How to Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada
Do you have a criminal record and wish to enter Canada? You may be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation.
Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada
Under Canada’s federal immigration legislation, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, individuals applying for temporary or permanent residence may be considered inadmissible to Canada if they have a criminal history. It may be possible to overcome that inadmissibility, however, through a record suspension and/or criminal rehabilitation.
If you have a criminal conviction in Canada, you must seek a record suspension (formerly referred to as a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada. In order to be considered for a record suspension, a specified period of time must have elapsed since the end of the sentence imposed. The usual waiting period is 10 years for indictable offences and 5 years for summary convictions.
When Can I Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada?
If you have convictions/offences outside of Canada, you are eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation if you have:
- Been 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 and five years have elapsed since completion of the sentence;
- Committed 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 and five years have elapsed since commission of the offence;
- Been convicted or committed an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or more and five years have elapsed since completion of the sentence or commission of the offence.
(*If at least ten years have elapsed since conviction/commission of an indictable offence or five years have elapsed since conviction for two or more summary convictions, then you may be deemed rehabilitated. In such circumstances, you will not be required to apply for criminal rehabilitation; however, it may be prudent to seek an assessment of deemed rehabilitation by the consulate, High Commission or embassy in your area prior to seeking entry to Canada)
What If My Conviction Was Inside Canada?
If you have convictions in Canada and convictions/offences outside of Canada, both a record suspension and criminal rehabilitation will be required to overcome inadmissibility.
If, pursuant to the rules listed above, you are eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation, then you will have to submit a detailed form and supporting documentation to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The supporting documentation includes copies of:
- court judgments made against you;
- foreign or Canadian laws under which you were charged; and,
- any documents relating to sentence imposed, clearly showing when your sentence was completed.
You will also be required to submit original documentation of:
- a criminal clearance from the police authorities in all countries (including Canada) where you have lived for six consecutive months or longer since the age of 18;
- for people who have lived in the United States, a state clearance certificate from each state in which you have resided for six consecutive months or longer since the age of 18;
- if you were a juvenile offender, a letter or document proving that the country in which you were convicted has special measures for juvenile offenders;
If My Offence Was Outside of Canada?
With respect to a criminal history outside of Canada, if:
- your charges have been withdrawn or dismissed; or
- you have received an absolute or conditional discharge; or
- you have been granted a pardon,
then you may still be considered inadmissible to Canada. You will still be required to submit the above-noted documentation, and/or any other relevant documentation, to CIC so that an officer may determine whether or not you are inadmissible to Canada.
Can I still enter Canada if I don’t qualify for Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation?
If you don’t qualify, you still may be able to apply for entry. You could apply for a Temporary Residence Permit or a TRP in some cases where your conviction was more recent.
Do You Need Help With Your TRP Apllication?
The VisaPlace Group of Lawyers (VPGs) and their staff are all independent, licensed practitioners who understand how important it is for to you to achieve your immigration goals and have been trained to follow best practices and procedures to maximize your chances of success! Although seeing a TRP can be challenging in regards to a criminal past, we will do all we can to fulfill you immigration goals.
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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