Denied entry to Canada for a misdemeanor crime

Did you know that a criminal record can cause you to be refused entry to Canada? This is even true for small crimes, including misdemeanors. Many people who try to enter Canada every day are surprised and distressed to learn that they are inadmissible to Canada, and it can be upsetting to have to turn around and return to the United States if you had plans or an emergency in Canada. Denied entry to Canada

If you have a criminal record and want to travel, speak with a licensed immigration lawyer before you do. This is important, because a licensed immigration lawyer can help you determine if you are inadmissible to Canada, and if so, what to do about it. This will prevent wasted time at the border.

Options when you are denied entry to Canada

When you are denied entry to Canada, you have two main options. An immigration lawyer can help you determine which of these options is best for you.

For example, you could be eligible to apply for a temporary resident permit, which is something that will allow you into Canada temporarily even if you are otherwise inadmissible. You usually need to prove that you have a good reason, such as an emergency, in order to qualify for this.

Another option is criminal rehabilitation, which can take several months to process. However, this is quite a worthwhile process because it allows you to overcome your criminal inadmissibility permanently.

Are you someone who has a criminal record? Even if the criminal record is old or for something like a misdemeanor, it is a good idea to speak with a licensed immigration lawyer to discuss your personal situation and explore your options.

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

  • Sara

    Hi Michael,

    Im wondering if you would be able to share your thoughts on our recent debacle.

    My permanent resident brother wants to come back to Canada after being away for over a year on a development project in a conflict zone. He got arrested for alleged physical assault while away and spent less than 5 months in remand awaiting trial. When he went to court, he got a ‘time served’ sentence due to lack of evidence. The maximum sentence he could’ve received was 3 months. Does this effect his permanent residency status? Can he potentially be returned to his country of origin? We’re wondering if this would require us/him to contract a law firm here in Toronto on his behalf.


    • owen

      Hello Sara,

      Thank you for the inquiry. Your husband is in a difficult situation, and his ability to re-enter Canada and the chances of him being deported really depend on the details of his circumstances, and it would be highly advisable to speak with an experienced lawyer regarding his situation. You may fill out our free online assessment and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


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