A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is an application to the Canadian immigration office that allows a person with a criminal record, DUI or some other grounds of criminal inadmissibility to enter Canada for a particular reason.

When you are applying for a TRP to enter Canada, you must prove to the government and Canadian immigration that your need to enter outweighs any possible risk of allowing you to enter. If you are inadmissible due to a criminal offence, the Canadian immigration officer will be looking for evidence of rehabilitation. The more recent and serious your offence was, the more difficult it will be to prove this.

How long is a Temporary Resident Permit good for?

A TRP to enter Canada is only issued for a specific period of time for up to three years. It may have one or multiple entries. Most temporary resident permits (TRPs) are issued for a single visit through Canadian immigration.

A TRP is only temporary, so you cannot use it to support an application for permanent residency with Canadian immigration. However, it can be combined with a temporary work permit or a study permit.

When can you get a TRP?

Most Canadians and Americans are able to cross the border freely with a passport or, in the case of Americans, simply proof of citizenship. However, if you have had a criminal conviction, including a DUI, in the past 10 years, you are likely inadmissible except in the case of some very minor charges. As the Canadian border authorities have access to the national FBI database, it’s difficult for any American with a criminal record to get into and enter Canada.

However, if you have a good reason to enter Canada, you can apply for a TRP with Canadian immigration. Reasons for travel include:

Work: If you plan to work in Canada, you will also need a work permit.

Business: If you are attending meetings or conferences, you may not need a work permit, but if you have a record, you will need a TRP.

Study: If you want to study in Canada, you will also need a permit.

Family: If you have close family members in Canada, this can be a compelling reason to be granted a TRP.

Leisure: It’s more difficult to get a TRP for leisure purposes, but not impossible. We have helped hundreds of skiers, anglers, hunters, campers, cruisers, wedding guests and others get across the border. The trick is to give yourself enough time because an urgent application is more likely to be denied.

Transiting: If you need to get somewhere else, you will need a TRP just to transit through the airport or stay overnight in a hotel. It may be more convenient to search for a direct flight even if it costs more.  Many people who travel between Alaska and the contiguous United States think they will have no problem getting a TRP at the border considering that they are just driving through (or taking an Alaskan cruise). However, we have seen many US residents denied at the border. You should plan ahead of time if you want to make a trip through Canada.

If you need a work or study permit or visa and a TRP to enter Canada, you will submit your applications to Canadian immigration at the same time.

How do you apply for a TRP?

Consulate application: If you have sufficient time before your trip, you may want to apply at the Consulate. Applications made through the Consulate have a higher approval rate than applications made at the port of entry. Plus, they are less risky because if you are denied at the border or airport, you will lose out on the trip and all the money and time you have invested in it.

Port of Entry: If you have an urgent reason for travel, such as a business trip or a family emergency, you may qualify for an “urgent” TRP with Canadian immigration. This is not recommended for leisure trips. This application to Canadian immigration is made on the day of travel at the border or airport. The border official will accept your application and take a few hours to review it while you wait. If you are denied, you will be turned back immediately, even if you are in the airport and have to buy a return flight home.

Regardless of whether you plan to apply for an urgent TRP or a consulate TRP, you will have to collect a number of documents and prepare a compelling application, so contact us as soon as you know you need to travel to Canada. A TRP application is strictly at the discretion of the officer reviewing it, so it is important to put forward the best possible application to enter Canada.

How long do you need to keep applying for TRPs?

Canada is a close neighbour so many Americans have compelling reasons to keep travelling there. Applying for multiple temporary resident permits (TRPs) can be stressful, inconvenient and costly as you attempt to gain entry to Canada. If you try to apply for more than one, you could be denied because you are expected to take action to resolve your criminal inadmissibility. As soon as you are qualified, you should apply for Criminal Rehabilitation for permanent entry to Canada. This is a permanent application that is available five years after the completion of a sentence. A sentence includes probation and fine payments.

Criminal Rehabilitation is a longer application process so many people will apply for a TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation at the same time. This allows them to make their trip in the short term and to be permanently cleared for entry to Canada in the long term. Note that you would still need a permit if you wanted to work or study in Canada.

Otherwise, you can be deemed rehabilitated 10 years after the completion of your sentence. Hold on to your documents, such as your court records and fine payment receipts, as this will make it easier to prove deemed rehabilitation down the road. People with serious felonies may not be eligible for this entry to Canada method in which case they would still have to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. A serious offence is one that would be punishable by a maximum term of 10 years or more under Canadian laws.

If you are inadmissible to Canada due to a criminal offence we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-866-972-7366 so we can help out with your entry to Canada.

To find out more about your eligibility to enter Canada with a DUI or other criminal record, download our free checklist to help plan your entry to Canada. By downloading this resource, you are subscribing to our newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.