Canadian citizenship applications can be complicated by a criminal record. Even so, there are many reasons people want to become Canadians:

  • Healthcare
  • Quality of education
  • Cleanliness and safety of the streets
  • Access to nature and outdoors
  • Career opportunity

These are just some of the reasons for moving to Canada. In fact, some people even like the winters!

Canada has a reputation as a nation of immigrants. However, in reality moving to Canada is not so easy. A criminal record will complicate the process. Nonetheless, is not impossible to move to Canada and become a Canadian.

Offences committed outside Canada

Do you have an offence outside Canada? In that case, consider the following:

  • Is it criminal in Canada? Some things may not be considered criminal offences in Canada. In this case, you don’t need to worry. These could include things like insulting a government official or littering.
  • Do you have an offence that would be considered summary in Canada? You can enter Canada with a summary-only offence. This could include possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana or creating a disturbance.
  • Do you have a hybrid offence? A hybrid offence is an offence that could be either summary or indictable. In this case Canadian officials will treat your record as indictable. This includes things like drinking and driving. You are not eligible to enter Canada if you have an hybrid offence.
  • If your offence is an indictable crime in Canada, you are ineligible. Together indictable and hybrid offences make up the majority of offences.

You can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. Criminal Rehabilitation is an application through the Canadian government. It is an option for people who completed their sentences at least five years ago. A sentence includes probation and fines. If you are not eligible to enter Canada, you can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. You may also be deemed rehabilitated after 10 years. In this case, you would not need to apply.

Offences committed in Canada

Apply for a Record Suspension in Canada if that’s where you were convicted. You can do this regardless of whether or not you still live in Canada. The waiting period is five years for summary convictions and ten years for indictable. If you want to become a citizen one day, start your application as soon as you can.

If you are a permanent resident, you could lose your status and be deported if you have a criminal record. However, it’s important not to lie. If you lie you could be barred from residency or citizenship completely.

Canadian citizenship and criminal charges

Technically, you could lose your citizenship over a criminal record. However, this is pretty rare. A possible scenario might be using deceptive means to acquire the citizenship.

This is why it’s important to be honest and seek citizenship as soon as you are able.

If you have a criminal record and would like to become a citizen one day, we can help. We assist with Canadian Record Suspensions and Criminal Rehabilitation for offences committed outside Canada. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-866-972-7366.