain sacrifices and it is important to know as an immigrant, that Canada is not ready to sacrifice its pristine reputation just to allow your continual stay.
The process of deportation – the humiliation of being arraigned before the court, the eventual deportation, and the possibility that you will not return – is enough to keep you sober throughout your stay.
An immigrant who understands that the process of working his way into Canada, is long and arduous, should be careful not to strain his relationship with this reputable country, when he is eventually admitted.
It is important to say here, that Canada does not take pride in deporting its immigrants. As a matter of fact, Canada invites you to stay. Canada treats everyone equally and fairly.
But the government of Canada does not spare anyone who compromises the security or wellbeing of its citizens.
So beware, dear immigrant, as you prepare to step on the precious grounds of Canada. The law is watching you.
While deportable offences differ from country to country, they all agree that certain offences are deportable. Any immigrant who commits certain crimes will face deportation.
Therefore, this article will elaborate on the top 10 deportable offences in Canada.
In this article
What is deportation?
Deportation is the lawful removal of an immigrant or a non-immigrant from a country, for violating the immigration laws of that country.
Whatever term you use, there are a variety of situations in which immigration authorities can compel someone to leave the country.
Officers intercepting immigrants attempting to breach the country’s border and returning them quickly, removals of undocumented or criminal aliens who have been caught and detained, and denials of immigration court proceedings are just a few examples (perhaps after several appeals).
What are Deportable Offenses?
Deportable offenses are acts committed by an immigrant or nonimmigrant, which are interpreted by the immigration laws of the country, as being criminal.
In Canada, deportable offences fall under the category ‘serious criminality’.
These are Drug crimes, Violent crimes, Theft or property crimes and recently, Impaired driving.
What are the Reasons for Deportation?
There are two categories of offenders for deportation of immigrants from Canada. Those who enter Canada illegally and those who enter legally.
There are people who enter Canada illegally. This means they did not fulfil the legal processes which would enable them lawful entry into the great country.
Such people stand the risk of being deported. There are people who are termed inadmissible. Some reasons for inadmissibility are:
- A person is termed criminally inadmissible if he has a criminal record, even if the criminal act was not done in Canada. If a person has a past criminal conviction, whether in Canada or any other country, he is seen as an illegal entrant. A person can also be inadmissible if he has violated human rights, whether in Canada or any other country.
- A person is termed medically inadmissible if he has a medical record of a communicable disease. Also, if a person has a disease which is related to violent outbursts which make him a potential threat to people around him, he will be inadmissible to Canada.
- A person is termed financially inadmissible if he fails to prove that he can support himself and/or his family, financially. Canadian government welcomes immigrants but would gladly welcome those who have something to offer, by way of improving its economy. No government would like to be burdened with taking care of immigrants who depend on it for everything.
- A person is termed morally inadmissible if in the process of application, he deliberately withheld or falsified information about himself. You would be surprised that falsifying information as minor as a person’s age, is enough basis for inadmissibility.
The second type of people who can be deported are people who enter Canada legally.
However, they may have been given temporary visa to study or work, and they overstay their welcome without applying for an extension. Such people are liable to be deported.
If you fall into the second category, it is necessary that you are up to date on the processes of visa renewal or application for extension of stay.
Top 10 Deportable Offences in Canada?
1. Impaired driving causing bodily harm – Criminal Code section 253
In Canada, any offence that falls under serious criminality, results in possible deportation. There have been arguments against deportation for impaired driving causing bodily harm.
It is debated that deportation is too harsh a sanction to place on an offender, especially a first timer.
Unfortunately, the law does not distinguish between minor and major impaired driving offences. You can be deported for impaired driving even if you are a first-time offender, your driving did not result in an accident, and no one was injured as a result of your driving. If you are an immigrant or permanent resident in Canada, impaired driving can get you deported.
2. Impaired driving causing death – Criminal Code section 253
Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. A drunk-driving mistake could jeopardize your Canadian immigrant status. In 2019 alone, more than 155 impaired driving accidents caused deaths.
This justifies Canada’s unflinching decision to deport any immigrant or permanent resident who is found culpable.
3. Cultivation of marijuana
The unauthorized possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis for personal use is a summary offence.
In terms of immigration, offences related to illegal Cannabis possession, production or commerce, may render foreign nationals inadmissible to Canada, depending on the severity of the crime. See also the Cannabis Act of Canada.
4. Trafficking of marijuana over 3 kg
Same as No. 3 above, trafficking in Marijuana is a deportable offense.
5. Theft over $5,000 (Criminal Code section 344)
Theft is considered a property offence. Having a criminal record may affect your work, your immigration status, your reputation, your family and your personal freedom. This is a hybrid offence that holds a sentence of almost 10 years, therefore, it is a deportable offence.
6. Robbery without a firearm – Criminal Code section 344(1)
Robbery is the crime of stealing from a person while using violence or threats of violence or stealing from a person while armed or unarmed. In Canada, an immigrant who robs a victim with or without a firearm, is deportable.
7. Possession of a restricted weapon with ammunition – Criminal Code section 344(1a)
Unauthorized possession of a firearm in Canada is a deportable offense. One may argue that if the offender did not use the weapon in a crime, it should not be considered an offence but logically, it can be considered that a person who carries a weapon, intends to use it.
8. Assault causing bodily harm or with a weapon – Criminal Code section 267
Assault is the application of force or the threat of force against another individual without their consent and without legal justification or excuse. It goes without saying, that any immigrant found in this compromising situation, will go down for it.
9. Fleeing police – Criminal Code section 249(1)
Flight from an officer of the law is an offence in Canada. Come to think of it, it is only a person who has something to hide, that flees from a police officer. Failing to stop for a police officer when he instructs you to do so, is a provincial and territorial violation.
In fact, a bill was passed by the House of Parliament in 2000, making it a Criminal Code Offence to try to flee from a police officer.
10. Using or possessing a stolen or forged credit card – Criminal Code section 342(3)
Credit card theft or forgery is a serious offence, and the offender is liable to 2 years or more, in prison.
In general, any offence that results in a person being charged and convicted of a crime in Canada, is a deportable offence.
Deportable offences in Canada are hindrances to good citizenship, and are better avoided.
When an offender is issued a removal order, the Canada Border Services Agency will have the responsibility of removing him from Canada. He may be allowed to appeal his removal if he acts timely.
An offender recieves a letter from CBSA inviting him to attend an “interview” at a local Canada Immigration Enforcement office (in Toronto this is known as the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre or GTEC). This letter may come after he applies to remain in Canada.
At this interview, the deportee is advised in writing that a removal date from Canada has been set, usually 30 days later.
At this point, the person can either give in without a ‘fight’ or contest the deportation order from Canada.
You should consider speaking with an immigration attorney and a criminal lawyer, as soon as possible. Strong legal representation could be your lifesaver in this situation.
Speed is also a great advantage as you need to prepare your appeal within 30 days of receiving a removal order.
In conclusion, deportation is an unpleasant and devastating experience, emotionally and financially. It is even more so, when the deportee has been a resident of Canada for many years.
Obviously, a deported person faces the likelihood of being forever separated from family members that he or she will leave behind in Canada. These family members may be children, grandchildren and parents.
These family members in turn, will suffer the trauma of missing the deported person who may be the financial stronghold of that family. These far-reaching effects are scary and better unimagined.
For the deported person returning to a place or country where they have few or no link, chances of survival are not assured.