Eligibility to Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation in Canadian Immigration

We all know that immigration to Canada is a complex process, requiring careful consideration of the circumstances of each individual. But what happens when a person has a criminal record in the past? How can they still pursue their dream of living and working in Canada? Find out in this write-up how Canadian law offers an opportunity for rehabilitation and a path to admission into the country.

Criminal rehabilitation as per Canadian Immigration Law

Criminal rehabilitation is a requirement for people trying to immigrate to Canada with a criminal record or felony offence. People with a criminal record are inadmissible to Canada. However, they can gain entry by getting criminal rehabilitation from the Canadian authorities.

It is a consideration that the crime or the offence and the sentence pertaining to the same might not be admissible in Canada or could have turned out differently within the Canadian judicial system. Once a person applying for criminal rehabilitation gets approval and provided they don’t commit any further offences, the Canadian authorities will not hold the past charges as cause for inadmissibility in Canada.

This is only applicable to crimes committed outside the country. If the person has a conviction in Canada they have to apply for a Pardon, as per the circumstances of the felony situation.

Eligibility Criteria for Criminal Rehabilitation

There are several factors involved in the criminal rehabilitation of a person. Here are the chief criteria:

  1. If a person was convicted of a crime that if committed in Canada would have been an indictable felony with a sentence of at least 10 years then:
  • The person is considered rehabilitated, for a minimum of 10 years after completing the sentence.
  • They can apply for criminal rehabilitation, after 5 years of completing the sentence.
  1. If a person commits a crime, which in Canada would indict them to a maximum imprisonment term of less than 10 years:
  • The person is considered rehabilitated, a minimum of 10 years after the commission of the sentence.
  • They are eligible for rehabilitation, after 5 years of commissioning the offence.
  1. If a person committed a crime, which in Canada would have been punishable by imprisonment for 10 years or more:
  • The person will not be deemed rehabilitated.
  • They can apply for rehabilitation, after 5 years of completing the sentence or commission of the felony.
  1. If a person was convicted on 2 counts, which in Canada would constitute a summary conviction felony:
  • The person is considered rehabilitated at least 5 years after the imposed sentences were served or to be served.
  • They would not be eligible for criminal rehabilitation.

As you can see there is a common clause for criminal rehabilitation that places forth 5 years waiting period for the application. Here’s how the waiting period is calculated:

  • For a suspended sentence the waiting period of 5 years is counted from the state of sentencing.
  • If a person is suspended with a fine, the waiting period of 5 years will be from the date the fine was paid.
  • If it is a case of imprisonment without parole, the waiting period of 5 years will be counted from the end of the term of imprisonment.
  • If the person was imprisoned and paroled, the waiting period of 5 years will be from the t date of the parole completion.
  • For probationary cases, the waiting period is counted from the end of the probation period.
  • For driving probation cases, the waiting period is counted from the end of the probation period.


This is the standard eligibility criteria for a person to apply for criminal rehabilitation to gain admission in Canada. If you have further queries regarding the application process, don’t hesitate to connect with the professionals at Akrami & Associates. We are a group of experienced lawyers and immigration consultants, dedicated to helping people seeking passage to PR in Canada. If you want a consultation, then call us at +1-416-477-2545 or send an email to info@thevisa.ca.

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