Can I Travel to Canada with a Criminal Record?

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi. This is Michael Niren, immigration lawyer and founder of Are you traveling to Canada with a criminal record? If you are, there may be some issues in terms of you being admitted to Canada. Depending upon the
nature of your offense and how long ago it occurred, you may be stopped at the border.

Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

In order to resolve this issue, you may require what is called a Temporary Resident Permit, or T.R.P. A T.R.P. is a document that’s issued by the Canadian government that will allow you into the country despite your inadmissibility. T.R.P.s are usually valid for a year or a few months, depending upon the situation. If you are an American, you can potentially get a T.R.P. at the border. Generally speaking, though, you apply for a T.R.P. at the Canadian embassy in your home country. Processing can take a few months. At the embassy at the border, it’s right away. However, the concern is that if you are refused, you’ll be turned back.

Getting Approved for a T.R.P

In order to get an approved T.R.P., you have to make a strong case. You have to present your documentation, your background, reasons why you want to enter Canada, and that the risk of re-offending is outweighed by the need for entering. And you know, if you prepare a strong case, a strong application, you should be OK. Now, if your offense took place five years ago or longer, depending upon the offense, you may be eligible for what is called rehabilitation. Rehabilitation takes longer to process, but if you’re approved, that means you don’t ever have to apply for a T.R.P. again. It’s a permanent pass.

Are You Interested in Traveling to Canada With a Criminal Record?

So hopefully this can give you some guidance as to what happens if you are traveling to Canada with a criminal record. Thank you, and have a nice day. If you need information, go to our website,

Contact our experienced team today, and let us help you travel to Canada despite your criminal record.

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

  • Teofilo Rojas

    I am a merchant seaman that will be calling the port of Halifax for two days. I had a felony and a DUI back in 1983, can I transit thru Canada?

    • owen

      Hello Teofilo,

      Thank you for the inquiry. Given that your offenses took place quite a few years ago, you may be eligible for Rehabilitation, and with a strongly presented case, you may eligible to transit through Canada. Please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


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