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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 Do I Resolve Canadian Criminal Inadmissibility?

Foreign nationals with an arrest or conviction on their criminal record may be considered inadmissible to Canada and denied entry at the Canadian border. Any visitor who has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony could be deemed inadmissible according to Canadian law unless they obtain special entrance permission from the Government of Canada, especially if the offense happened in the last ten years. 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 official access. This means that an American with almost any criminal record, even a DUI or reckless driving charge, risks being denied entry to Canada unless 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.

As of December 2018, impaired driving is a serious crime in Canada. Consequently, an American with a DUI may no longer be eligible for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation after ten years and could be considered inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of criminality even if their conviction was a single offense from long ago. If you have ever been arrested or convicted of anything that involves alcohol and driving, it is advisible to contact a Canadian immigration lawyer before attempting to cross the border.

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 three 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 typically takes about 6 to 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 our Canadian immigration law firm.

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 may be 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 and safe 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
  • vehicular manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary)
  • hit and run
  • evading a police officer
  • trafficking of narcotics
  • arson
  • drug cultivation
  • extortion
  • identity theft
  • money laundering
  • assault
  • assault with a deadly weapon
  • domestic battery (domestic violence)
  • simple battery
  • sexual battery
  • child abuse
  • violation of restraining order
  • vandalism
  • trespassing
  • drug possession for sale or transportation
  • manufacturing drugs
  • fraud
  • indecent exposure
  • solicitation
  • petty theft
  • embezzlement
  • burglary
  • shoplifting
  • robbery
  • possession of stolen property
  • stalking
  • white collar crimes
  • harassment
  • uttering a threat
  • 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 necessarily classified as inadmissible, if you have ever been arrested in the United States border officials are likely aware and you may have issues entering Canada unless you can prove that you are admissible according to their rules. Consequently, any American with a criminal history who belives they are allowed into Canada should consider attaining a Legal Opinion Letter before trying to cross the Canadian border. If you have convictions that render you inadmissible to Canada, you will need to obtain special permission from the Government of Canada in order to visit the country. 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 all of their past convictions. 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. Anyone who is eligible for long-term Rehabiliation but only applies for a short-term waiver could risk having their application rejected depending on their unique situation and the nature of their trip.

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.

Admissibility After 10 Years

In cases where an American was convicted of a single impaired driving offense, he or she may be "deemed rehabilitated" ten 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. On December 18th, 2018, Canada enacted tough new DUI laws that treat intoxicated driving as a serious crime. Consequently, Americans with a solo DWI from after this date will no longer be eligible for Deemed Rehabilitation by virtue of time after ten years. Consequently, impaired driving offenses can now render a person inadmissible to Canada forever and they will need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation to permanently solve their inadmissibility.

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!