Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada

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The immigration law in Canada bars some individuals from entering Canada. You are generally criminally inadmissible to Canada if you are a foreigner with a criminal record, in either Canada or elsewhere. The IRPA and the Criminal Code of Canada govern Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada.

Inadmissible foreigners must leave Canada immediately and the Canadian immigration authorities bar them from ever returning.

Common grounds for criminal inadmissibility to Canada

Canadian immigration officials decide on your admissibility when you apply for an eTA (Electron Travel Authorization or a visa. You are criminally inadmissible if there are reasonable grounds to believe you committed crimes that include:

  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Theft and organized crimes
  • Drug trafficking
  • Human rights violations
  • Misrepresentation
  • Dangerous driving
  • Manslaughter
  • Security reasons (espionage, terrorism, and subversion)

Determining criminal inadmissibility

Canadian immigration officers classify foreigners into two major categories when determining their inadmissibility to Canada. The groups are:

  • Non-citizens convicted in Canada
  • Non-citizens convicted elsewhere

Persons with a criminal conviction in Canada

If you ever stood trial in Canada for general or serious crimes, you may be criminally inadmissible in Canada if:

  • The crime attracts at least a 10-years jail term
  • The crime attracts at least a 6-years jail term
  • The crime attracts an indictment as punishment

It is difficult to declare permanent residents inadmissible if they committed a crime within Canada. They may still be inadmissible if convicted of crimes that attract at least 6 months of jail term.

Some circumstances can make a foreigner still be admissible, even if they committed a crime in Canada. They include foreigners:

  • with acquittals
  • with arrest records with no proof of conviction
  • with suspended criminal records
  • who committed the offense  and convicted under the Contraventions Act
  • who committed the crime  and were convicted under the Young Offenders Act
  • who took part in pre-trial intervention programs

Persons with a criminal conviction outside of Canada

If you are a foreigner with a criminal record for crimes committed outside of Canada, you are generally inadmissible in Canada. However, some offenses can construe a crime outside of Canada, but not in Canada. You criminally inadmissible to Canada if the offense you committed elsewhere is a crime under Canadian Law.

  • A Canadian immigration officer can find you criminally inadmissible for offenses you may have committed in another country if:
  • There is sufficient evidence or reasons to believe you committed an offense, which if it were committed in Canada, would attract a jail term of at least ten years.
  • There are grounds to believe you have a criminal record for crimes that would attract an indictment as punishment if you committed the crimes in Canada.
  • There is sufficient evidence to believe you committed multiple offenses arising from multiple events. Such offenses should be those that the Canadian law considers as crimes.

However, you can still be admissible to Canada for offenses you committed elsewhere if:

  • You’re deemed  rehabilitated
  • They suspended your criminal record
  • They acquitted you
  • The crime, if it were committed in Canada, would fall under the Contraventions Act or Young Offenders Act

If you suspect that you are criminally inadmissible to Canada, it may not necessarily mean your suspicions are true. Even if they were, you can still do something about it. The reputable Rameh law can help you navigate the complicated process of overcoming inadmissibility. Contact us now.

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