Rehabilitation is Defined as:
The process seeking to improve a criminal's character and outlook so that he or she can function in society without committing other crimes.
Within the immigration context, Rehabilitation is an assessment of possible future actions, attitudes and behaviour since conviction.
A person can show that he is rehabilitated by the passage of time and through examination of the person's activities and lifestyle, both before and after the offence, but does not mean that there is no risk of further criminal activity, only that the risk is assessed to be highly unlikely.
Again this is key:
- Your activities before and after the offense
- Your before and after lifestyle
- That the risk of you re-offending is highly unlikely
So, the documentation that we gather really has to focus on the above factors. The person's reasons for wanting to come to Canada, e.g., sponsorship by spouse, are not factors in assessing Rehabilitation but may be important factors in determining whether to facilitate the application.
Deemed Rehabilitation Are You Eligible?
Below are some examples of when the deemed rehabilitation provisions apply.
Two or more summary offences + passage of time of at least five years = Deemed rehabilitation
- Deemed rehabilitation applies to overcome inadmissibility based on two or more
- Summary offences, if the prescribed period of time of at least five years has elapsed.
- A person is not criminally inadmissible for having committed one single summary offence.
Only one Indictable offence with a maximum penalty of less than 10 years + no subsequent offences + passage of time of at least 10 years = Deemed rehabilitation
- Deemed rehabilitation applies to overcome inadmissibility based on one single
- indictable offence, if the prescribed period of time of at least 10 years has elapsed.
Individual rehabilitation granted + subsequent Indictable offence with a maximum penalty of less than 10 years + passage of time of at least 10 years = Deemed rehabilitation
At a port of entry (POE)
If you wish to enter Canada at the port of entry, please be advised that the officer must follow the steps below to determine if you meet the criteria for deemed rehabilitation:
- determine the criminal history by a thorough examination of the person;
- conduct criminal checks during the interview, to the extent possible; and
- evaluate the person's criminal history against the criteria for deemed rehabilitation;
If the officer determines that your qualify under deemed rehabilitation then you will be allowed entry. However, if the officer is not satisfied that you are criminally inadmissible then the officer has the following options:
- allow the person to leave;
- recommend a Temporary Resident Permit;
- prepare an A44 report, and refer the case to the Minister's delegate who may refer the person to an admissibility hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
- counsel the subject to make an application for individual rehabilitation at the POE
- counsel the subject to make an application for individual rehabilitation at a Canadian visa office.
Applications at a Visa Office With Conviction
If you are applying for a temporary or permanent resident visa, or for a student or work permit, and have a criminal record the officer can do the following prior to approving the application:
- interview you to determine your criminal history;
- conduct criminal checks, to the extent possible, or request that you provide documentation that establishes details of the conviction;
- evaluate your criminal history against the criteria for deemed rehabilitation;
- determine if you are seeking to enter Canada for a legitimate purpose (i.e.,to immigrate, study, work, visit or for tourism); and
- assess the probability that you will become involved in criminal activities or will be law- abiding while In Canada.
So it is important to ensure that the documentation and the arguments made at the onset to the officer is accurate and clear.
If it isn't you risk being asked to file a rehabilitation application prior to the status document being issued to you. Processing times for the rehabilition application can take about 2 years.