Overcoming Inadmissibility: Criminal Rehabilitation, Temporary Resident Permits and Legal Opinion Letters
If you have committed a criminal offense, you may be inadmissible to Canada. The following details how to overcome this inadmissibility through legal means.
If you have committed an offense within the last 1-5 years, you will require a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada. This acts as a temporary pass which allows you into Canada for a specific purpose. This does not erase your criminal inadmissibility, but it does allow you to enter the country on a specific occasion.
If you have committed an offense and completed the terms of your sentence within the last 5-10 years, you may qualify for Criminal Rehabilitation. This is a permanent permit which certifies that you pose no threat to Canadians or their institutions. Processing times are longer for Criminal Rehabilitation so if you need to travel soon, we also recommend applying for a Temporary Resident Permit. However, once you have Criminal Rehabilitation, you will not need to reapply for a TRP as you can travel freely across the border.
If you only have one non-serious offense on your criminal record and the terms of your sentence were completed more than 10 years ago, you may be deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time. However in these cases, we recommend a Legal Opinion Letter in which an attorney advocates on your behalf to explain your rehabilitation. This document is not required, but we recommend carrying this letter and all court documents with you when you travel to avoid any confusion or refusals at the border.
For more information about these programs or to find out which one is best for you, please fill out our free online assessment form 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.