Shabnam Akrami Blogs

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

Overcoming Inadmissibility to Canada

Overcoming Inadmissibility to Canada

How Can I Become Admissible To Travel To Canada

Have you recently been denied entry into Canada at a port of entry, or had your visitor visa application denied? Do you suspect you are inadmissible to travel to Canada for any reason? Do you have a criminal record? If these sound like the situation you face, you are likely inadmissible to Canada. Learning you are inadmissible to Canada can be a horrible experience, especially if you were seeking entry for anything more than simple tourism and sight-seeing. Often people seek entry into Canada to visit relatives who are sick, or to celebrate weddings, and it would be a shame to miss these events because you are ineligible to enter Canada and did not know of the avenues available to you to overcome this issue. Fortunately for you, being considered inadmissible does not ultimately mean you cannot travel to Canada; it simply means you cannot travel to Canada without special permission. If you are inadmissible to Canada but would still like to enter Canada, your options are to submit an application for criminal rehabilitation or apply for a temporary resident permit (TRP).

What Is A Temporary Resident Permit? What Is Criminal Rehabilitation?

There many similarities between a temporary resident permit, and an application for criminal rehabilitation. Though, there are also many important differences. First and foremost, a temporary resident permit and an application for criminal rehabilitation only provide you the status of being admissible to Canada. Neither of these documents actually gives you permission to enter Canada for any length of time, they only provide the chance to be granted entry into Canada. If you are inadmissible to Canada for any reason, which can range from a health or financial problem to a criminal conviction, these applications can help overcome your status as an inadmissible traveller. Again, they do not grant you permission to travel to Canada. Permission to travel to Canada is granted with a visitor visa for non-visa exempt countries, and an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for most other countries. This means that along with a temporary resident permit or an approved application for criminal rehabilitation, you will also need a valid visitor visa or eTA to be permitted to enter the country.

What Are The Main Differences Between A Temporary Resident Permit and An Application For Criminal Rehabilitation?

One of the most important things to be aware of is that a temporary resident permit can be used to overcome a variety of reasons one may be inadmissible to Canada. You could be inadmissible to Canada because of a health or financial issue or a criminal conviction as mentioned. Though you could also be inadmissible to enter Canada because you have misrepresented yourself in the past and are banned from travelling to Canada, or you have an inadmissible family member. A temporary resident permit can be used to overcome any of these reasons for being inadmissible.

An application for criminal rehabilitation on the other hand is only used to overcome issues of criminal inadmissibility. Any other reason for being inadmissible must be overcome using a temporary resident permit. This means that an individual who is criminally inadmissible and also inadmissible on other grounds, could end up going through both of these application processes in preparing for just one trip. On the one hand, you have a criminal record and a health problem, you could apply for a temporary resident permit to cover both of these issues. Though, you may also choose to apply for criminal rehabilitation if you are eligible, and apply for a temporary resident permit to overcome the health issue. Even though this may sound like more work, it may be worth your while if you plan to travel to Canada again, and your health issue is temporary for example. If your application for criminal rehabilitation is approved you will not need a temporary resident permit to overcome your criminal inadmissibility in the future, so long as you do not re-offend. Though, in the future you may still need a temporary resident permit to overcome other reasons for being inadmissible, but if you do not suspect you will be inadmissible for other reasons in the future, it may be worth the extra work to apply for criminal rehabilitation.

An application for criminal rehabilitation is a permanent solution to your issue of criminal inadmissibility, while a temporary resident permit only overcomes your issues of inadmissibility for the time specified in the permit. Unless you are convicted of an offence other than those included in your application for criminal rehabilitation, an approved criminal rehabilitation application is good for life. If you receive an approved temporary resident permit, you are not permitted to re-enter Canada after the permit expires, or once you leave the country (unless your permit specifically allows for re-entry), and you will still be inadmissible to Canada in the future. You will need to apply for a temporary resident permit each time you seek entry into Canada.

When Can I Apply For A Temporary Resident Permit?

Temporary Resident Permits are meant to provide discretion to Canadian Immigration officers in granting individuals access to the country for compelling reasons if there is strong reason to believe they do not pose a risk to Canadian society. To serve this purpose, there is no period of time which must pass since you were deemed ineligible to enter Canada to be able to apply for a temporary resident permit. The only exception to this is individuals who have had an application for refugee status denied. In this case you must wait 12 months before applying for a temporary resident permit.

When Can I Apply For Criminal Rehabilitation?

Firstly, a minor offence is one which carries less than a 6 month jail term, or less than a $5000 fine. A serious offence is one which carries more than a 6 month prison sentence, or more than a $5000 fine.

To apply for criminal rehabilitation, there is a minimum period of time which must pass depending on the crime(s) you have committed. For individuals who have committed 2 or more minor offences, a minimum of 5 years must pass since the completion of all sentencing provisions to be eligible for deemed rehabilitation. Or, if you have committed one serious offence, a minimum of 10 years since the completion of all sentencing provisions must pass to be eligible for deemed rehabilitation. You can apply to be considered deemed rehabilitated at a port of entry before you enter Canada, though simply meeting the requirements for deemed rehabilitation does not automatically mean you are admissible to Canada. Whether or not you are permitted entry is at the discretion of the Canadian Border Services Officer. If they have reason to believe you should not be permitted entry into Canada, they can deny you entry. For these reasons, it is always good to contact Akrami and Associates to go over your specific circumstances, and determine what the best course of action is for you in overcoming your criminal inadmissibility. It may be highly advised that you actually submit an application for criminal rehabilitation, to avoid any surprises at the Canadian border. Furthermore, individuals who commit a serious offence and then any subsequent offense can never be deemed rehabilitated. Likewise, individuals who have been considered rehabilitated by immigration officers in the past, who commit a new offence are also never eligible for deemed rehabilitation. Finally, if the offense you committed carries more than a 10 year sentence in Canada, you cannot be deemed rehabilitated. In all of these circumstances, you must submit an individual application for criminal rehabilitation.

If you do not meet the criteria to be considered deemed rehabilitated, you may still be able to apply for individual rehabilitation. This requires that at least 5 years has passed since the completion of all sentencing provisions if you were convicted of a serious offence. If you are applying for criminal rehabilitation, it is okay to be convicted of an offence which carries a prison sentence of more than 10 years. The same waiting period of 5 years applies for all individuals being considered for criminal rehabilitation. Also, if you have been convicted of two or more minor offences, you cannot apply for criminal rehabilitation as you will be deemed rehabilitated when 5 years has passed since the completion of all sentencing provisions.

The Application Process For Temporary Resident Permit

When applying for a temporary resident permit, you can submit your application either at a Canadian Port of Entry, and wait for a same-day response. Or, you can submit your application to the Canadian consulate. The processing time for applications submitted at a consulate is between 8-12 months, and while this may seem detrimental to your application process, the fact that you are willing to take on the more tedious application process shows the immigration officer who processes your application that you care very much to overcome your inadmissibility, and ultimately improves your chances. Temporary resident permits carry a $200 non-refundable processing fee.

The Application Process For Criminal Rehabilitation

When applying for criminal rehabilitation, applications can only be submitted at a Canadian consulate. Again, the application process is generally 8-12 months, but can easily take over a year for processing. Applications for criminal rehabilitation carry a $200 processing fee for minor offences, and a $1000 processing fee for serious offences.

Contact Akrami and Associates

Both of the processes explained here can be very overwhelming, and it is very important that you have taken all the aforementioned information into consideration to increase the likelihood you are permitted entry into Canada. If you are trying to figure out the most effective way to overcome your inadmissibility, but are having trouble understanding your specific situation, we understand these can be incredibly confusing matters to navigate, and are always here to help! In fact, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting a Temporary Resident Permit or a Criminal Rehabilitation, as the processing fees are non-refundable, along with your time. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients overcome their criminal inadmissibility by applying for a Temporary Resident Permit and/or a Criminal Rehabilitation. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

At Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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