Applying to enter Canada with a DUI or other criminal offence can take some time. As a result, many US residents would prefer to submit their Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) at the border or airport. An urgent TRP at the border is possible, but risky. This type of application, which can also be called a port-of-entry TRP, has a higher refusal rate.

A TRP is a visitor permit granted to people who would otherwise be inadmissible. A person is usually inadmissible if they have a criminal record and it has been less than 10 years since they completed their sentence, which could include fines or probation.

How to avoid refusal of an urgent TRP

There are two things you need to keep in mind if you want to avoid an urgent TRP refusal:

  1. Have a really good reason to enter Canada;
  2. Make sure your application is thorough and complete.

Reason to enter Canada

Some of the common reasons people want to enter Canada include cruise vacations, fishing, hunting, skiing, camping, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, boating, site-seeing and shopping excursions. Generally, these reasons have a high denial rate because they are not truly urgent.

Humanitarian and business reasons are generally more compelling. These can include a sick family member or a funeral.

A business deal may be compelling if you are essential to the process. Perhaps you are the CEO of a company or you are the only one in the company who can attend for some other reason. Work as a trucker, pilot, flight attendant or ship captain could be convincing, but if you are frequently entering the country you may need a TRP with more than one entry, which means you should go through the Canadian Consulate. Also, keep in mind that you need an additional permit if you intend to work in Canada.

Being denied at the border is a big hassle for many people. You can lose your investment into your trip, lose out on business deals or opportunities, miss seeing your friends or family and be embarrassed in front of your travelling companions. If you’re flying, you may even need to buy a return ticket.

Make sure your application is thorough and complete

Although it’s referred to as an urgent TRP, it will still take time to put your application together. You will need to gather the same documents. The only thing that makes it urgent is the border officials will decide your application on the spot. In fact, the high refusal rate at the border increases the importance of putting together a compelling application. It can take one to four months to get your documents together.

It’s also important to be realistic about your record. If your charges were serious or recent, your chances of denial at the border increase.

Why is it easier to get your TRP through the Consulate?

When you submit your TRP application at the Consulate, the authorities will have more time to review it. They will also be more knowledgeable about the type of application and can make a decision that takes into consideration all the factors. It can take one to six months to be approved by the Consulate.

With a port-of-entry application, the risks increase that you could get a border official who doesn’t fully understand the application and could deny it arbitrarily. They may even tell you that you should have submitted to the Consulate, especially if your reason for entry isn’t urgent.

The fee for a Temporary Resident Permit is $200, although it could be waived one time if you only have a single conviction and did not do any jail time.

Get a permanent waiver

Needless to say, applying for Temporary Resident Permits can be time-consuming and stressful. You may be eligible for a permanent solution called Criminal Rehabilitation after five years. If you are eligible, this is an easier way to enter Canada and may even be necessary if you have already applied for a TRP. You are expected to resolve your reasons for inadmissibility if you want to keep returning to Canada, and Criminal Rehabilitation is one way to do this.

If you would like to learn more about TRP, Criminal Rehabilitation and whether or not you qualify, contact our advisors for a free consultation at 1-866-972-7366.