Can I Go to Canada with a Felony?
Any American that has a felony conviction on their criminal record may not be permitted entry into Canada unless they have received special
permission from the Canadian government. Even if the conviction happened 20+ years ago, foreign nationals with a felony may never be deemed
rehabilitated by the passage of time and risk being denied entry at the Canadian border even decades later. The Canadian border has full
access to all the criminal record and DMV databases in the United States, so anyone who has been convicted of a felony will very likely be
flagged at the border.
There are two ways to travel to Canada with felony charges or convictions appearing on your criminal record. The first option is a Canada
Temporary Resident Permit, which is a document that enables a visitor with a criminal record to enter Canada for a limited amount of time. You can get a Canada TRP
good for up to three years, but you are required to have a valid reason to visit Canada in order for immigration officials to issue you one. The second
option is Criminal Rehabilitation, which is Canada's permanent solution for criminally inadmissible foreign nationals. Once an individual has
been granted Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation, their inadmissibility problem will be fixed forever, and they can be permitted to cross the
border freely again. Criminal Rehabilitation is only available to people who have completed all criminal sentencing a minimum of five years
prior, and takes roughly one year to obtain.
Have a felony on your criminal record and wish to travel to Canada? Contact our team now for a free evaluation.
Can I Enter Canada with a Felony Arrest?
When it comes to Canadian immigration, there is no assumption of innocence unless proven guilty. This means that as soon as a US citizen or
resident (green card holder) is arrested for a felony crime, they may be criminally inadmissible to Canada even though they have not yet been
convicted of the crime and could very well be innocent. Unless a person has proof of a favorable settlement or "no conviction" result, the Canadian border may refuse
them entry if a misdemeanor or felony arrest appears on their record. Being denied entry at the border is never a fun experience, so it is strongly
advised that you apply for special entrance permission in advance of your Canadian travel if you have a felony criminal record rendering you inadmissible and you need to travel
north of the border.
Can You Enter Canada with Felony?
Although the Canadian border strictly prohibits foreigners from gaining access to the country if they have a recent criminal record that equates to an indictable offense, they are particular
stringent on Americans with a felony. This means the absolute only way for a criminally inadmissible felon to ensure successful passage into Canada is to get approved for a
Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. Whether you have been convicted of assault, robbery, burglary, theft, drug dealing (selling drugs), manslaughter,
arson, vandalism, sexual assault, or any of the other felonies possible, an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer can help you apply for
authoritative dispensation via a TRP or CR.
Immigration officials are typically less likely to issue a Canada Temporary Resident Permit to a person with a felony compared to one who only has
misdemeanors on their criminal record. This means a felon's application must be excellent in order to demonstrate to authorities that they are
properly rehabilitated and do not pose a danger to the Canadian public if permitted entrance. Without official permission for entry, it is also
more likely that a felony record will cause a person to be denied entry compared to someone with a lesser conviction such as a DUI.
Can a Felon Get into Canada After 10 Years?
Felons who attempt to cross the international border between Canada and the United States of America risk being denied entry due to criminal inadmissibility, even if their criminal conviction happened 20 or 30
years ago. Foreign nationals with felonies on their record may never be "deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time", and can be stopped at the border and sent home regardless
of how long ago their crimes occurred. Felons who are adequately prepared to go to Canada, however, may enter the country by way of a Temporary Resident Permit or Canadian
Should I Retain a Temporary Resident Permit Lawyer?
Many foreign nationals that are unable to travel to Canada due to a criminal record retain the services of a Canadian immigration attorney in
order to obtain permission to visit the country. Hiring a lawyer is strongly advised for individuals that have a felony conviction on their
record as it will be significantly more difficult to get approved for admission into Canada compared to a single misdemeanor. An
experienced lawyer can maximize your chances of being allowed to enter Canada with a felony by professionally preparing your Criminal
Rehabilitation or Temporary Resident Permit application.