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Entering Canada can be difficult with some criminal records. However, you can make an application for criminal rehabilitation. You need to convince Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you are unlikely to re-offend. It will depend on the type, amount, and location of your offences. Keep in mind the difference between a summary and indictable offence. Some types of offences are considered indictable (similar to a felony in the USA).

Entering Canada and Deemed Rehabilitation

Deemed rehabilitation is available if the offence would be indictable and have a maximum of less than 10 years in prison if committed in Canada. The waiting period is 10 years. This is calculated after all aspects of the sentence have been completed. However, you do not need to wait 10 years to enter Canada. You could apply for rehabilitation five years from the end of the sentence.  Please note that deemed rehabilitation does not require an application. It happens after the passage of 10 years. On the other hand, submitting a rehabilitation application does not guarantee success.

It is very important to remember that the eligibility period does not begin counting down until the sentence has been completed.  This means fines have been paid, probation has been completed, and prison term has been served if applicable.

For example, let’s say a person was convicted of an indictable offence 20 years ago. He was sentenced to pay a fine and serve a year of probation. The eligibility period for visiting Canada with a criminal record is calculated from the date probation is completed OR the date of the fine payment, whichever comes later.

Please keep an eye out for our next blog as we delve deeper into this topic.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about this topic, please contact us toll-free at 1-866-972-7366.