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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Can I Enter Canada With a Felony Conviction?


Are you worried about your admissibility to Canada with a felony conviction in the US? You are on the right platform!

It is true for foreign residents with a felony conviction that their Canadian immigration application might get rejected. However, in some instances, they can enter Canada if they can obtain certain permits.

Let's find out what a felony conviction suggests and how an individual with a felony conviction can enter Canada. 

Understanding the felony conviction

The most serious crimes in the United States are highlighted as felonies. A felony marks specific crimes such as murder, cocaine trafficking, terrorism and several others. Felony crimes are punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Conversely, minor offences are marked as misdemeanours. Misdemeanour is all crimes where the maximum sentence is one year or less in the US.

Canadian law does not include felonies and misdemeanours. The Canadian legal system highlights three types of offences, namely Indictable, Hybrid and Summary.

Usually, an individual with a felony conviction is denied entry to Canada. However, certain circumstances permit people with recorded convictions to get Canadian admission if they are competent to obtain a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or they have accomplished the Criminal Rehabilitation process.

For further information regarding Canadian inadmissibility, contact Akrami & Associates.

Temporary Resident Permit

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) offers you legal entry to Canada for a specific period, provided you can submit valid reasons for your visit to the country. TRPs can be implemented at any point, irrespective of the fact that you are still serving a part of your sentence or you have completed your sentence long ago.

Additionally, the likelihood of receiving a TRP reduces with the severity of the crime committed and how recently you have completed your sentence.

How to Apply?

You can apply for a TRP in two ways:

  1. Apply at a port of entry

You can obtain a TRP upon arrival at any Canadian point of entry such as a land border or an airport. However, your entry cannot be guaranteed by the Canadian Immigration Officer. If you meet all the eligibility requirements then there is a chance for your admission to Canada. 

  1. Apply through a consulate

If the US citizens have planned their trip to Canada, they can submit their TRP application to a consulate in Canada. The processing time is likely to vary. Once you get approval, your entry to Canada is guaranteed.  

In both cases, you must submit supporting documents that validate your visit to Canada. You will require a new TRP each time you enter the country once your existing TRP is over.

We will help you in gathering all the essential documents that you need to send to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for approval.

Criminal Rehabilitation

Criminal Rehabilitation is another way through which an individual can enter Canada if he/she is inadmissible to the country.

If you possess a felony conviction charge in a foreign country and five years have passed since the completion of the sentence, you can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada.

You are likely to be “deemed rehabilitated” in this case, thereby, allowing you to cross the border freely. If a person is approved for criminal rehabilitation, you no longer require a TRP.      

Are you eligible for rehabilitation?

So, if you are considering which type of conviction makes a difference, it is dependent on the situation you would have committed the same crime within Canada. The conviction is analyzed concerning sentences such as less than 10 years under the Criminal Code of Canada and more than 10 years of imprisonment.

A punishment for over 10 years is considered serious criminality, which might harm your chances of being deemed rehabilitated. If you are deemed to be rehabilitated, there is no need to go through this process every time you enter Canada.     

Final words

You can enter Canada with a  felony conviction under certain terms and conditions. Contact us to get thorough guidance on felony conviction admissibility to the country. Akrami & Associates is a leading Canadian immigration law firm. Consult us to get your Visa approved on time and understand the legal standards of Canada.

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