Have you been denied entry after travelling to Canada?
Canadian immigration regulations are quite strict and you can be denied entry into the country for a past criminal conviction. This is done in an effort to prevent people who are deemed a threat to the Canadian society from entering the country, but it affects many people who were convicted of offences that might not be so severe in their country of origin but are deemed more serious under the Canadian law.
Types of offences that can lead to criminal inadmissibility
The Canadian immigration officials can deny you entry into Canada for having a past criminal conviction or admitted to committing a number of offences in any country all over the world. Below is a look at some of the common offences, and how they can affect your inadmissibility to Canada.
Minor offences are small offences that are not likely to affect your admissibility, and thus you can enter Canada even you have a past record for:
- Underage drinking
- Driving without insurance
- Being in possession of drug paraphernalia
Misdemeanour offences are non-serious offences that carry more weight than the minor offences, which can cause you to be denied entry into Canada based on the number and the severity of the crime. They include:
- Causing public disturbance
- Being intoxicated in public
- Indecent exposure
- Being in possession of small amounts of non-serious drugs such as marijuana
The above offences are the least serious, and they are not likely to cause criminal inadmissibility unless you have a record for more than one of them. However, under the non-serious crimes, there are also crimes that are considered to be a bit more severe and usually, lead to automatic denial of entry even if you have just been convicted of one offence. These includes:
- DUI and other related offences
- Simple assault
- Writing a bad cheque
- Less serious white collar offences
- Theft of under $5,000
- Fraud of under $5,000
These are more serious offences that result in a conviction of at least more than 10 years under the Canadian law. Since these are serious offences, you become automatically inadmissible to enter Canada once you are convicted of, or admit to committing even one offence. They include:
- Aggravated assault with bodily harm
- Theft and fraud of more than $5,000
- Drug trafficking
- Human trafficking
- Assault with use of a weapon
Overcoming inadmissibility through rehabilitation
While most of the above offences can lead to criminal inadmissibility, it is possible to overcome criminal inadmissibility with a number of options that include applying for temporary entry through the use of the Canadian Temporary Resident Permit or undergoing criminal rehabilitation. Out of these two options the criminal rehabilitation is a better choice since it is a permanent solution that completely absolves you of your past criminal record and provides you with a completely new slate (however, you should note that this does mean your criminal record is a wiped away; it will still exist, but cannot cause you to be denied entry into Canada).
There are two types of rehabilitation under the Canadian immigration law, which can help you to overcome criminal inadmissibility. They include deemed rehabilitated and criminal rehabilitation:
- Deemed rehabilitated
Deemed rehabilitated occurs when 10 years have passed since the completion of a non-serious offence that you were convicted of, and you are yet to apply for criminal rehabilitation. However, for you to be deemed rehabilitated, you must have only committed a single offence. If your criminal record has more than one offence, you must apply for criminal rehabilitation.
- Canadian criminal rehabilitation
Canadian criminal rehabilitation is a process that you undergo to show that you have since been rehabilitated and are not a threat to the Canadian society. The process is eligible only to foreign nationals convicted of an offence outside Canada (serious or non-serious). In addition, 5 years must have at least passed since the completion of the punishment or sentence given for the offence.
During the criminal rehabilitation process, you are required to explain to the Canadian immigration officials the circumstances relating to the offence (s) you were convicted for. For the application to be approved, you are also supposed to show that you are no longer a threat to the Canadian security and that your criminal convictions were isolated incidents. In addition, you are supposed to provide evidence showing that you have since been reformed and rehabilitated into the society, and thus you are not at risk of committing a crime again in the future.
How to improve your chances of successfully completing criminal rehabilitation
Applications for criminal rehabilitation are submitted to the Canadian embassy in your home country, where an immigrations officer reviews and either approves and denies your request. In order for the criminal rehabilitation application to be approved, the officer must be persuaded that you are not a threat to the Canada, which you can manage by:
- Providing evidence that your criminal past is behind you
In order to increase the chances of your application being approved, you must provide evidence to show that your criminal record is now in the past. This can be done by explaining in the application that you have not committed any other offence since then. Additional evidence that shows you are a law-abiding citizen, for example, character reference from distinguished persons, can also go a long way in helping your application to be approved
- Showing that you have been reformed
When applying for the criminal rehabilitation, you are supposed to demonstrate that you have reformed, and as such, you should provide the necessary evidence to support this. The evidence can include having no other criminal record, having a successful job that you have held for a long time, being involved in community work, etc.
- Hiring a Canadian immigration lawyer to help you with the application
Criminal rehabilitation is a legal process that requires you to file legal documents and make legal arguments. Therefore, you can be able to improve your chances of the application being approved by hiring a Canadian immigration lawyer http://www.duicanadaentry.com/ to help you out with gathering the necessary evidence, making the legal arguments, and filing the application.