Getting Into Canada with a Misdemeanor

The first thing that needs to be discussed is what a misdemeanor is. In Canada, a misdemeanor would be considered a summary offence. Summary offences are considered minor crimes with light jail sentencing or fines imposed on the convicted. Some misdemeanors may include

  • criminal mischief
  • shoplifting under a certain amount

If you have a misdemeanor conviction on your record, you may be permitted to enter Canada. In 2012, Canada implemented a policy in accordance with their Tourism Facilitation Action Plan. This new policy now allows United States citizens, with a misdemeanor on their record, to enter Canada. It is important to mention that, while impaired driving is a serious offence in Canada, this policy applies to those with an impaired driving conviction.

Similar to other applications, there are criterions that must be met in order to enter Canada with a misdemeanor. Like other inadmissible applicants, you would be applying for a Temporary Resident Permit. This being said, you will have to apply at a Canadian Port of Entry instead of making an application while in the United States.

In addition to this, you must also meet the conditions of,

  • Being convicted with no imprisonment imposed as part of the sentence
  • Having no other convictions on your record that would deem you inadmissible

It is important to note that this method is only permitted once and that the normal $200 fee for a Temporary Resident Permit will be waived. If you wish to enter Canada again after having used this method, you must make an application for a Temporary Resident Permit through the regular method.

With this being said, it is still imperative to understand that being permitted entry into Canada is still up to the discretion of a border officer and therefore, there are no guarantees that you will be allowed entry into Canada.

If you have further concerns regarding your circumstance or questions about inadmissibility and how you can overcome this, at Akrami & Associates, our legal team is always available to assist you.

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