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An assault conviction will cause you to be denied entry to Canada. Assault in Canada is considered a hybrid offence in Canada. That means it can be tried as either summary or indictable.

In Canada, there is no such thing as misdemeanor or felony. Indictable means serious (similar to a felony) and summary means minor or less serious (similar to a misdemeanor).

If you have an assault conviction in the United States, you may have a felony record or a misdemeanor. However, the Canadian officials will judge your record as indictable – the most serious type.

Despite the fact, that they will consider your offence serious, there are different types of assault that will impact whether you can legally enter Canada after 10 years without a special application.

“Simple” assault

Car on highway in snowIf you have one “simple” assault conviction on your record, you can be deemed rehabilitated ten years after you complete your sentence (including any fines or restitution). This means you will not need to make an application, but you may need to prove that it was over 10 years ago. You may need to get your court documents, fine payment receipts and other documentation.

If you want to enter Canada before the 10 years is up, you will need to apply. There are three applications that you could make:

Temporary Resident Permit: A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) allows you to visit Canada for a specific purpose. It can be issued for a single visit or you could be issued multiple entries for up to three years. The length and number of entries are up to the reviewing officer. This application is made through the Canadian Consulate.

Urgent Temporary Resident Permit: A Temporary Resident Permit can take up to a year to process. If you don’t have that much time, you can apply for a TRP at the time of entry. You will need to prepare an application ahead of time and then take it with you to the border or airport. The downside of this application is that it has a high refusal rate. If you are turned away, you will lose all the money you spent on your trip. An urgent TRP is only recommended if you have a compelling reason to enter Canada, such as a sick relative or an important business matter.

Criminal Rehabilitation: Five years after your sentence is completed, you are eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. This is a permanent solution that will allow you to travel freely to Canada if approved. The downside is that it takes longer than a TRP to receive. Some people will apply for a TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation at the same time. This way they can use the TRP in the short-term for an upcoming trip and then travel with the rehabilitation application.

Multiple assaults or serious assault conviction

If you have a serious record of assault such as multiple convictions, assault causing bodily harm or assault with a weapon, you will not be eligible for Deemed Rehabilitation. You would need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation 10 years after the completion of your sentence.

What do you need to prove?

Pouring coffee in the snowAssault is a violent offence, which means that immigration officers will take it seriously. You should ensure that your TRP or rehabilitation application demonstrates rehabilitation and shows that you have maintained a clean record since the offence.

You might prove rehabilitation through things like:

  • Anger management classes
  • Counselling
  • Volunteer work
  • Drug or alcohol addiction treatment
  • Demonstrated remorse and taking responsibility
  • Gainful employment

Having certificates from programs you have completed is helpful. You will also have an opportunity to explain the circumstances in a letter. If there were any mitigating circumstances, you can mention them, but you should also demonstrate that you accepted responsibility.

If you have an offence involving serious bodily harm or multiple offences, it can be difficult to obtain a TRP. Your reason for travel should be very compelling.

It is possible to gain entry to Canada with an assault conviction, but it’s important to remember that the officials will scrutinize your application carefully. If you are interested in starting a TRP or rehabilitation application for entry into Canada with an assault charge, contact AllCleared today for a free consultation about your situation at 1-866-972-7366.

Are you eligible?

To find out more about your eligibility to enter Canada with a DUI or other criminal record, download our free checklist. By downloading this resource, you are subscribing to our newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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