Getting into canada with a criminal record


Criminal Inadmissibility

See our page on Prior Criminal Offenses for more discussion on this topic. Fortunately, there are options available that enable you to enter Canada with a prior criminal conviction. See our page on Resolving Inadmissibility to Canada for detailed information on how you can gain the right to enter the country.

Traveling with a criminal history

Pursuing these options can be a long and difficult task. As a result, some people will be tempted to take a shortcut — lying. Bad idea. If a Canadian border official catches you misrepresenting yourself or lying about your criminal record, you are likely to be denied entry to Canada altogether and could also be banned from entering the country in the future on the basis of that misrepresentation. Friend's Email Address. Your Name. Your Email Address.

What if I Have only been Convicted of a Misdemeanor? Comparing U.

Can I Travel to Canada with a Criminal Record?

An immigration lawyer can research your case and help you file for a waiver, be deemed rehabilitated or identify a compelling reason why you need to travel, such as work or a family emergency. A waiver may last for only one year, or for several years - each case is unique. For example, those who have been convicted of one crime may consider gaining access to Canada by being "deemed" rehabilitated. This is going to depend on how long it has been since the crime was committed. If enough time has passed since all of the conditions of the sentence for the conviction were met, you may be eligible for deemed rehabilitated.

Entering Canada with a Misdemeanor - FWCanada

Border officers are given a lot of discretion on this issue. They have the authority to ask about the type of crime, whether you are guilty of multiple crimes, and even discuss the stability of your life. They are also going to consider if you are likely to commit another crime and the length of time since you committed a crime.


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Often, if it has been ten years or more since the conviction and all conditions have been satisfied, you will be granted deemed rehabilitated status. Some people take a risk and wait until they are entering Canada to find out if they qualify for deemed rehabilitation status. Rather than wait, it is best to apply for a determination of individual rehabilitation.

This is a formal decision made before you reach the border by Canadian consular officials. You must apply for it, and it must be at least five years since you completed all of the requirements of the sentence, such as paying any fines and completing parole. You may also get a pardon or discharge from the state or country where you were convicted. This too can allow you to obtain that re-entry, but only the IRCC office may accept that and not the Officer at the border.

What if I Have only been Convicted of a Misdemeanor?

If it has been less than five years since your court sentence was completed and you have a compelling reason to enter Canada, you may be able to obtain a Temporary Resident Permit. This is a document that allows you to enter and remain in Canada despite your status as inadmissible.

According to IRCC,. Permits are issued for fixed periods of time, and you must leave Canada by the expiry date or get a new one before the original document expires. Obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit requires an application to be submitted. As with all applications, there are fees associated with Temporary Resident Permits. Is it that easy?? Has anyone said they dont have a conviction then somehow the immigration dudes new about it?? Im inexperienced in international travel and am worried my trip will be ruined by 1 silly mistake I made years ago!! Cheers guys.

I can't believe how often this comes up Sorry OP, I'm not complaining at you They all tell you you're inadmissible because you are.

Why is this important?

However, it is a matter of discretion up to any given officer as to whether or not to let you in. Bearing that in mind, you have a good chance of getting in. People understand that a DUI or a possession conviction does not make you a monster.

That said, your chances are better if you're polite and smartly dressed, and worse if the officer who questions you is particularly sensitive about such things. As to whether or not to volunteer the information-- that's up to you. You can appreciate that telling them gives them an opportunity to turn you down but they may appreciate your candour, whereas not telling them is a misrepresentation but they have no access to Aussie criminal records.

Unless, of course, you've somehow managed to get yourself on Interpol. That would be funny. They are unlikely to ask. If they do, tell the truth. There is no requirement to volunteer anything. What TP said. They likely won't ask you about your record, and they won't have access to australian record to the best of my knowledge, but if they do ask you then tell the truth and explain what you did here, that it was a silly mistake from years ago.

Do NOT lie to the customs guys.

Criminality and Inadmissibility FAQs

If you do so and they catch you then you could be permanently barred from entry into Canada. That being said, you need not volunteer information and you should not do so. Answer the questions they ask you as simply and as briefly as possible. Do not embellish and do not provide detail. Answer exactly what they ask you, in a comfortable manner, and no more.


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If you do that then you shouldn't have a problem most of the time. OP, Canadian Immigration claims they have access to Australian criminal records, but my recent experience suggests otherwise. I've brought in several Australians on Temporary Work Permits and it least two of them had criminal records DUI and simple assault and neither raised an eyebrow at Immigration.

If they had been Americans they would have been pulled into Secondary Inspection immediately. Also, my very experienced Immigration lawyer doubts Canadian Immigration has access to anything less than felonies involving violence.

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