What does it mean to be rehabilitated?
A rehabilitated person is someone who satisfies an immigration officer that they are not likely to become involved in any new criminal activity. If you have committed or been convicted of a crime outside Canada, you may be eligible for individual or deemed rehabilitation to enter Canada.
For individual rehabilitation, you will most likely be asked to show that:
- it has been at least five years since your sentence ended, including any period of parole or probation; and
- you have
- a stable lifestyle,
- a permanent home,
- employment, and
- letters of reference about your good character, which would show that new crimes are not likely to be committed.
For deemed rehabilitation, at least 10 years must have passed since completing all imposed sentences for a conviction. This includes probation, fines, and any other conditions that were imposed. You do not need to submit an application to be deemed rehabilitated, and there are no costs involved. If all the requirements are met, you would be admissible to Canada.
How long will it take to get a decision on my rehabilitation application?
Applications can take over a year to process. Make sure you plan your visit in advance. Processing times are completely at the discretion of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Should you be required to enter Canada and cannot wait the processing time for a Criminal Rehabilitation application, consider applying for a temporary resident permit.
When can I apply for individual rehabilitation?
You can apply for rehabilitation if:
- you committed a crime outside Canada (for which you were not charged) over five years ago; or
- you were convicted of a crime outside Canada, and your sentence ended at least five years ago.
An immigration officer or border services officer may find you rehabilitated under a system called deemed rehabilitation. This system applies to people who, in most cases, have one previous conviction over 10 years ago. If an immigration officer deems you rehabilitated, you will likely be allowed to enter Canada as long as you meet all other requirements.
What can I do if I want to come to Canada but do not qualify for rehabilitation?
You may be able to receive a temporary resident permit if you can show that:
- your reason to travel to Canada is justified in the circumstances; and
- you do not pose a risk because of your inadmissibility.
This permit would allow you to enter or stay temporarily in Canada.