Sponsoring a Criminally Inadmissible Spouse

Rameh Law > Sponsoring a Criminally Inadmissible Spouse

Sponsoring a Criminally Inadmissible Spouse

Any foreigner with a criminal record (including a DUI) may no gain access to Canada on criminal inadmissibility grounds. If you’re criminally inadmissible to Canada, the government will deny you an eTA to fly to Canada or denied entry at any Canadian entry point.

If you are criminally inadmissible, you may not be eligible for any immigration program, including spousal sponsorship. Even crimes committed more than 15 years can render you ineligible for Canadian immigration.

Consequently, if your partner or spouse has past criminal charges, IRCC may refuse your request to sponsor them to Canada for criminal inadmissibility reasons. Criminal inadmissibility can impact both inland and outland spousal sponsorship. Even if you have a valid immigration visa (for example, Canada Spouse Visa), you may still not enter Canada with a criminal record.

Overcoming your criminal inadmissibility

Generally, Canada bars foreigners with a criminal record (even if they’re in a spousal relationship with Canadian citizens or PRs-permanent residents) from entering the country. However, you can overcome your criminal inadmissibility hence allowing a Canadian citizen or PR, who is your spouse, to sponsor you to the country.

 Criminal Rehabilitation can serve as grounds for allowing a foreigner who is criminally inadmissible to Canada to petition IRCC to pronounce them safe or “rehabilitated.” The processing of a Criminal Rehabilitation request normally takes six to twelve months. It’s a lasting solution to your inadmissibility claims that you need to don only once as long as you don’t fall into the wrong hands of the law again.

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) can also permit a foreigner to overcome Canadian criminal inadmissibility. However, it’s a temporary solution valid for up to three years valid and may not be inapplicable in spousal sponsorship. 

While a spouse may be inadmissible to Canada, there’re ways to fight it. 

Only charged, but never convicted of the alleged offence:

​While the spouse you are sponsoring may not have a criminal charge appearing on their IRCC background checks, the person must still inform IRCC officials of the same upfront. Even if a charge isn’t appearing on a PBC (Police Background Check), it doesn’t excuse a foreigner from furnishing the immigration officials all the required information, including dropped criminal charges. 

Otherwise, the applicant risks their application being refused on the grounds of Misrepresentation. While the foreign spouse may not be  Criminally Inadmissible to Canada, a Misrepresentation ban of five years can be issued.

If the foreign spouse committed only one crime, ten years have passed, and they have fully served their sentence, the sponsor or the person seeking the spousal sponsorship can submit a sponsorship application, accompanied by written arguments and proof asking for “Deemed Rehabilitation” to overcome the spousal inadmissibility.

Committed a crime in Canada, at least five years hasn’t passed, and the spouse you’re sponsoring to Canada lacks the eligibility for a “Criminal or Deemed” Rehabilitation:

Some immigration consultants offer wrong recommendations to handle inadmissibility cases. It could be because they lack the required knowledge and experience to tackle complex cases and arent ready to handle such matters.

It’s why; they often advise clients to wait for five years to attain eligibility for filing petitions to get certificates of Pardon and Rehabilitation. However, it’s a wrong process since a foreign pardon can’t clear a person’s inadmissibility automatically. It’s only Criminal Rehabilitation that can do. Besides, most Canadian citizens or permanent residents in marriage relationships view the option of waiting for whole five years to quality to petition for Rehabilitation as unattractive.

The best option to overcome any individual inadmissibility to Canada is to follow the dictates of the Humanitarian and Compassionate section (25(1)  of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

The Act allows an individual who may not meet the immigration eligibility criteria to be outlined in the Act to appeal to IRCC to consider waving any requirements on H&C (Humanitarian and compassionate) grounds. The Canadian Citizenship and Immigration minister can himself/herself also order for such considerations.