A criminal record is one of the most common reasons that someone would be denied entry to Canada at the border or airport. When someone is denied entry, it can be extremely inconvenient and frustrating. They are required to simply turn around and go back where they came from, while passing up whatever opportunities or plans they had in Canada.
While it seems like it would be a good thing to keep people who have criminal records out of Canada, not all criminal records are truly equal. Someone who has a very old criminal record for which the offense seems like it occurred in another life could keep you from entering Canada. Or, for example, a marijuana possession charge when you were in college can keep you out of Canada years later.
Do I have options when I am criminally inadmissible to Canada?
You do have options when you are denied entry to Canada because you are criminally inadmissible. But your options depend on some specifics around you criminal record. For example, if your criminal record is related to an offense that is less than five years old, you may need to apply for a temporary resident permit. However, you will need to demonstrate that your reason for entering Canada on a temporary resident permit is urgent.
Another option you have when you are denied entry to Canada is applying for criminal rehabilitation. Criminal rehabilitation is a process for criminal records more than five years old, where instead of temporary permission to enter Canada, the applicant’s criminal inadmissibility is completely removed. However, processing the application for criminal rehabilitation can take several months.
If you are denied entry to Canada or you have a criminal record and worry about being denied entry to Canada, speak to a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as you know you need to travel so that you can have a smooth border crossing.
Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.