If you have a criminal record, you may be deemed inadmissible to Canada. However, there are ways to overcome this and still be allowed to enter the country. Here are three ways to do so:
- Apply for rehabilitation If you committed a crime outside of Canada, you can apply for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is a process that shows you have been rehabilitated and are unlikely to commit another crime. There are two types of rehabilitation: deemed rehabilitation and individual rehabilitation.
Deemed rehabilitation is automatic if enough time has passed since the completion of your sentence. The amount of time required depends on the crime committed. For example, if you were convicted of a summary offense, you need to wait five years before you are deemed rehabilitated. If you were convicted of an indictable offense, you need to wait ten years.
Individual rehabilitation is for people who are not eligible for deemed rehabilitation or who want to speed up the process. You can apply for individual rehabilitation if at least five years have passed since the completion of your sentence, and you can show that you are rehabilitated.
- Apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) If you need to enter Canada for a short period and cannot apply for rehabilitation, you can apply for a TRP. A TRP is a permit that allows you to enter Canada despite being criminally inadmissible. TRPs are issued on a case-by-case basis and can be valid for up to three years. You need to show that your visit is justified and that you will not be a risk to Canadian society.
- Apply for a Record Suspension If you were convicted of a crime in Canada, you can apply for a record suspension. A record suspension removes your criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Once your record is suspended, you can enter Canada without being deemed inadmissible because of your criminal record. You need to wait a certain amount of time before you can apply for a record suspension, depending on the crime committed.
In conclusion, having a criminal record does not necessarily mean that you cannot enter Canada. There are ways to overcome your criminal inadmissibility, such as applying for rehabilitation, a TRP, or a record suspension. If you are unsure which option is best for you, it is advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer or a regulated immigration consultant.