Criminal Inadmissibility Problems

Persons who are otherwise qualified to enter Canada as in any of the immigration

classes, may be refused entry if they (or their dependents) are determined to be

criminally inadmissible by a Canadian Immigration Officer.

However, there are solutions for this inadmissibility and it would be advisable to

seek counsel to address any issue prior to travel. 


Different kinds of Crimes that May Cause an Issue with Entry

Even some seemingly minor offences may mean you are not able to cross the border. It depends on a number of factors . You will need to know what will render you possibly unable to come to Canada and if any remedial action you may be able to take.

Some examples of convictions that could make you inadmissible to Canada include: DUI, DWAI, Theft, Petty Theft/Larceny, Assault, Drunk & Disorderly Conduct, Obstruction of Justice, Possession of marijuana, cocaine or other controlled substances/drugs, and cautions (issued in the United Kingdom).

Drinking and driving, or driving while under the influence are common offences that visitors or applicants may not realize can lead to a refusal of their application, or in their being refused entry to Canada.

You may be either deemed rehabilitated or we may be able to get you a Temporary Resident Permit.

If warranted in your particular situation, we can do the following:

  • Application for Rehabilitation. If more than five years have elapsed since the completion of any sentence imposed and there have been no subsequent convictions, we can represent you in an application to IRCC for a rehabilitation order.

  • Application for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): If less than five years have elapsed since the completion of any sentence imposed, we can represent you in an application to IRCC for a temporary resident permit.

  • Preparation of a Legal Opinion:

    • Non-Convictions: Some sentences are not considered convictions for the purposes of Canadian immigration. However, sentencing varies from country to country, we can let you know if the outcome of your case resulted in a conviction, for the purposes of Canadian immigration. Examples of non-convictions include deferred adjudication, conditional discharge, dismissed charges, and nolle prosequi.

    • Deemed Rehabilitation: If you were only convicted of one offence and the equivalent Canadian offence does not carry a maximum sentence of 10 years or more you are deemed to have been rehabilitated. No application is required although we do suggest the preparation of a legal opinion by the Attorney to take with you to the border.

Important note: The misdemeanor-felony distinction in U.S. law is not an important distinction for the purposes of Canadian immigration. Even misdemeanors may result in criminal inadmissibility.

If you have spent any time incarcerated or in jail, even if you have been detained temporarily we advise having a legal opinion prepared to explain the circumstances of the detention and convince the visa or border officer why you are not criminally inadmissible to Canada.

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Calgary, Alberta T2C 3G3