Breaking down entry barriers: choosing between Criminal Rehab or Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada

If you have a criminal record and are planning to travel to Canada, you may be considered ‘inadmissible‘ by the customs officer, which could result in being denied entry. Canada has strict regulations regarding entry for individuals with a criminal record, so you’ll need to obtain either a Temporary Resident Permit or overcome criminal inadmissibility through Criminal Rehabilitation. These are two different application processes with varying eligibility requirements and processing times. Therefore, it’s important to understand the differences between them and determine which option is best suited for your situation:


Criminal Rehabilitation

The process of Criminal Rehabilitation can be daunting for individuals with a history of criminal offences, but in Canadian immigration, it refers to the process of permanently pardoning a criminal background for the purpose of entering Canada. Generally, those who have been granted Criminal Rehabilitation have established stable lifestyles with a low probability of re-offending. Upon approval of a Criminal Rehabilitation application, an individual will no longer be denied entry to Canada based on their prior criminal history. Two types of Criminal Rehabilitation exist, each with distinct qualification requirements.

So if you’re ready to take the next step in your journey towards Criminal Rehabilitation, don’t hesitate to contact Akrami & Associates today. Our team is here to guide you through the process and help you put your best foot forward.


Deemed Criminally Rehabilitated

Individuals who have been convicted of or committed a crime outside of Canada may be eligible for deemed rehabilitation if the crime would have a maximum sentence of 10 years or less in Canada and 10 or more years have passed since the sentence or commission was completed. This means they will be considered admissible to Canada.

However, if the crime would have a maximum sentence of 10 years or more in Canada, the individual is not eligible for deemed rehabilitation. Additionally, in order to be eligible for deemed rehabilitation, the individual cannot have reoffended or committed any other indictable offence.

If an individual has been convicted of two or more crimes outside of Canada that would be considered summary conviction offences if committed in Canada, they may be considered deemed rehabilitated at least 5 years after the sentence(s) were completed.

To calculate the 10-year waiting period for Criminal Rehabilitation, the following methods apply:

  • For sentences, count 10 years after the date the sentence was completed.
  • For imprisonment and parole, count 10 years after the completion of the parole.
  • For sentences and probation, count 10 years after the completion of the probationary period.

This formal process can provide a permanent pardon for an individual’s criminal history, offering a solution for those who are not eligible for deemed rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is in need of Criminal Rehabilitation, it’s important to understand the process and requirements involved. At Akrami & Associates, our legal professionals are here to help guide you through the process and provide you with the support you need to achieve success.


Individual Rehabilitation

Individual Rehabilitation is a process available to individuals who have either committed or been convicted of a crime outside of Canada that, if committed within Canada, would have been punishable by a sentence of 10 years or less, as well as those that would have carried a sentence of 10 years or more. If approved, Individual Rehabilitation permanently pardons an individual’s previous criminal history for the purposes of entering Canada.

If you have a criminal record and wish to enter Canada, it’s important to note that there are specific requirements for admissibility. If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re admissible to Canada, it’s best to seek the advice of a legal professional. Akrami & Associates can help you navigate the complex process of applying for Criminal Rehabilitation or Individual Rehabilitation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you overcome inadmissibility to Canada.

To be eligible for Individual Rehabilitation, it must be at least 5 years after the completion of an individual’s sentence or commission. The waiting period for Individual Rehabilitation is calculated as follows: count 5 years after the date the sentence was complete for sentences, 5 years after the completion of parole for imprisonment and parole, and 5 years after the completion of probation for sentences with probation.


Temporary Resident Permit

If you are not eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation because it has not been at least 5 years since the completion of your sentence, or if you need to travel to Canada urgently and cannot wait for your Criminal Rehabilitation application to be processed, you may consider applying for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP).

A TRP allows an individual entry into Canada for a predetermined period of time if they have a valid reason to visit or enter Canada, and are otherwise inadmissible. You can either apply for a TRP in advance through a Canadian Consulate or directly at the Canadian border or port of entry if your travel is an emergency or on short notice. However, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your TRP application will be approved, and you may be refused entry to Canada.

When processing your TRP application, the Immigration Officer will assess the risk of you possibly reoffending and determine if your reason for visiting Canada outweighs that risk. Therefore, it is crucial to highlight the stability of your life since the completion of your sentence, your remorse for previous offenses, as well as your low risk of reoffending.

It is essential to remember that a TRP is a temporary document that grants admissibility to Canada, and it is not a permanent pardon. The duration of the TRP will be determined by the Officer processing your application, which could be anywhere from 1 day to 3 years. During the validity period of the TRP, you will be considered ‘admissible’ to Canada. However, you will have to either reapply for a new TRP once your current one expires, or apply for Criminal Rehabilitation if you are eligible. Failure to do so will render you ‘inadmissible’ to Canada once again. Also, note that approval for one TRP does not guarantee approval for a subsequent one. Therefore, it is crucial to engage the services of an immigration firm that specializes in TRP applications to enhance your chances of approval.

When entering Canada, there are various declaration forms that may need to be completed based on your circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

It is important to note that failure to declare any of these items can result in fines or even criminal charges. Therefore, it is recommended to be honest and transparent about what you are bringing into the country, and to follow all customs requirements. That’s why it’s essential to seek assistance from experienced professionals. At Akrami & Associates, our legal team specializes in Canadian immigration and customs law and can provide you with the guidance you need. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with the customs process and ensure a successful entry into Canada.


Watch now on Akrami & Associates’ YouTube channel | Criminal Rehabilitation Canada


If you have questions about what is allowed or required when entering Canada, or if you want to ensure that you are fully prepared for your entry, legal professionals at Akrami & Associates can provide assistance. Call today to learn more about our services and how we can help you navigate the process of crossing the Canadian border.

Contact us today!


𝗣𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲: 416-477-2545 / 1-877-820-7121

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