Canadian immigration is a popular because of the availability of jobs and the range of lifestyle choices. From small-town community to urban cosmopolitanism, Canadian immigrants start feeling at home quickly. Because of this, Canada is known for its diverse and varied population. This is a large part of how Canada defines itself as a nation. However, the application for permanent residency can be strenuous. On top of that, hurdles like a criminal record can slow down the process even more. Here are some things you should keep in mind before applying for permanent residency or citizenship with a record.

Who is considered a permanent resident or Canadian citizen

There are two parts to Canadian immigration: permanent residency and citizenship. A permanent resident has the right to live in Canada and come and go. They have more national rights than visitors or visa holders. However, they have fewer than Canadian citizens. They cannot vote, for instance. Alternatively, a Canadian citizen is born in Canada, was born to a Canadian parent abroad is granted Canadian citizenship by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Citizenship Act outlines the legal rights and duties of being a resident of Canada. It also outlines the laws on how a person becomes a Canadian citizen.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship

Applying for permanent residency or Canadian citizenship with a criminal record can seriously hinder your chances of living in Canada. Often times, you will need to be deemed rehabilitated in order to continue or apply for criminal rehabilitation. If your offence was committed in Canada, you can apply for a record suspension. If you are eligible, you can apply for deemed rehabilitation 10 years after your completed sentence. A record suspension application may be processed five or 10 years after the sentence is complete depending on the seriousness of the offence. You may need to get a copy of your Canada criminal record in order to determine whether you have a summary or indictable conviction.

Canadian immigration implications

Without this form of pardon, your citizenship application can be denied or delayed. If the conviction is for a serious offence, the CIC may decide to start removal proceedings for the purpose of removing your permanent residence status and deporting you from Canada. Even if you have been in Canada for many years or since a young age, your residency status may be taken away and you can be deported. And although uncommon, under specific circumstances citizenship may also be revoked.

When applying for citizenship a person must be at least 18 years of age. This person must have resided in Canada as a permanent resident for at least three of the past four years. In calculating that three-year period, criminal implications such as custody, community service or parole cannot be counted towards the permanent residency. It is also important to be aware of whether your sentence was really completed. Even outdated and long-passed convictions can come up if you failed to pay off fines. If you are denied, it’s best to notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) once you are eligible for a record suspension. Let them know that you are having it removed. Give them the anticipated date of completion.

Unfortunately, a criminal record will not go away by itself. The good news is that we can help with Canadian Record Suspensions and US Criminal Rehabilitation. If you are thinking about becoming a citizen or permanent resident, contact us about Record Suspensions and Criminal Rehabilitation.