A permanent resident is a person who has been given lawful permission to permanently live in Canada, but who is not yet a Canadian citizen.
If you have a criminal record, your application for Canadian citizenship can be denied, delayed or put on hold. It is very important to know the following:
- When to file the application for PR or citizenship when you have been convicted of an offense
- What documents you need to show you are now rehabilitated and a good standing individual
- What other applications must you file such as TRP, Pardon, Criminal Rehabilitation etc
Can I Become a Citizenship If I have Criminal Record?
Being convicted of an offense is a serious matter. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) may decide to start removal proceedings for the purpose of removing your permanent residence status and deporting you from Canada. Even if you have been landed for many years or since childhood, your residency status may be taken away and you can be deported. So ensuring you file the proper paper work in time is essential.
Sometimes criminal convictions from many years ago are brought to the attention of Immigration Canada years after the crime was committed. Even in such a situation, where the criminal record is old, Immigration Canada may still take away the person's permanent residence status and deport them. Taking care of it right away will avoid this.
What do you do if you receive a letter from CIC stating that your application for Permanent Residence Status is being denied because of your criminal record?
This is a very important question. If this has happened to you we need to immediately inform CIC that you are in the process to having your criminal record removed immediately. In addition, we might also need to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation and/or Temporary Resident Permit (TRP).
If I was charged but the charges were dropped, will that affect my immigration application?
It possible can. If you have been accused and charged with a crime and you were fingerprinted in Canada, or you attended at a Canadian criminal court, you do have a criminal record. Even if you were found not guilty, once you have been accused and charged with a criminal offence, a record does exist. To fix this, you will need complete paperwork to have your record destroyed or sealed. Unless you do something about it, it will not go away by itself. Because of this, unless it is properly taken care of, your immigration process can be negatively affected.
Your Work Permit or any other status document can be taken away from you
If you were granted a status document such as work permit, visitor visa, Study Permit etc before you were charged with a criminal offence, your status document may be taken away from you. It is also very likely that you will be issued a removal order. So taken care of it as soon as it happens and knowing your legal rights is very important here.