Sponsoring a spouse with a criminal record

Immigration Officers are vigilant when it comes to accessing foreign national’s admissibility to Canada in order to ensure the safety and security of Canada, it’s citizens and permanent residents. Your spouse may be denied entry into Canada if they have a criminal record. There are options available to overcome the inadmissibility though. Continue reading below to learn how to sponsor your spouse to come to Canada even if they have a criminal record

Overcoming criminal inadmissibility

The most important step in sponsoring a spouse with a criminal record is to be it resolved. Whether that be having the record expunged, obtaining Criminal Rehabilitation or being deemed rehabilitated. Criminal Rehabilitation means that you have proved without doubt that criminal activity is in your past, you are very unlikely to reoffend and will not be a threat to Canada, it’s citizens or permanent residents.

Criminal Rehabilitation Eligibility

In order to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation a certain amount of time has had to of passed before you can even apply. The time depends on a number of factors but mainly dependent of the time elapsed since the criminal charge occurred. For a summary conviction/ misdemeanor at least 5 years must of passed. For a felony conviction/ indictable offence a minimum of 10 years must have passed. The time starts from when you have completed all the conditions of the sentence- including jail time, probation etc. If the offence committed would have resulted in prison term of 10+ years, you are not eligible for criminal rehabilitation.

Documentation essential for criminal rehabilitation

Your criminal admissibility is addressed when applying for criminal rehabilitation. You must prove that you do not pose any threat to Canada, it’s citizens or permanent residents and that you have reformed from your criminal past. You must also provide proof that you have completed any and all sentences given to you. Police clearances from all places lived since the age of 18 for 6 months or more need to submit along with court documents from all charges. This will allow officers to see exactly what the chargers were, how much time has passed and to ensure that all conditions were met. You must also prove that you are a productive member of society and not a threat.

A detailed personal statement and reference letters are important to include. This may help strengthen your argument that you should be able to enter Canada. The more information and documentation you provide, the better your chances of gaining criminal rehabilitation.

Coming to or remaining in Canada without criminal rehabilitation

If you are not eligible for criminal rehabilitation, in some cases you can submit a temporary resident permit to enter or remain in Canada.

Next Steps

Upon receiving the application for criminal rehabilitation, the immigration officer will review it along with all supporting documents. If you are eligible to apply, the officer will make a positive or negative recommendation and forward the application to the next authority level that will approve or deny the recommendation. For serious offences the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship makes the final decision. For less serious offences the manager of local immigration office usually makes the final decision. This process usually takes approximately 12 months depending on the severity and nature of the crimes.

Akrami and Associates

Overcoming criminal inadmissibility and spousal sponsorship are 2 of the most time consuming, detail oriented and sometimes confusing applications. It is important that close attention is paid to every detail during the application process. The failure to do so could result in application refusal and could possibly make you ineligible to ever enter Canada or sponsor. It is highly recommended to seek professional advice and assistance before attempting the application process. At Akrami and Associates, our team of legal representatives have helped hundreds of clients overcoming inadmissibility and sponsor their spouses. Contact us today at 416-477-2545 to discuss.

At Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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