November 14, 2022

Inadmissibility to Canada: Frequently Asked Questions


  • What exactly does "inadmissible" mean?

When someone is deemed inadmissible, it indicates that their criminal record or particular medical conditions restrict them from traveling to or staying in Canada.


  • Can I enter Canada while having a criminal record?

You generally cannot enter Canada if you have a criminal record. You might, however, be permitted entry into Canada provided your rehabilitation is approved. If you apply for and are accepted for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or criminal rehabilitation, you might also be permitted to travel to Canada.


  • What does "rehabilitation" entail, and how can I meet the requirements?

Rehabilitation removes the reason for criminal inadmissibility. You may be automatically deemed rehabilitated and qualified to enter Canada even if you have a criminal background, depending on the type and number of offenses you have committed as well as how much time has passed since the conviction.


  • What is covered by a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)?

A TRP is paperwork that grants someone entry who is temporarily prohibited from entering Canada due to a criminal conviction or medical condition. The government will issue a temporary resident visa to a tourist if they have a valid reason to visit Canada and their advantages outweigh any possible risks to Canadian society (TRP).

It is important to keep in mind that a TRP can be given for up to three years depending on the circumstances and does not require the completion of a jail term.


  • My accusation was withdrawn, and I have no convictions. May I travel to Canada?

In general, if a charge against you is later dismissed, you are not regarded as being prohibited from entering Canada.


  • What does "indictable offense" mean?

The Canadian Criminal Code typically refers to indictable offenses as being more serious offenses that carry harsher punishments than summary offenses. While many minor offenses are regarded as indictable offenses in Canada, many felonies are equivalent to indictable offenses in the United States. A thorough analysis of foreign law is required to find the corresponding offense under Canadian law.


  • What does a summary offense entail?

In the Canadian Criminal Code, a "summary offense" typically refers to a less serious crime. Even while most summary offenses in Canada are the same as misdemeanors in the US, this is not always the case. A comprehensive analysis of foreign law must be conducted to identify the corresponding offense under Canadian law.


  • What is a hybrid offense, exactly?

Hybrid offenses are those that are both indictable and subject to summary conviction. Hybrid offenses are recognized as indictable offenses when it comes to immigration.


  • If I am convicted of drunk driving in the US, do I need a TRP to enter Canada?

Canada has strict laws regarding border crossings. If someone has ever been arrested or found guilty of DUI in the US, they may not be admitted. You might require a TRP for temporary entrance into Canada, depending on when you were arrested and when your sentence was completed.


  • Can I enter Canada and work there if I have a DUI?

A person who has a DUI is often prohibited from entering Canada for 10 years after serving their sentence. However, if you have overcome your inadmissibility through the criminal rehabilitation application, you may be qualified to submit an application for permanent residence outside of Canada. Once your sentence has been served for at least five years, you may submit an application for criminal rehabilitation.

You can encounter challenges with inadmissibility if you wish to work in Canada but have a DUI. You must apply for a TRP in addition to a work permit. You can file for criminal rehabilitation, which eliminates your inadmissibility permanently if you want a longer-term alternative.


  • Is it possible to apply for permanent residency in Canada if I have a criminal record?

Criminal rehabilitation must be requested if you have a criminal history and wish to apply to become a permanent resident of Canada.


  • What does criminal rehabilitation entail? Who may submit an application for criminal rehabilitation?

A person's criminal bar to entry into Canada will be permanently lifted via criminal rehabilitation. If you can prove that more than five years have passed since you finished serving your whole sentence—including paying fines and completing probation, among other things—you might be qualified for criminal rehabilitation.


  • Can I carry cannabis into Canada?

Despite being legal to possess and use for recreational purposes in Canada, no cannabis can be imported into the country.


  • If I have a cannabis conviction, am I allowed to enter Canada?

If you've already been convicted of a cannabis-related crime abroad, you might not be able to enter Canada. It is necessary to determine whether Canadian law has an equivalent and what that equivalent involves in order to understand a foreign conviction. Convictions for cannabis in other nations that are no longer against the law in Canada shouldn't be a concern.

Each foreign visitor to Canada must first satisfy the requirements for admission. Among these requirements are background checks for criminal activity and physicals. Foreign nationals who have been detained or convicted of a crime may be barred from entering Canada on the basis of their criminal history. Comparing international arrests and convictions with Canadian laws and regulations allows for the evaluation of criminal inadmissibility.

What must be done to overcome inadmissibility varies according to the gravity of the offense (serious vs. non-serious) and the length of time following the completion of a sentence (includes probation, fines, etc.).


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