Our last post on criminal convictions and entering Canada focused on eligibility periods for rehabilitation. As stated, a person can be criminally inadmissible even without a conviction.  The officer may have reason to believe that a person committed the crime in question. Then they have the authority to deem that person criminally inadmissible.

Deemed rehabilitation is one way to enter Canada. This is available if the crime would be considered an indictable offence carrying a maximum prison term of fewer than 10 years under Canadian law. Most crimes that will make you inadmissible to Canada fall under this category, including DUI. The waiting period is 10 years from the date the offence was committed. They would also be able to apply for rehabilitation. The waiting period to apply is five years.  The wait periods for this could be shorter than for convictions. This is because the person would not have to serve the sentence before the waiting period starts.

Serious criminal conviction and rehabilitation

Another situation applies to those who have been convicted or have committed crimes which carry a maximum prison term of over 10 years. In these cases, the foreign national will never be deemed rehabilitated simply by the passage of time. They can still make the formal application for rehabilitation after five years have passed. Most crimes will make you inadmissible to Canada, for at least 10 years, but serious indictable offences are harder to overcome.

In any case, if a person with an indictable offence had a separate additional indictable offence, they would not be eligible for deemed rehabilitation.  They would need to wait for the five year period to pass. Then they could apply for rehabilitation.

Discretion of the officer

Please note that a determination of deemed rehabilitation is always at the discretion of the officer.  No matter what their determination ends up being, it is always best to remain polite, courteous, and respect their decision. Failure to do so may result in adverse consequences for you, including arrest, detention, and forcible removal from Canada.

Pardon services in Canada

If you were convicted of a crime in Canada, you are still ineligible to enter Canada. The best option to re-enter Canada with a criminal offence from Canada is to get a Canadian pardon.

If you have any questions about this topic or any others, feel free to contact us toll-free at 1-866-972-7366.