Denied entry to Canada from the US?

Are you an American and have you been denied entry to Canada? Or do you wish to enter Canada from the US but perhaps have a criminal record?

There are many reasons Americans are not admitted to Canada including reasons for medical and criminal inadmissibility. Americans generally do not require visas to enter Canada for pleasure and as business visitors for a temporary period. However, if, as an American, you have a criminal record such as a DUI, misdemeanour offence or some other record, you may be denied entry.  

What do you do if you were denied entry from the US?

If you are denied entry to Canada, you could apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). A TRP can be issued at the Canadian Consultate in the US or right at the US/Canada border. However, TRPs are not easy to get and require a lot of documentation outlining your criminal offence(s) and reasons why you should be admitted to Canada.  If you are issued a TRP, it is usually valid for a few months.

What if your offence was a very long time ago?

If you had a very old criminal record, say, over 10 years ago, you may be eligible for what is called Criminal Rehabilitation in which case you could be admitted to Canada as if your record was expunged. You have to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation at a Canadian Consulate and the application can take a number of months to process. If you are approved, you can be issued  a Rehabilitation certificate which you will show every time you enter Canada.

Where do I get help if I am or may be denied entry to Canada?

If you are inadmissible to Canada or may be, you can ask an immigration lawyer for help. An immigration lawyer with experience in inadmissibility cases may be able to prepare a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation application for you so you can enter Canada. There is a lot of paper work to assemble but if done correctly you can be on your way!

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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