The options for those who wish to enter Canada with a criminal record are not many. Criminal inadmissibility will stop many people from entering, and they will have to apply for certain processes that will allow their entry. The government of Canada provides those who are criminally inadmissible with a short-term option that will temporarily overcome their inadmissibility called a Temporary Resident Permit. However, the Canadian government looks more favorably upon their second option, called Criminal Rehabilitation, since it permanently overcomes one’s inadmissibility. Unfortunately, this application process can take many months, which can prove to be burdensome for those who need to enter Canada on a short notice. Streamlined Rehabilitation is a solution for this issue, but it is not available for everyone. You must have committed no more than two offences of a non-serious nature, as well as have a minimum of five years elapsed since the completion of your sentences. Streamlined Rehabilitation is processed at all three of the Point of Entries (POE).
How To Apply for Streamlined Rehabilitation?
The first step to applying for Streamlined Rehabilitation is determining whether you are eligible or not by figuring out the nature of your offences, which we have already done. To be eligible for Streamlined Rehabilitation, you must have had 5 years elapsed since the completion of your sentences, and most importantly you must have no more than two non-serious offences in your record. If you meet all of the criteria, you can move on to the third step, which is hiring a Canadian immigration attorney.
A Canadian immigration attorney will help you acquire the application for Streamlined Rehabilitation, as well as guide you through the application. Any Criminal Rehabilitation application must include the following documents:
- Statement of Rehabilitation: A letter from the applicant outlining their rehabilitation since their latest conviction. The applicant should demonstrate any community or social club commitment, as well as stability in their workplace.
- Statement re Circumstances of Offences: This is a letter from the applicant explaining the circumstances of their offences. It is an opportunity for the applicant to show remorse for their actions. It is advised to outline any good behaviour and cooperation during their arrest.
- Letters of reference: Three letters of references are required for the application. It is advised to have a letter from your employer.
- Court Documents: Court documents demonstrating the completion of your sentences is a must. The reviewing officer cannot be left with any doubt that the applicant has successfully completed his sentences.
- FBI Criminal Report: The applicant must provide their FBI record.
- State Police Clearances: The applicant must provide state police reports from every state in which they have lived in since they were 18 years old.
- Supporting documents: These documents can be proofs of the applicant’s involvement in their community, or information about their career.
Once the attorney has finalized the application with you, the final step will be to apply at a point of entry.
What Are Port of Entries?
Streamlined Rehabilitation is an application only available for Port of Entries (POE), since, as its name entails, it is meant to be a faster way of processing a Criminal Rehabilitation application. POEs are the way people enter Canada. There exist three types of POEs: Air, Land, and Sea. All three pose different chances of having one’s criminal inadmissibility noticed by the border agents, as well as different chances of having one’s application approved or not.
Air POE is the most frequent POE. Airports have both advantages and disadvantages for the applicant. The chances of having your inadmissibility noticed are very high at the airport as the security and the resources are present. Border agents at the airport will have access to your FBI criminal report, which has your criminal record on it. Nonetheless, what is to the applicant’s advantage is the fact that the agents at airports are most often very knowledgeable, which means that they will adequately assess the application.
Land POE are border crossings, which present some disadvantageous circumstances for the applicant. The most obvious one is the fact that it requires close to no effort for a land border agent to make a car turn around. The chances of having your inadmissibility noticed is moderate, but still close enough to high.
Sea POE are not very common places for both TRPs or Criminal Rehabilitation applications. In fact, it is a bit tricky for the reason that one’s criminal inadmissibility may not even be detected, which is definitely advantageous for the applicant. Cruise ships and other large ships are exceptions because they are required to send passenger manifestos to the ports where they will be settling. There is also the chance that a Canadian border agent might board the ship, which means that the applicant should still travel with their application. It is also more work for the agent to turn the person around than it is to approve the application, therefore the application has more chances of being approved.
For ease of reference, this table right under presents the chances of having your inadmissibility detected, as well as the chances of having your application approved at each POE.
|POE||Chances of Inadmissibility Being Detected||Chances of Application Approval|
Applying at a POE may take several hours, but it is a much shorter time than the several months a regular Criminal Rehabilitation application will take. If it is an option, Streamlined Rehabilitation is a good idea.
Serious vs. Non- Serious Criminality
When dealing with your criminal inadmissibility, the first thing that you must always do is determine the nature of your offence. The reason lies in the fact that the Canadian government determines whether you are inadmissible by equating your offence with a federal Canadian offence. If it equates to a federal offence, then it will either be classified as a serious or non serious offence. For more information on Serious and Non-Serious Criminality refer to this article on Entering Canada With A Criminal Record. It is important to note that a single non-serious offence may not render someone inadmissible, however more than one non-serious offence will make someone inadmissible. Those who have only one non-serious offence on their record and ten years have passed since the completion of their sentence are Deemed Rehabilitated by the duration of time.
FWCanada provides a free assessment form. This assessment form will let you know whether you eligible for Streamlined Rehabilitation, or any other application process. An immigration attorney will give you peace of mind as well as the assurance of a complete and well rounded application – contact us here.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.