When traveling to Canada, being deemed criminally inadmissible can prove to be quite an inconvenience for you, especially since you have no way of knowing about your status until you reach the border or point of entry into Canada. Therefore, you might travel a long distance from your home country for an important reason, only to be forced to turn back when you arrive. Therefore, it is a very good idea if you can be able to determine your Canadian admissibility status before you travel so that it will not inconvenience you. But how do Canadian authorities determine the criminal admissibility of an individual?
Below is a look at some of the top considerations that are made when determining criminal inadmissibility:
1. The type of the offense committed
The first thing that immigration officials will consider when determining if you are criminally inadmissible to Canada or not is if you have a past criminal conviction. If you have a criminal record, the official will then look at the type of offense that was committed to determine whether you are eligible to enter Canada or not.
Most offences usually result in being denied entry to Canada, and therefore, you can expect to be denied entry if you have been convicted of offences such as DUI, assault, fraud, drug trafficking, murder, tax evasion, cyber crimes, etc. If the offence committed was minor, or you were arrested but never convicted, there is a possibility that the border officer will allow you to enter Canada. Read more at http://www.duicanadaentry.com/criminal-inadmissibility-canada/.
However, since the border officers determine admissibility at their own discretion, it is possible to be denied entry if the border officer processing you has concerns about your record. Entry into Canada can also be denied if several minor offences have been committed, or if the offence committed is treated as serious under the Canadian law.
2. The residency status of the offender
Another consideration that is made when determining the criminal inadmissibility of an individual is your residency status, i.e., whether you are a foreign national or a permanent resident of Canada. If you are a foreign national, the threshold for determining inadmissibility is quite low, and you can be easily denied entry for committing general crimes such as driving under the influence, as described at http://www.immigration.ca/fr/canada-immigration/criminal-inadmissibility/224-icriminal-inadmissibility/2430-inadmissibility-for-individual-criminality-definitions.html. Entry can also be denied for commission of more than one minor offence, which would not otherwise result in inadmissibility (considering only one offence at a time).
For permanent residents of Canada, the threshold for determining criminal inadmissibility is higher, and chances are that you will only be denied entry into Canada if the crime committed was serious and is likely to result in a sentence.
3. Where the crime was committed
Another factor that is considered when determining criminal inadmissibility into Canada is the location for the commission of the offense(s) and conviction. If the crime was committed in Canada, the process of determining inadmissibility is straight forward; serious offenses will result in inadmissibility, but you can still gain entry if the offense a misdemeanor. However, if you have more than one misdemeanor conviction, entry will most likely be denied.
For convictions that happened outside the US, the border officers will, at their own discretion, determine the nature of the offense and the sentence it would result in if it was committed in Canada. In addition, the border officer might deny you entry into the country if you committed an offense that did not result in a conviction but would lead to an indictment or a sentence if it was tried in Canada.
4. Amount of time that has passed since the conviction
Lastly, the immigration officers will also consider the amount of time that has passed sine you were convicted of the crime. This is because, after a certain amount of time, you are deemed to have been rehabilitated, and can enter Canada without the need of applying for special permission More info on this at http://www.duicanadaentry.com/deemed-rehabilitation/.
The amount of time that must pass before you are deemed rehabilitated includes:
1. At least 5 years for a minor offense that resulted in a summary conviction
2. At least 10 years for offenses that resulted in you being indicted.
However, you should note that when determining if a person is deemed rehabilitated, other factors are taken into consideration such as where you were convicted (only applicable for offenses committed outside Canada), and the number of offenses committed (having more than one conviction will most likely make you inadmissible). The nature of the offense is also considered, and serious offenses whose equivalent sentence under the Canadian law is at least 10 years are ineligible for deemed rehabilitation.
Hiring an immigration lawyer Canada
As you can see from the above information, there is no direct way of determining if you are criminally inadmissible to Canada or not, and it can get quite frustrating and confusing when trying to determine your status by yourself. Therefore, it is a good idea to hire the help of a Canadian immigration lawyer who can help you determine if you are admissible or not. This is usually done by completing an assessment form that provides the lawyer with details of your criminal record. Most lawyers who offer these services are found online, and therefore, you can fill the assessment form and receive the status of your admissibility before you even travel.
If the lawyer advises you there is a chance you can be deemed criminally inadmissible when trying to enter Canada, you can then use his/her help to overcome the criminal inadmissibility before you travel. This can be achieved by:
1. Applying for a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit if you are in need of travelling to Canada urgently for a specific purpose
2. Applying for criminal rehabilitation, which will allow you to overcome the inadmissibility on a permanent basis (however, you should note that committing an offense after undergoing criminal rehabilitation will result in your earlier approval being revoked).
3. Offering you with a legal opinion letter in the case where you are deemed rehabilitated after the passing of a certain amount of time, or if the offense you were convicted of would not result in a criminal inadmissibility under the Canadian law.