There are, however, ways of coming to Canada despite having criminal convictions in the past:
- Criminal Rehabilitation: If an individual was convicted of one or more offences and more than 5 years have elapsed since the completion of the imposed sentence(s), including probation, that person is eligible to submit an Application for Criminal Rehabilitation. This application involves providing information about the conviction(s) and providing proof that the applicant has been rehabilitated and is not likely to re-offend.
- Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): If a person was convicted of an offence and less than 5 years has elapsed since the most recent conviction, the individual is technically criminally inadmissible to Canada. However a Temporary Resident Permit allows a person to be admitted to Canada for a specific purpose. This application involves showing why it is necessary for the applicant to enter Canada and why he or she is not a risk to Canadian society.
- Deemed Rehabilitation: If an individual was only convicted of one offence and the equivalent Canadian offence does not carry a maximum sentence of 10 years or more, the person is deemed to have been rehabilitated. No application is required, but proof of completion of the sentence must be properly provided.
- Non-Convictions: Some sentences such as deferred adjudication or conditional discharges are not considered convictions for the purposes of Canadian immigration. Because sentencing varies from state to state and country to country, each case must be examined on its own merits.
Campbell Cohen has experience dealing with all types of criminality-related immigration issues. Contact us for more information about the preparation of a legal opinion, or find out more about how we can help you.