When travelling to Canada the immigration officer at the port entry has the right to refuse you entry based on the following grounds: past criminal convictions, health or financial problems, and security reasons. The immigration officer can simply deny you entry for a minor offence that was dated back over 30 years ago. These immigration officers are super cautious of who they will allow entry into Canada to ensure the safety of Canadian citizens.
So if you have major offence on record don’t even bother attempting at the port of entry without going in prepared or consulting with an immigration expert. For example, if you have a past assault or DUI charge and you have taken care of your inadmissibility in your country of citizenship but not in Canada then you will be refused entry as you have to take care of it on the Canadian side as well. Depending what is on your record, what you served for it and how long ago it was determines what type of application you need to apply for.
There are two types of application available for travellers that have criminal record outside of Canada which include Temporary Resident Permit and Criminal Rehabilitation. If your criminal record occurred inside of Canada while being here as visitor or temporary worker then you would have to apply for Record of Suspension formerly known as pardon to overcome your inadmissibility.
Travellers that overstayed their welcome stay in Canada, or lied on their application or had received a removal order from Canada have to apply for Authorization to Return to Canada. Depending on the reason they received the removal order they may also have to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation.
Once you arrive at the Canadian port of entry the immigration officer at the border will ask for your passport or travel document. The passport or travel document will be scanned on their computer system which will show if you have past criminal record or not.
The RCMP has full access to the FBI criminal record and database, so when you get charged with an offence on record your information is directly shared with Canadian authorities. Your criminal history will show up even if it was over 30 years ago. You may have completed and served your time in your home country but unfortunately you have to take care of it on the Canadian side as well as your offence gets equated to the Canadian Criminal Code. Once the immigration officer has determined your inadmissibility issue you will be informed what steps to take to be able to enter Canada. Should you travel to Canada next time and have ignored the officers instructions you can be potentially be detained. Remember every communication gets recorded on the database so they will know what information was relayed to you.
Having a criminal record it is highly recommended to consult first with an immigration expert prior to attempting to cross the border. Most travellers get refused entry to Canada because they arrive at the port of entry unprepared. If you have a family emergency, important business meeting to attend too or simply want to come for leisure you must have all your documentation ready for the immigration officer to make a decision. The immigration officer looks at the following:
Reason for entry into Canada
what your offence on record is
seriousness of the crime
how many offences you got on record
what you have served and completed for it
how long ago the offence occurred
are you a risk to canadian society
what you have learned from your past experience
if you can demonstrate remorse, regret and growth
how long you will be staying in Canada
If you have an urgent travel date you may be eligible to apply for Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). TRP only helps you overcome your criminal inadmissibility on temporary basis. This application can be filed at the port of entry and you can get same day decision. The immigration officer will assess your situation based on the above mentioned reasons. If the immigration officer finds the need outweighs your risk of being in Canada then you get TRP issued. It can be issued from 1 day to the maximum of 3 years depending on your reasons for entry into Canada. If you come from non-visa exempt country such as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan then you cannot submit TRP application at port of entry and have to submit your application at consulate. This usually takes 8-12 months to get decision on your application. If you are afraid to face the immigration officer at the border then you have the option to submit at consulate level.
If you like to overcome your criminal inadmissibility on permanent basis you may eligible to apply for the permanent document known as Criminal Rehabilitation. This document can only be filed at the consulate level and take approximately 8-12 months to get processed. Depending on the number of offences you got on record and the severity of the offence you potentially have to wait up to 26 months. Should you have to wait longer than 12 months you will be informed that your application is going through secondary review. If you go through secondary review you have to pay more for the government fee. Regular government fees are $200 for minor offences if you got multiple and severe offence you can pay up to $800 more.
The application process for serious and non-serious offences is the same but how it is processed by the immigration officer depends on your circumstances. For example, if you got convicted of a criminal offence in which the maximum prison term in Canada is 10 years or more than it is considered a serious offence. The severity of the offence is based on prison sentence served and how many offences you got on record.
Also, you cannot be considered Deemed Rehabilitated if you got bunch of offences on record and served maximum prison sentence. So even if 10 years has passed you are not considered Deemed Rehabilitated you simply have to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation until you get decision from the immigration officer.
Serious criminality includes offences that involve bodily injury, damage or a weapon. Remember the end decision is up to the immigration officer, if the officer has reasons to believe you are not rehabilitated they will not grant you the approval.
If you are inadmissible to Canada our team can assist you with overcoming your past criminal record. Akrami & Associates has assisted many clients with inadmissibility or removal orders and we can help you too. Remember these applications are very complicated and getting an approval is not an easy task. The officer looks at your need to enter Canada versus the risk on Canadian citizens. Prior to tackling these application on your own give us a call and let us see what steps you need to take to be able to enter Canada successfully. Call us today at 416-477-2545.
If you are facing financial difficulties and unable to afford the legal fees then you have the option of purchasing our “Do it yourself Kits”. These kits are very affordable and help you submit an immigration application like a pro!! The kits range from $199-$299 maximum.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!