If an individual has a criminal record, a deemed or streamlined rehabilitation to enter Canada is not always possible. On the other hand, depending on the convictions or severity of the criminal offenses, there are still ways to gain entry into Canada.
Canadian laws included in the Act of Parliament and the Contraventions Act outline criminal offenses and the exact process that must be used for rehabilitation.
A different type of approval will be required for persons that had a felony conviction but would like to gain entry into Canada. These are types of crimes that are considered serious offenses under the Act of Parliament or under the Contraventions Act. The offenses involved are often alcohol or drug related and result in a felony conviction.
Canadian immigration laws specify what constitutes an ineligible offense: An offense that was committed outside of Canada but is punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament, by a maximum prison sentence of less than ten years.
In such circumstances, applying for Approval of Rehabilitation at the Canadian Consulate in the United States will be necessary.
This application makes use of the same form as the one used in the deemed and streamline rehabilitation form of entry into Canada. Along with this form, there is also a Application for Criminal Rehabilitation (Citizenship & Immigration Canada Form IMM 1444) that will need to be completed and submitted for approval.
The decision to approve rehabilitation is up to the Canadian immigration official reviewing the submitted applications and does not guarantee entry into Canada.
Regardless of the number of criminal convictions or the type of crime, an experienced immigration lawyer may be able to help fill out the application properly and to submit all the correct documents and forms to be granted entry into the country.
To gain entry into Canada if there are criminal convictions can require a lot of legal documents and paperwork. It will need to include a letter stating that the individual’s civil rights have been restored, or a letter from their probation officer stating that all sentences have been completed successfully. There will need to be proof submitted that there is zero balance on any fees, fines or restitution in the criminal conviction. A letter from the court will be necessary for any conviction files that are no longer available and have been destroyed by the court. An original FBI certificate and state police certificates are necessary as well.
For anyone who has one or more felony convictions and wants to enter Canada, the help of a lawyer is strongly advised.
A skilled immigration lawyer can help and make the entire process much easier. Should an application be denied, the lawyer can also advise about the next steps recommended, such as applying for a temporary resident permit.
While there can not be a guarantee that each and any application will be approved, the immigration lawyer will make sure that the application is done properly and correctly. This will greatly help with increasing the chances for a successful admission to Canada.