Can I Enter Canada With a Criminal Record?


Many people don’t realize that having a criminal record can make you inadmissible to Canada. The truth is, anyone can be declared inadmissible to Canada, even American citizens. In fact, your criminal record could be minor, or your criminal record could stem from a conviction that occurred many years ago – it can still result in your being inadmissible to Canada.

Entering Canada With a Criminal Record

People from all over the world are declared in admissible to Canada every day, meaning they are denied entry and will not be allowed in. If this happens, the individual will be asked to return home or put on the next flight home.

Are You Worried About Being Denied Entry to Canada?

If you are concerned about being denied entry to Canada because you have a criminal record, you should speak to a licensed immigration lawyer. This is because not all criminal records will result in being denied entry, but you’ll want to know well in advance of your travel if you should take steps to remedy your situation – because there are things you can do.

Seeking a Temporary Resident Permit

One of your options when you think you are going to be denied entry to Canada, or you have been denied entry already is to apply for a temporary residency permit, or a TRP.

This is a temporary visa that will allow you to come to Canada for a specified period of time, after which you must leave. This can be applied for at the border, but you can also be denied one at the border. Like all border crossings, it’s best to sort out any potential issues before hand.

Seeking Criminal Rehabilitation

If your conviction is older, meaning at least five years old, you could consider applying for a process called criminal rehabilitation. Instead of temporarily overcoming your criminal inadmissibility like with a temporary resident permit, this process will instead remove your inadmissibility permanently, although it is a much longer and more complicated application.

Are You Looking to Enter Canada With a Criminal Record?

All of Niren & Associates’ cases are handled by independent, licensed and award winning Canadian and U.S. lawyers who adhere to the highest standards of client service. If you are looking to enter Canada with a criminal record, contact us and we’ll do all we can to help.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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