Common Myths about Criminal Inadmissibility to Canada

Misconceptions about Criminal Inadmissibility to Canada

An individual may be inadmissible to Canada due to a variety of reasons; one of the most common types of inadmissibility is criminal inadmissibility. While entering Canada with a criminal record is possible, there are many misconceptions that need to be dispelled. In this blog, you will learn about common myths about criminal inadmissibility to Canada, so that you may be better prepared prior to coming to Canada with a criminal record.

I have been allowed into Canada in the Past

Often times, foreign travelers assume that they will be admissible if they were admitted to Canada with a criminal record before.  Unfortunately, this is not always true. Whether or not you are inadmissible is at the discretion Canadian immigration officers. That being said, while a previous officer might have deemed you admissible, another office may not do the same. Anyone with just a minor offence on their record, or who has had any interaction with the criminal justice system, stands a chance of being denied entry to Canada.

I can Enter Canada Freely as an American citizen

Even though the United States is Canada’s neighbor, being an US citizen does not grant your any privilege when it comes to entering Canada with a criminal record. The government of Canada and the United States actually share information, so that immigration authorities of either country have easy access to the criminal records of both U.S. and Canadian citizens. In other words, when a passport is scanned, the border agent can see the criminal history of the passport holder, and he or she can determine the passport holder’s criminal inadmissibility.

My offence was Just a Misdemeanor

Unfortunately, an immigration officer can still deem you as inadmissible to Canada based on your misdemeanor. In fact, what matters is not the offense itself, but what its equivalent would be in Canada, and the applicable punishment. In other words, how the offence is viewed in Canada is the overarching factor in the determination of an individual’s criminal inadmissibility. The more serious the offence is in Canadian law, the more likely an individual will be found inadmissible.

My offence occurred more than 10 years ago

You may have heard of a concept in Canadian immigration law called “deemed rehabilitation.” Deemed rehabilitation means that an individual is no longer inadmissible, because sufficient time has passed since the offence. The requisite amount of time is 10 years from the completion of sentence. Unfortunately, having the 10 years passed does not automatically make you admissible to Canada; it still depends on the severity of your offence. If you offence is serious, meaning it has the potential to be punished by at least 10 years of incarceration according to Canadian law, you will never be deemed rehabilitated. This also applies to cases where an individual has two or more offences on record. Secondly, it is still at the discretion of the immigration officer when determining an individual’s admissibility; if the officer finds the traveler poses a security risk to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, the officer still has the authority to deny the traveler’s entry, even if the conditions for deemed rehabilitation have been met. On the other hand, some officers might be unfamiliar with the concept of deemed rehabilitation and its application, which will also result in denied entry to Canada.

I have completed all sentences that were imposed upon me

It is reasonable to think that after you have completed your sentence you should no longer be negatively associated with your offence. However, that is not always the case. When it comes to Canadian inadmissibility, a specific amount of time must have elapsed, and some conditions must be satisfied. In other words, the waiting period will depend on the severity and number of offences. Even though you might have completed all of your sentences for your offence, your entry to Canada is still not guaranteed.

I have been allowed to enter many other countries

Each country has its own criteria for determining an individual’s inadmissibility. That being said, having been allowed to enter other countries does not automatically make you admissible to Canada. Again, whether or not you are admissible to Canada is completely up to the discretion of the immigration officer. Despite its seeming relevance, the fact of having been granted entry to other countries is usually not an important factor when it comes to determining inadmissibility to Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

As previously mentioned, Canadian government is very strict when it comes to assessing foreign travelers’ inadmissibility. In order to compile a strong a temporary resident permit or criminal rehabilitation application, you will need to prepare for the correct documents. However, having to prepare all the required documents can very confusing and exhausting. It is also essential to note that this type of application is difficult to pursue on your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients create strong Temporary Resident Permit and Criminal Rehabilitation applications. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 for more information, or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!


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