Make Your Criminal Rehabilitation Application Work For You!


If you have been convicted of a crime outside of Canada, even just one, there is a distinct possibility that you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada and unable to enter the country until you resolve that status.  

To wipe your slate clean and to gain access to Canada on a permanent basis, undergoing the Criminal Rehabilitation process is the best way to ensure you can overcome those prior convictions and are able to travel freely to Canada.

In order to be successful in an application for Criminal Rehabilitation, the applicant needs to convince the immigration officer reading their application that they have been rehabilitated since their conviction and that there is no risk of reoffending in the future. For these applications, the onus is on the applicant to prove their rehabilitation, and applicants should strive to provide as much detail as possible.

On the Criminal Rehabilitation application, applicants will need to provide a wide variety of information about their criminal and employment history.  For example, the information about the number of offences on a person’s criminal record, the nature of the offence as either serious or non-serious, and the amount of time that has passed since the completion of the entire sentence are all vital to a Criminal Rehabilitation application.

The information and documentation that can make or break your chances of application approval are the sections that require applicants to provide additional information about and justification for their crimes and the circumstances of their rehabilitation.  Two sections afford the applicant a chance to argue their case and to provide details that will enhance the chances of their application for rehabilitation being approved.

One required component of the application is the provision of a detailed explanation about the circumstances of the crime and the events leading up to the conviction.  Immigration officials like to see as many details as possible in this explanation in order to aid them in making their decision.  In this section, applicants should explain their actions and any aggravating factors, such as the use of a weapon or drugs and alcohol.  The goal of this section for applicants should first be an accurate rendering of the circumstances at hand, but also demonstrating that the crime and subsequent conviction were an isolated event as opposed to a pattern of behaviour for the offender.  In this section, applicants should discuss not only the crime, but their motives, any cooperation with law enforcement if applicable, and accepting the responsibility of the action.

The section where applicants explain why they consider themselves to be rehabilitated has the most leeway in terms of what an applicant can include.  Immigration officers need to be convinced, based on this explanation, that the applicant is not a threat to Canadian society and can be permitted to enter the country without risk of reoffending.  There are a number of ways a person can demonstrate that they are rehabilitated, such as detailing their participation in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs, recounting participation in anger management programs, detailing any new social or vocational skills, and showing that they now have a stable living arrangement.  Additionally, applicants should aim to include evidence of a stable recent employment history or other professional ties and to display connections to their community, such as involvement in social groups or community service initiatives.  Including any documents like positive reports from your probation officer, certificates of completion of drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs, and evidence of restitution can also be assets to your application.

When completing an application for Criminal Rehabilitation, it is important to keep in mind that the immigration officer assessing the application has ultimate discretion over whether or not the application should be approved.  For this reason, it is important to be as detailed and thorough as possible to ensure the greatest chances of success.

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.