Individuals, who have been convicted of only one offence outside of Canada, may be deemed rehabilitated if 10 years have passed since the date that their sentence was completed (including probation, the payment of fines or any suspensions). Deemed rehabilitation only applies if the single offence was not equivalent to a serious offence under Canadian law. If the maximum sentence for the equivalent offence in Canada is 10 years or more, the offence is considered to be “serious criminality” and deemed rehabilitation does not apply. An individual with a serious offence on their record will always have to undergo criminal rehabilitation, even if it is the only offence on their record.
Deemed rehabilitation also applies if an individual has 2 offences on their record that are considered to be very minor offences, in Canada they are called summary offences. If an individual has been convicted of more than one offence, but all of the offences are equivalent to summary offences in Canada, they are criminally inadmissible and that individual will be deemed rehabilitated after 5 years.
If an individual has only one summary offence on their record they are not criminally inadmissible to Canada.
The distinction between summary and indictable offences is different from the misdemeanor and felony distinction in the United States; many misdemeanors in the U.S. are in fact indictable offences in Canada.
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