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TRP Canada

Canada immigration lawyer focused on helping Americans apply for a Temporary Resident Permit so they can travel to Canada with a criminal record. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike many businesses who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

How to Resolve Canadian Criminal Inadmissibility?

Foreign nationals with an arrest or conviction on their criminal record may be inadmissible to Canada and denied entry at the Canadian border. Individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in the last ten years can be deemed inadmissible unless they obtain special entrance permission from the Canadian government. People with more than one misdemeanor on their record, along with felons, can be inadmissible to Canada for life unless they fix their situation by applying for special entrance permission. This means that Americans with any criminal record, even a DUI or reckless driving charge, risk being denied entry to Canada unless they are granted special permission to enter. There is also no presumption of innocence when visiting Canada, which means that an arrest with no conviction can still result in a border denial.

There are two ways to overcome criminal inadmissibility to Canada. People who are criminally inadmissible to Canada can gain access to the country for up to 3 years at a time by securing a Canada Temporary Resident Permit. A Canada TRP does not take long to obtain, but is not a permanent solution and requires a valid reason to visit Canada. American citizens who want to permanently overcome their Canadian criminal inadmissibility can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation can solve a person's inadmissibility issues forever but takes 9-12 months to obtain, and a person must have completed all sentencing at least five years ago in order to be eligible to apply.

Criminally inadmissible to Canada? Contact us today for a FREE consultation with an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer.

Crimes that are hybrid offenses in Canada can be treated as indictable and may consequently render a visitor criminally inadmissible to Canada. Traveling to Canada when you are concerned about criminal inadmissibility issues can be extremely stressful, especially when your reason for travel is business related. No one wants to deal with a Canadian border entry denial, and flying internationally can be hectic enough without having to worry about clearing border security as well. A licensed Canada immigration attorney can prepare a Temporary Resident Permit application on your behalf, and mail it to a Canadian visa office in advance of your scheduled travel. It is possible to secure a TRP Canada before you need to cross the border, which can make the process of going to Canada with a criminal record as easy as possible.

Crimes That Can Make You Inadmissible to Canada

When a foreign national has a criminal conviction from another country, his or her Canadian admissibility is determined by the precise law in Canada the foreign crime equates to. If the equivalent conviction in Canada is considered an indictable offense, which resembles a felony in the United States, the traveler may be considered criminally inadmissible and refused entrance. In the case of a hybrid offense, such as Canada's drunk driving law, the visitor may be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada since the crime can be prosecuted as either a summary or indictable offense. While it is not impossible to receive lawful permission to enter Canada with a violent criminal history, resolving criminal inadmissibility to Canada induced by violent offenses can be especially problematic. The following crimes can cause problems at the Canadian border:

  • driving under the influence (DUI)
  • driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • operating under the influence (OUI)
  • operating while intoxicated (OWI)
  • driving while ability impaired (DWAI)
  • driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
  • operating a vehicle impaired (OVI)
  • wet reckless driving
  • actual physical control DWI
  • underage DUI (under 21 DUI)
  • vehicular manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary)
  • hit and run
  • evading a Police Officer
  • trafficking of narcotics
  • arson
  • bribery
  • criminal contempt of court
  • cyber bullying
  • disorderly conduct
  • drug cultivation
  • extortion
  • identity theft
  • kidnapping
  • money laundering
  • perjury
  • probation violation
  • assault
  • aggrevated assault
  • assault with a deadly weapon
  • criminal battery
  • domestic battery (domestic violence)
  • simple battery
  • sexual battery
  • child abuse
  • child endangerment
  • child neglect
  • elder abuse
  • violation of restraining order
  • vandalism
  • trespassing at night
  • aggravated trespass
  • drug possession for sale or transportation
  • manufacturing drugs
  • check fraud
  • credit card fraud
  • gambling fraud
  • insurance fraud
  • real estate fraud
  • tax fraud
  • welfare fraud
  • workers compensation fraud
  • rape
  • statutory rape
  • indecent exposure
  • prostitution
  • solicitation
  • lewd conduct in public
  • petty theft
  • grand theft
  • motor vehicle theft
  • embezzlement
  • burglary
  • shoplifting
  • robbery
  • possession of stolen property
  • securities fraud
  • stalking
  • racketeering
  • hate crimes
  • white collar crimes
  • harassment
  • uttering a threat
  • homicide (murder)
  • forgery
  • wire fraud
  • conspiracy to commit a crime

Not all criminal offenses are disqualifying for a US citizen who wishes to enter Canada. Disturbing the peace, underage possession of alcohol, open container, and simple possession of marijuana (less than 30 grams) are examples of crimes that will not necessary render an American ineligible to access Canada. Even if you are not classified as inadmissible, however, if you have ever been arrested border officials can likely see this, and you should consider attaining a legal opinion letter before trying to cross the Canadian border. Temporary Resident Permits and Canadian Rehabilitation can both enable Americans to potentially ameliorate their condition of being criminally inadmissible to Canada.

What Is the Recommended Way to Overcome Canada Criminal Inadmissibility?

If an American is criminally inadmissible to Canada, both Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) or a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) can effectively allow them to successfully cross the border. Many people are confused about which method the Government of Canada would prefer they follow, however. In general, if you are eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, this is the suggested route for overcoming inadmissibility. In order to be eligible for Canadian CR, a foreign national must have maintained a clean record for at least five years after finishing all sentencing requirements from their most recent conviction. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) favors Criminal Rehabilitation over Temporary Resident Permits, which are typically considered a "band-aid solution" for people not yet eligible for the permanent fix. If an American is criminally inadmissible to Canada and he or she is eligible for Rehabilitation, this is the path they are expected to go through. If access to Canada is needed sooner than a Criminal Rehabilitation application can be processed, it is possible to also apply for a Temporary Resident Permit which can provide short-term access the country while a CR application is processing.

Determining Admissibility to Canada

With the exception of crimes against humanity, an offense will only render a foreign national criminally inadmissible if it is considered a crime in Canada as well as the location where it occurred. Provided the essential elements of the offense can be proven, however, a conviction is not necessary to render an individual inadmissible provided the incident happened outside of Canada.

If a visitor has committed a crime that would be considered a dual procedure offense in Canada, they risk being denied admittance at the border. According to Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), if a foreign crime can be equated to a dual offense in Canada it is deemed to be considered an indictable offense.

Under the Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), SC 2001, c. 27, anyone who is not a Canadian citizen may be considered criminally inadmissible to the country because of past criminal convictions or commission of certain acts.

Canadian IRPA

Serious criminality
36 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality for
(a) having been convicted in Canada of an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years, or of an offense under an Act of Parliament for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed;
(b) having been convicted of an offense outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years; or
(c) committing an act outside Canada that is an offense in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years.

Criminality
36 (2) A foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of criminality for
(a) having been convicted in Canada of an offense under an Act of Parliament punishable by way of indictment, or of two offenses under any Act of Parliament not arising out of a single occurrence;
(b) having been convicted outside Canada of an offense that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offense under an Act of Parliament, or of two offenses not arising out of a single occurrence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute offenses under an Act of Parliament;
(c) committing an act outside Canada that is an offense in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an indictable offense under an Act of Parliament; or
(d) committing, on entering Canada, an offense under an Act of Parliament prescribed by regulations.

Application
36 (3) The following provisions govern subsections (1) and (2):
(a) an offense that may be prosecuted either summarily or by way of indictment is deemed to be an indictable offense, even if it has been prosecuted summarily;
(b) inadmissibility under subsections (1) and (2) may not be based on a conviction in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered and has not been revoked or ceased to have effect under the Criminal Records Act, or in respect of which there has been a final determination of an acquittal;
(c) the matters referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) and (2)(b) and (c) do not constitute inadmissibility in respect of a permanent resident or foreign national who, after the prescribed period, satisfies the Minister that they have been rehabilitated or who is a member of a prescribed class that is deemed to have been rehabilitated;
(d) a determination of whether a permanent resident has committed an act described in paragraph (1)(c) must be based on a balance of probabilities; and
(e) inadmissibility under subsections (1) and (2) may not be based on an offense
(i) designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act,
(ii) for which the permanent resident or foreign national is found guilty under the Young Offenders Act, chapter Y-1 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, or
(iii) for which the permanent resident or foreign national received a youth sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Admissibility After 10 Years

In cases where an American was convicted of a single impaired driving offense, he or she may be "deemed rehabilitated" 10 years after satisfying all sentencing and may be permitted to enter the country once again without a TRP. This can also be the case for misdemeanor theft convictions and other petty crimes. If anyone was physically harmed during the incident, however, the person may not be eligible for streamlined rehabilitation. Likewise, if the crime involved a weapon the person may be still treated as inadmissible under Canadian law even decades after the offense.

Worried you may be inadmissible to Canada due to criminality? Phone us today for a free consultation.

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If you have any arrests or convictions on your record and need to visit Canada, call us today or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!