A Criminal Rehabilitation application can take between 12 and 18 months. If you have a criminal record, you can be ineligible to enter Canada for over 10 years. However, after five years a permanent option becomes available for application. This option is called Criminal Rehabilitation or Individual Rehabilitation.
A Criminal Rehabilitation application is a permanent solution that allows you to come and go for any permitted reason such as vacation, family visits or business reasons. To work or attend school additional permits are needed.
Because it is permanent and you don’t need to explain your purpose every time you want to enter, Criminal Rehabilitation is preferable to the Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). The downside is that it takes longer to receive a decision.
Because there is a lot of overlap between the Criminal Rehabilitation application and the TRP application, some people apply for both at the same time. This allows them to gain entry for a planned visit in the short-term, and then become approved for long-term entry.
How is the waiting period calculated?
Eligibility for Criminal Rehabilitation is calculated from the end of the sentence rather than the date of conviction. The sentence includes fine payments, probation, community service, and jail time. It’s important to pay off any fines as soon as possible if you have any plans to go to Canada in the future.
How long does it take to process a Canadian Rehabilitation application?
Before you can submit your application, some documents are required. These include court documents, state police checks and FBI reports. Letters of reference are also important. It can take about six months to acquire these documents and compile the application.
How long does it take to get a decision?
Once you submit your application a reviewing officer will determine whether it is complete and whether you are qualified. It will then be forwarded on to the appropriate authority for review. You can avoid delays at the initial step by ensuring that your application is complete.
Once your application is accepted, the time frame for approval varies. This can depend on the length of your record, the seriousness of the offences and other factors. It can take a year to receive a decision.
If you were convicted of an offence that would be punishable by a maximum term of fewer than ten years under Canadian law, you can be considered deemed rehabilitated 10 years after the completion of your sentence. This means that you do not have to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation, but you may need to show proof.
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.