October 24, 2023

What is Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada?

Do you know your act of driving while drinking and getting charged for that will affect your Canadian PR Visa Application? Yes! You will be considered “criminal inadmissibility”. Under Canadian immigration rules, anyone convicted of a crime, no matter how minor, may be criminally inadmissible. Even a hasty and careless decision to drive while inebriated can endanger your chances of getting into Canada. Whenever an individual is refused entry to Canada due to criminality, this is known as criminal inadmissibility. You may be denied entry if you have committed the act from outside Canada that is illegal in both the country where it occurred and in Canada. Read on to learn more about criminally inadmissible immigrants.


Here are a few of the factors that could render you criminally inadmissible even if you have never visited Canada:

  • If you had been convicted of a crime in a foreign country that is also considered a crime in Canada. If Canada considers your crime an "indictable offence," which usually applies to a more serious offence, you may be considered criminally inadmissible. In the United States, it is considered a felony.
  • You could also be inadmissible if you already have two different non-indictable offences from separate acts. These are less severe than indictable offences and are roughly equivalent to misdemeanours in the United States.

This includes convictions for minor to major offences such as:

  • Theft
  • Manslaughter
  • Dangerous driving
  • Possession of or trafficking drugs or controlled substances
  • Assault
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

It is significant to mention that inadmissibility does not require a conviction for events that took place outside of Canada. A detention or charge may lead to questioning by Canadian border authorities in some cases. Although the most common source of inadmissibility is an international equivalent of a Canadian Criminal Code infraction, an offence intended that equates to a contravention of any Canadian federal rules can also result in inadmissibility. But fortunately, there are ways that can help you apply for Canadian permanent residence with a criminal record that you can learn with the Applying for Canadian Permanent Residence with a Criminal Record guide.

You might well be criminally inadmissible if it has been ascertained that you committed the act in a different country that would be both an offence in that country as well as an indictable offence in Canada. The same can be said for two or more summarised offences in Canada. All that is considered necessary is credible proof of your involvement in the crime. This category is intended to catch people who have outstanding criminal charges.

Temporary residents as well as permanent residents may be deemed criminally inadmissible if they:

  • were convicted of an offence in Canada
  • were convicted of crimes outside of Canada that is a crime under the laws of both that country and Canada
  • were convicted of the crime under the laws from both that country and Canada.

Thus, applying for Canadian PR Visa is not easy and that too with a criminal record. You need someone who is professional and has valuable experiential insights about the process - a licensed consultant - Regulated Canada Immigration Consultants. Need help with a criminal record? We are here for you!


At Pelican Migration Consultants, our primary goal is to offer you all the necessary information you require to make the right decisions. We help you plan and manage your immigration to Canada and eventually lead a successful life in the country of your dreams. What’s more, we don’t make you spend a penny more or wait a day longer until and unless it is out of our control.