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Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada

Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada

Are you allowed to come to Canada?

When you apply for a Visa, Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), or arrive at a port of entry to Canada; a Canadian Immigration Officer will be the one to answer this question based on a variety of factors and requirements. 

One of the most common reasons applicants are found inadmissible or denied entry, is due to pre-existing criminal charges or activity. This includes human rights violations, DUI’s, theft, assault etc. Under Canada’s immigration law, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you may not be allowed entry into Canada and deemed criminally inadmissible

However, there are some conditions to this law, and processes that may allow an applicant to be approved entry into Canada.

Depending on the details of the crime, the behavior since the crime, and how long ago it was; you may still be allowed entry if you qualify to be deemed rehabilitated. If you have already been approved to undergo rehabilitation and have been granted a suspension from the record, you may be allowed to enter as well. 

What does it mean to be ‘deemed rehabilitated’? 

It means that a minimum of 5 years has passed since the end of your criminal sentence and probation, and you are unlikely to commit new crimes. If you are deemed rehabilitated, your crime will be less likely to hinder your entry to Canada. 

What if I need to go to Canada for something urgent but have a criminal record? 

If you must go to Canada for urgent reasons, there is no guarantee you’ll be issued a temporary resident permit, however it’s certainly an option depending on the circumstances. 

If you are criminally inadmissible or inadmissible in general buthave a reason to travel to Canada that is circumstantially justified, you may be granted a temporary resident permit. This is completely dependent on the discretion of the officer assessing your admissibility.

What qualifies as justified circumstance? 

Your entry or stay in Canada must be justified and outweigh the health or safety risks to the Canadian Society. This is up to the discretion of an Immigration Services Officer, or Border Services Officer. 

Need help with your immigration process? Contact AP Lawyers at (905) 492-7662 or via email at


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