In Criminal inadmissibility, Refusals-Enforcement & Deportation
Mary Keyork
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What can I do if I had a criminality refusal for entry into Canada?

As a foreign national, if you were convicted of a criminal offence inside or outside Canada, you may be inadmissible to Canada depending on four factors:

1. What was the crime you were convicted of?
2. When were you convicted?
3. When did you complete your sentence?
4. What was your sentence?

If you are considered to be inadmissible, you can be denied entry to Canada at the border, even with a simple conviction such as Drinking under the Influence (DUI).

Depending on when you were convicted and the seriousness of your offense, you may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP).

There are two ways of obtaining a TRP, depending on your country of nationality and other factors:

1. At the border (land border or airport)– should you qualify, the TRP will be issued on the day you are travelling, usually valid for the purposes of the trip;

2. At the Canadian Embassy of your country of citizenship – the processing time takes several months and the validity period can be as long as a few years.

A TRP allows you to enter Canada on a temporary basis, often for quick trips such as family visits or business purposes.

If a certain number of years have passed since you completed the sentence and you do not wish to apply for a TRP each time you travel to Canada, you can apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation application. Once you have been rehabilitated, you will not longer be required to submit a TRP to enter Canada.

Canada’s border officers can be very strict when it comes to individuals with criminal backgrounds, even minor ones. It is important that you submit a complete TRP application with all relevant documentation as well as prepare yourself for the interview which takes place upon your TRP application at the border.