What is the Effect of Criminal Rehabilitation on your Record?
If you have a criminal record, you will face difficulties entering Canada, and you are more likely to be denied entry based on the grounds of your criminal inadmissibility. As permanent and difficult criminal inadmissibility may seem to be, criminal rehabilitation can permanently overcome with an application process called Criminal Rehabilitation. The effect of criminal rehabilitation is that it removes the grounds of your criminal inadmissibility, giving you a blank slate when you pass through the Canadian border.
Why Should I Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation?
Criminal Rehabilitation is the only application process in Canada that will completely and permanently overcome one’s inadmissibility. It is not dependent on the severity of the offence, as well as the number of offences. Canadian Immigration lawyers will always advise for their clients to apply for criminal rehabilitation. However, many hear of other alternatives in overcoming their criminal inadmissibility that will not adequately deal with their inadmissibility.
Will Expungements or Pardons Make Me Admissible?
Many people will be told that their criminal inadmissibility will be solved by having their offences expunged. So forth, many seek to apply for expungements, however, expungements are not available for every offence, which means that it is not an option available for everyone, and the process is different for every state. Many will also seek pardons to overcome their inadmissibility, however, pardons very often does not rid one of their inadmissibility. The reason lies in the fact that pardons will only be recognized in Canada if the arrest, the charge, or the conviction is removed from the person’s National Crime Information Center record. Yet, each state has their own pardon procedures, which means that pardons from certain states will not remove any of the listed criteria from their National Crime Information Center record, making them inadmissible. California is an example of one of these states.
Expungements and pardons may seem like ideal procedures in dealing with your criminal inadmissibility, but they are not. They may not equate in Canada, and it is not available for everyone. On the other hand, Criminal Rehabilitation is available for everyone, no matter the offence(s), as well as it is permanent and issued by Canada.
How do I Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation?
To apply for criminal rehabilitation, you have to determine whether you eligible to apply for it. As mentioned earlier, any offence is eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, but you must determine the nature of your offence(s), beforehand because you might not need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. The reason behind the first step of determining the nature of your offence(s) is the fact that criminal inadmissibility is determined by equating the foreign offence with that of a Federal offence in Canada, and then determining the severity of this equivalency. Whether you have committed either one of these offences or more will tell you how to apply for criminal rehabilitation. Offences can only fall into two categories: Non-Serious Criminality and Serious Criminality.
A non-serious offence is constituted as follows:
- Any offence under a Federal statute that is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of less than 10 years.
- For example: Theft under 5000$, simple assault, or fraud under 5000$.
A serious offence is constituted as follows:
- Any offence under a Federal statute that is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 10 years or more.
- For example: offences involving bodily injury and/or use of a weapon.
As mentioned earlier, both non-serious and serious offences are eligible for criminal rehabilitation. However, if someone has committed a single non-serious offence, and 10 years or more have elapsed since the completion of their sentence, they are then Deemed Rehabilitated due to the passage of time. This is a process that happens on its own, which is only available for those who correspond to the aforementioned criteria. This process rids them of their criminal inadmissibility permanently.
After determining the nature of your offence(s), you can see if you are eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. There are three criteria to meet in order to be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation:
- You must have committed an act outside of Canada that would constitute an offence under a Canadian Federal statute.
- You must have been convicted of this act, or you must have admitted to this offence.
- You must have had five years since the completion of your offence(s).
If you meet these three criteria, you are eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation. The process to apply for criminal rehabilitation is the same for both non-serious and serious criminality. You can have more than one offence on your record too, as long as five years have passed since the completion of all of your convictions. After determining whether you are eligible for criminal rehabilitation, you can begin the steps in applying for criminal rehabilitation.
The Steps to the Application for Criminal Rehabilitation
The first step of applying for criminal rehabilitation is determining the nature of your offences. The second step is to demonstrate a rehabilitated lifestyle in your application. The application form for Criminal Rehabilitation requires you to demonstrate a stable lifestyle, one that would convince the immigration officer reviewing your application that you live a life far away from any unlawful behaviour. In the application you will have to provide letters of reference and letters from your employer showing your stability at your job and in your community. It is advised to showcase any community involvement, or any other social group involvement. In the entirety of the application it is important to be detailed, but in this section it is even more important since this is your chance to persuade the immigration officer.
The third step of the application is giving your circumstances of your offence(s), as well as providing court documents relating to your convictions. The applicant will have the chance to explain their offences, as well as show remorse for their actions. It is imperative to underline in this section that these events were momentarily lapses of judgment, and not a demonstrator of their character. It is also encouraged to show any cooperation with law enforcement at the time of their arrests. When it comes to court documents, the applicant needs to provide as many court documents proving the completion of their convictions. Without these documents, the reviewing officer will not be certain that the applicant has completed their sentences, which will follow with a denied application.
How Much Time Will It Take?
The reviewing time of an application will be longer for applicants with serious offences on their records, especially if there are more than one. The application is sent to either the New York consulate, or the Los Angeles consulate. The time for reviewing is indefinite, but it can take about a year.
Should I Hire a Canadian Immigration Lawyer?
The answer is yes. Consulting a Canadian Immigration lawyer is the actual first step. They will help you determine whether you are criminally inadmissible, whether you are deemed rehabilitated due to the passage of time, and they will help you in the application process for criminal rehabilitation. The application process is very long and hard, and their knowledge and experience will guide you in the application process.31