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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).

Criminal Rehabilitation Canada

Any foreign national that has been charged or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony may be inadmissible to Canada due to criminality and denied entry when crossing the border. A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) can allow an American with a DUI or other criminal record to travel to Canada, but is only a band-aid solution valid for a limited amount of time and requiring a person to have a credible reason for entering the country. Although a Temporary Resident Permit can be issued for up to 36 months, it is extremely difficult to get one for longer than two years, and depending on an applicant's exact situation immigration officials may only consider issuing a TRP for long enough to cover a single visit (even if it is only a day or two). Consequently, the permanent solution may be a better option.

Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) can enable an American to permanently overcome their inadmissibility to Canada fixing the issue forever. Once a citizen or legal resident of the United States is granted Canadian Rehabilitation, crossing the border should no longer be a problem and the person will never again risk being denied entry due to their past criminal history. Unlike a TRP, Canada Criminal Rehabilitation does not require a person to have an important reason for going to the country, hence why it is a popular solution for people interested in traveling for leisure purposes.

Rehabilitation for Americans with a DUI

As of December 18th, 2018, a DUI is considered a serious crime in Canada due to the country's strict new impaired driving laws that can result in imprisonment of up to a decade. As a result, Americans with a single misdemeanor DUI after this date will no longer be considered deemed rehabilitated after ten years and will need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation if this wish to fix their inadmissibility long-term. Since many people with a DUI can no longer "wait out" their ban from Canada, they must essentially decide if they want to file paperwork to hopefully overcome their inadmissibility or just avoid going to the nation for the rest of their life.

Other impaired driving convictions and civil violations such as DWI, DWAI, OWI, OVI, wet reckless driving, and dry reckless driving (no alcohol involved) can also render an American criminally inadmissible to Canada forever. Even before the laws changed, any American with two or more DUI convictions or a solo DUI that involved a car crash could be denied entry at the Canadian border even 20+ years later unless approved for DUI Rehabilitation (Criminal Rehab). Intoxicated driving offenses that happened before the nation strengthened their DUI laws can get "grandfathered in" under the old rules, but a Canadian Rehabilitation lawyer should always be consulted about qualifying.

Eligibility for Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation

In order to be eligible to apply for Canada Criminal Rehabilitation, an individual must have completed their full sentence including probation a minimum of five years prior. Completion of sentencing includes payment of all related fines and restitution, fulfillment of mandated alcohol and driving courses as well as community service, finalization of probation, and reinstatement of driver's license (or ability to do so).

The Government of Canada prefers those who are eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation instead of a Temporary Resident Permit, as it is a more thorough process that includes background checks at State and Federal level. Once an individual is eligible to submit a Criminal Rehabilitation application, if they instead apply for a TRP there is a risk the application will be refused. If an American needs to enter Canada ASAP and is eligible for CR, they should typically apply for both a TRP and Rehabilitation not a temporary waiver alone.

Have a record and interested in Criminal Rehabilitation Canada? Contact us today for a free extensive evaluation with our Canadian immigration law firm.

How to Become Eligible for Canada Rehabilitation

The clock does not begin ticking towards Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation eligibility until a drunk driving offender completes his or her full sentence including probation. Probation requirements for intoxicated driving related offenses almost always include paying a fine, paying for court costs, and a suspension of driving privileges. While on probation, an individual may be ordered to refrain from alcohol and other drugs, and in some cases individuals will only be permitted to drive to and from work, medical and dental appointments, as well as grocery or laundry runs. If sentencing included a restitution order requiring the offender to pay the victim for financial losses, eligibility for CR Canada does not begin until the payment has been made in full. Consequently, people with a felony conviction for fraud or embezzlement who were required to pay a substantial amount of restitution may not be eligible to submit a Criminal Rehabilitation application to Canada until decades later depending on their payment plan.

In rare situations, probation can even include an electronic monitoring program which involves wearing a GPS tracking device to ensure that you are not leaving your house when you should not be. A home detention program can also include a Soberlink device which is essentially a remotely monitored breathalyzer that must be breathed into three times a day to ensure the offender is sober. While these programs can be extremely intrusive, the alternative for people with prior offenses is often to spend time in prison, so culprits are generally very happy to comply. Upon payment of fines, completion of classes, termination of probation, and the opportunity to reinstate driving privileges (end of license suspension), the clock will start running towards being eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation. For people with a single misdemeanor offense on their criminal record that is not considered potentially serious in Canada, this is also when the countdown can begin towards admissibility by virtue of time.

Canada Application for Criminal Rehabilitation 2023

The application for Criminal Rehabilitation Canada is IRCC form IMM1444 (also referred to as IMM 1444 and available on the Immigration Canada website as IMM1444E.pdf). Similar to the Temporary Resident Permit application, applying for Criminal Rehabilitation is a very complex and difficult legal procedure, and it is highly recommended to retain the services of a qualified attorney if you want to apply. In order for the Canadian Government to grant a foreigner permanent access to the country despite them having committed a crime in the past, officials must be sure that the individual has in fact reformed their behavior. For this reason, the Canada CR form is exceptionally detailed, and you must provide extensive information about yourself as part of the application process. For example, PDF form IMM1444 asks for applicants to list all of their residential addresses since they became an adult. For American citizens who have lived or worked in many different states over their lifetime, this alone is a significant task. The IMM 1444 form also asks for a person's full employment history since age 18 and even explicitly mentions (in bold) not to leave any gaps in time.

In addition to asking for large volumes of very detailed personal information, the Canada Criminal Rehabilitation application requires that applicants also include a tremendous amount of documents in order to back up their statements. Including all the correct supporting documentation required is one of the most difficult aspects of the application process. If you hire a professional to apply for CR on your behalf, they will often do much of the heavy lifting for you which is why retaining a lawyer is strongly recommended. One of the more challenging components of applying for Canadian Rehabilitation is finding what law in Canada a US crime translates to. This is where hiring a law expert to advocate on your behalf can be advantageous. Assembling a complete application to give you the best possible chance of success is how an attorney can help you overcome your inadmissibility.

Required Police Documents

Amongst the many documents needed for a DUI Criminal Rehabilitation application are a police document from several different authorities. For people who have lived outside of the United States, a criminal clearance from all police authorities in every country you have ever lived in for six months or longer (consecutively) since you were 18 years old is required. American applicants need a state certificate or letter from a police authority in every state you have lived in for more than six consecutive months since you were an adult. On top of all this, a Criminal Rehabilitation Canada application requires Americans to include a national FBI certificate.

The FBI criminal record check and other police certificates help ensure that the immigration official who is reviewing or adjudicating an application will be well aware of any crime the applicant has ever committed, even if they have changed their name. Please note: Immigration Canada requires an original copy of FBI police certificates for Rehabilitation. Some accelerated reports ordered through an FBI Approved Channeler for US citizens and residents may not satisfy this requirement.

Best Method for Fixing Canada Criminal Inadmissibility

For individuals who are not permitted entrance into Canada due to criminal inadmissibility from a misdemeanor or felony such as a drunk driving arrest, travel to Canada is possible with either a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. In general, if you are eligible for Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation you should go with this option. If it has been less than five years since you completed full sentencing including probation, however, a TRP Canada may be your only available avenue for legal entry. If it has been more than five years since you finished the full sentence for your most recent misdemeanor or felony crime, you are eligible to apply for Criminal Rehab but may still require a TRP depending on how soon you need to enter Canada.

If an individual needs instant access to Canada in a crisis, Temporary Resident Permits can be applied for in person at the border. Criminal Rehabilitation Canada DUI access, however, typically takes an absolute minimum of six months in order to be issued. For this reason, many people interested in applying for Criminal Rehabilitation for a misdemeanor or felony will also apply for a Canada Temporary Resident Permit potentially allowing them fast entry into the country and then eventually a year or so later their Rehab application may get approved providing them with permanent permission for entrance.

If you are considering retaining a legal professional, make sure to ask if they offer a sizable discount to clients applying for both a TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation Canada as there is some overlap between the two legal procedures. For example: if you hire a Canadian Rehabilitation lawyer for a Criminal Rehabilitation application, also having the attorney prepare a TRP application will usually not involve too much additional paperwork. The DUI Rehabilitation application for Canada, also referred to as a pardon, is an even more complex legal procedure than a waiver application and asks for numerous background checks, detailed information about past employment history, as well as all locations a person has resided since becoming an adult.

Americans who are interested in attaining permission to visit Canada are recommended to pursue Criminal Rehabilitation DUI access if they are eligible. A TRP is just a temporary solution for people who are not yet able to apply for the permanent solution. Individuals who are eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation but instead continue to apply for Temporary Resident Permits at the border risk being denied by Canadian immigration agents. If you are qualified to apply for the permanent fix to your admissibility woes, you should generally do so instead of continuing to seek temporary entrance permission. Once a person has been found to be "criminally rehabilitated" by the Government of Canada, their past crimes will no longer be a vulnerability at the border.

Canada Rehabilitation Processing Time

The only way for many people to permanently overcome Canada criminal inadmissibility is through Canadian Rehabilitation. A Temporary Resident Permit is only a short-term solution for individuals who are criminally inadmissible to Canada, as TRPs are never issued for longer than three years. The Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation processing time is quite long, however, with most applications being processed in 6 to 12 months which is significantly longer than the TRP processing time of 3 to 4 months (TRPs can also be applied for at the border under emergency circumstances). Eligibility for the rehabilitation application Canada also includes having completed your entire sentence a minimum of five years prior to applying. This means that people with recent criminal convictions are not eligible to apply and consequently must apply for a short-term permit if they want to go to Canada without the risk of a border denial.

Foreign nationals that are eligible for Canada Rehabilitation are strongly encouraged to choose it over a Canada TRP despite the lengthy processing times. If you have a felony or several misdemeanor convictions, the processing time may be slightly longer than for applicants with a single non-violent offense. Consequently, the answer to "how long will it take?" is not necessarily the exact same for every person. Want an estimate of the latest Criminal Rehabilitation Canada processing time? Phone us today!

Canada Criminal Rehabilitation Lawyer

Unless you went to law school, the Criminal Rehabilitation Canada application could easily confuse you, and if it is not filled out correctly, your application may be denied. For this reason, many people retain the services of an experienced and qualified Canadian immigration lawyer to help them apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. Not only can a Canada immigration lawyer handle all the difficult paperwork for you, they can also maximize your chances of success by writing a persuasive narrative on why you have been rehabilitated since you committed a crime such as drinking and driving, and consequently why you should be granted lifelong permission to travel to Canada once again.

It is not possible to apply online for Criminal Rehabilitation! Some people incorrectly believe there is an online Criminal Rehabilitation application you can simply fill out on the Government of Canada's website, which is not true. While the Criminal Rehabilitation application form is available for PDF download on the Internet, CR is a complex legal procedure and cannot be submitted to Immigration Canada online. Instead, a Canadian Rehabilitation application must be mailed away or submitted by an IRCC "authorized representative" such as a Criminal Rehabilitation lawyer. Now that a DWI is considered a major offense in Canada because of the country's new impaired driving laws, overcoming inadmissibility caused by such a crime will generally be more challenging than in the past so hiring a lawyer is highly recommended.

If you retain the services of a DUI Rehabilitation lawyer, you also will not need to spend time trying to find the correct Canada Rehabilitation form or equivalent offense north of the border since the attorney will take care of this for you. Applicants with convictions that equate to serious criminality in Canada may need to pay a larger government processing fee for ministerial review, which a lawyer can help facilitate. If you apply for a Temporary Resident Permit at the same time, you can also avoid worrying about how long Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation takes as TRP processing times are much faster and a TRP can be used to cross the border while you are waiting to be approved for CR. Although the cost of Canada Criminal Rehabilitation is not cheap, the fact that it is a permanent solution that can overcome criminal inadmissibility forever makes it very appealing.

Our Canada immigration attorney has extensive experience helping Americans apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. Phone us today for a free consultation.

Criminal Rehabilitation Fee for DUIs

The Government of Canada charges a Criminal Rehabilitation processing fee of CAD $200 (about USD $155) for non-serious crimes that are punishable by a maximum jail sentence of less than ten years. For offenses the Government of Canada considers serious criminality the processing fee can increase to CAD $1000 (about USD $770). As of December 2018, a DUI is considered a serious crime in Canada punishable by up to a decade in prison. Consequently, many Americans are now concerned they may need to pay the larger processing fee amount if they apply for Criminal Rehabilitation.

This brings up the important question, how much does applying for Criminal Rehabilitation cost? If you have a DWI, will you pay the smaller amount or the larger amount? If a DUI offense occurred before the laws changed on December 18th, 2018, the Government of Canada will likely treat it as a non-serious crime. Consequently, the Criminal Rehabilitation fee for all DUI, DWI, DWAI, OVI, OWI, reckless driving, and other impaired driving offenses that happened before December 2018 should only be $155 United States dollars (may increase or decrease slightly based on CAD/USD exchange rate). If you have a drunk driving offense after December 2018, however, you will likely need to pay the higher government fee in order to potentially get approved for Rehabilitation. If you are unsure which Canada DUI Rehabilitation fee is applicable to your situation, you should contact a legal professional to discuss your case.

If you hire a Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation attorney, he or she will typically collect the processing fee from you and pass it along to the Canadian consulate in New York on your behalf (the Canadian consulate in Los Angeles usually only handles Temporary Resident Permit applications). The total price of applying for a Canadian pardon often involves covering both the cost of a Criminal Rehabilitation lawyer as well as the Canadian Government's fee. Since many felony convictions can equate to a serious crime north of the border, being able to enter Canada as a convicted felon by getting approved for Criminal Rehabilitation may be for more expensive than for an applicant with only a misdemeanor conviction.

Criminal Rehabilitation So You Can Immigrate to Canada

If a person is considered criminally inadmissible under Canadian law, he or she will not be able to get approved for Canada PR through Express Entry or Spousal Sponsorship until they have first been approved for Criminal Rehabilitation. To become rehabilitated and gain authorization to cross the border despite a criminal history, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) personal must believe the applicant is not likely to become involved in any new criminal activity. Canadian Rehabilitation is essentially an assessment of a criminal's future behavior, actions and attitudes. Factors considered by adjudicators include nature of offense, Canadian criminal equivalency, time elapsed with good conduct, term of imprisonment, as well as change in moral character. Demonstrating remorse for your actions is also paramount, and a lack of remorse on behalf of an applicant can essentially poison an application.

Alongside the nature of a person's past criminal offenses, his or her intended purpose in Canada is also weighed during the IRCC ruling. If you plan to immigrate to Canada on a permanent basis, as a sponsored spouse for example, criminal inadmissibility must be permanently resolved. While a TRP can enable a foreign national to negate inadmissibility and remove disqualifications when crossing the border, it is not a viable option for individuals interested in Canadian immigration since it is only temporary. Conforming to IRCC Criminal Rehabilitation requirements, in order to be eligible for a pardon 60 months must have passed since your probation ended and your last payment was made as ordered by the court. Once approved for Criminal Rehabilitation, a person with a past criminal history such as a DUI can apply for Permanent Residency via Express Entry without their application being refused on grounds of inadmissibility.

Criminal Rehabilitation vs. Deemed Rehabilitation

In cases where an American has only a single non-serious conviction long in their past, he or she may be eligible for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation and may not need to apply for manual Criminal Rehabilitation in order to permanently overcome their inadmissibility to Canada. More serious crimes, such as felonies, can result in a person getting refused entrance at the Canadian border even decades later. Unless expunged in certain states, misdemeanor domestic violence as well as misdemeanor assault convictions can also render an American inadmissible to Canada indefinitely unless they submit a Criminal Rehabilitation application.

In cases where a person is considered criminally inadmissible for life, applying for Criminal Rehabilitation is frequently his or her only option to gain lawful access to the country again. As of December 2018, foreign nationals with a DUI, DWI, OVI, DWAI, wet reckless driving, or any other drinking and driving offense may no longer be eligible for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation once it has been ten years from full completion of all sentencing. If a person has a single impaired driving offense that occurred before Canada's DUI laws were updated, however, it may still be possible to claim "grandfathered" Deemed Rehabilitation if there was no accident involved but an attorney should always be consulted first.

In general, any offense related to assault or battery, including domestic violence, or any offense related to drugs other than marijuana, such as possession of a controlled substance, can render an American inadmissible for life unless they attain misdemeanor or felony Rehabilitation. It is usually only people with a single old misdemeanor conviction for a minor offense such as shoplifting that are eligible to claim instant rehabilitation at the border. Interested in a confidential appointment to discuss Criminal Rehabilitation instructions or eligibility, available DUI entry options for a frequent business traveler, or how our law firm provides representation on the client's behalf in all IRCC correspondences? Phone us today for a complimentary consultation.

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