A person with a criminal background that wants to enter Canada has several options to go about this including – criminal rehabilitation Canada if they want to enter the country without being denied admission.
At a Canadian port of entry they can request Deemed Rehabilitation for older crimes or Streamlined Rehabilitation if there are two or less criminal offenses.
With any of those forms of rehabilitation, individuals who want to travel to Canada can prove that they have rehabilitated themselves to be eligible to enter the country.
There are certain requirements and conditions which have to be met:
At least five years must have elapsed between the expiration of any sentence imposed before it is possible to satisfy the Canadian authorities of rehabilitation. However, in the Immigration Act there are provisions to permit discretionary entry. Under these provisions, it is possible for a senior immigration officer or an adjudicator to grant entry to any person who would be inadmissible under the immigration laws.
Admission can be given under the condition that a stay in Canada would last less than thirty days. A person who initially would not be allowed to enter Canada due to offenses can submit an application to request special permission.
The Canadian Consulate gives emphasis to the fact that this type of entry is discretionary. Officers at the border are exercising their ability to deny entry and are imposing rather strict rules, in particular after 9/11.
With the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, individuals can overcome exclusion from Canada for criminal inadmissibility. However, there is no fast and easy way around this process which can often be complex and lengthy. Sometimes, cases might not meet approval the first time because necessary documents are not submitted or other mistakes on the application have been made.
The ways to gain entry into Canada with a record of offenses include:
1. Deemed Rehabilitation: This is done at the Canadian port of entry.
2. Streamlined Rehabilitation: This is done at the Canadian port of entry.
3. Approval of Rehabilitation: This is done at the Canadian Consulate in the United States.
4. Temporary Resident Permit: This is done at the Canadian Consulate in the United States.
Before considering any of those options, it will be good to know that the Canadian immigration background check is very extensive and will likely find any offenses that might stay in the way of entry to Canada. The result can be that an individual that has a criminal background is denied entry right at the border. In order to avoid such negative surprises, competent legal help is strongly advised.
The immigration lawyer can help with all the necessary paperwork and will help to make the entire process easier. This will increase the chances for admission to Canada even if an individual has a criminal background.
Deemed Rehabilitation – Eligibility Criteria
Who is eligible to apply for deemed rehabilitation, what are the criteria?
- If the individual had only one conviction.
- The conviction was at least 10 years prior to attempting to enter Canada.
- The sentencing and conviction is completed, this includes any jail time and there are no open fees and fines.
- The offense in question would not be considered a serious criminal offense in Canada. Most crimes in the United States that are felony offenses are considered serious criminal offenses in Canada.
- The offense and conviction did not involve a weapon, physical harm or property damage.
Streamlined Rehabilitation – Eligibility Criteria
Streamlined rehabilitation can be applied for at a port of entry to Canada, and the individual will need to meet these requirements:
- The individual has two or less convictions.
- The convictions, sentences, payments of fees, restitution and jail time have been completed for at least five years.
- If there are no convictions that would be considered a serious criminal offense in Canada. Most felony offenses in the United States are considered serious.
- The conviction offense did not involve physical harm, any type of weapon or property damage.
If a deemed or streamlined rehabilitation is requested by an individual with old convictions that have been satisfied, the process will include an application at the Canadian port of entry. However, a submitted application is not a guarantee it will be approved. Several documents to prove eligibility will be required. These include:
- Either a birth certificate or a United States passport.
- Photo identification.
- A copy of court documents for each conviction and proof the sentences have been satisfied.
- A recent FBI identification record.
- Police certificates from the state where the convictions occurred.
- Police certificates from any state the individual has resided in for longer than six months or longer and over the past ten years.
- The streamlined rehabilitation process will have a fee that is equivalent to $200 Canadian dollars.
- The deemed rehabilitation process does not have a fee associated with it.
Due to the complexity of the application process and the requirement to obtain several legal documents, an immigration lawyer should be considered. The lawyer will make sure that the application will be submitted accurately and completely. This will greatly increase the chances to be able to enter Canada.