Canadian Immigration lawyer assisting client with Criminal Rehabilitation

Temporary residents and applicants for permanent residence may encounter certain issues if they have been involved in criminal activity. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may consider certain people inadmissible for this reason. We assist our clients with their application for rehabilitation in order to overcome the inadmissibility.

We represent temporary residents and individual applying for permanent residence that are considered to be criminally inadmissible on the basis that the applicant:

  • was convicted of an offence in Canada;
  • was convicted of an offence outside of Canada that is considered a crime in Canada; and/or
  • committed an act outside of Canada that is considered a crime under the laws of the country where it occurred and would be punishable under Canadian law.

Foreign convictions and laws are compared with Canadian laws as if the conviction or the act had occurred in Canada when the inadmissibility is determined.

We also help our client determine if they are inadmissible in cases where the charges were withdrawn, or when a discharge or a record suspension (formerly a pardon) was granted. Withdrawn charges, a discharge, or a record suspension will not render an individual inadmissible if the offence occurred in Canada. However, a person may be inadmissible if the offence occurred outside of Canada.


Eligibility for rehabilitation

We help our clients apply for rehabilitation. The conditions of eligibility for rehabilitation are the following:

  • the lapse of five years since the commission of an act outside of Canada; and/or,
  • the lapse of five years since the end of the sentence impose for a conviction outside of Canada.

It is important to know that the word sentence is used broadly and includes a suspended sentence with or without a fine, an imprisonment with or without parole, probation, or a driving prohibition.

A successful application for rehabilitation will remove the grounds of criminal inadmissibility when applying for temporary or permanent residency.

Youth offenders

An offender between the age of 12 and less than 18 is considered to be a young offender in Canada. The status of a young offender can have an impact on the admissibility of an individual. We assist our clients by determining if a youth conviction will affect their ability to travel or apply for residency in Canada.

The following is a list of situations that will not make an individual inadmissible:

  • a conviction in Canada under the Young Offenders Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act, unless an adult sentence was received;
  • the country where the offence occurred is treating the individual as a young offender under special provisions for young offenders; or,
  • the country where the offence occurred does not have special provisions for young offenders, but if committed in Canada, the offence would not have subjected the individual to an adult sentence

However, the following circumstances will render someone inadmissible:

  • a conviction in an adult court in a country that has special provisions for young offenders; or,
  • a conviction in a country which does not have special provisions for young offenders but the circumstances of the conviction are such that the offender would have been treated as an adult in Canada.

Overcoming criminal inadmissibility

Our clients comprise of foreign nationals who were convicted of or committed a criminal offence inside or outside of Canada, and want to consult us to see if they may overcome their criminal inadmissibility.

In the case where a conviction or an offence took place outside of Canada, we will assist our client with their application for rehabilitation. We can help them find out if they are deemed rehabilitated (if at least ten years have passed since the completion of the sentence imposed, or since the offence was committed, if the offence is indictable in Canada, punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years). For offences that would be prosecuted summarily in Canada, that period is at least five years after the sentences imposed were served or to be served for the conviction of two or more of such offences.

If the convictions took place in Canada, we will assist our client in obtaining a record suspension (formerly a pardon), which is required to be considered admissible (except if there is only one summary conviction, where only the submission of an application for a record suspension is required). The record suspension can be obtained from the Parole Board of Canada five years after the end of a sentence imposed for a summary conviction, and ten years after the end of a sentence imposed if prosecuted by indictment.

For cases where and individual has a conviction in Canada in addition to a conviction(s) or offence(s) committed outside of Canada, an approval of rehabilitation and a record suspension are required to overcome the inadmissibility.

Coming to, or remaining in Canada without approval of rehabilitation

Clients may need to come to Canada in situations where they are still not eligible to apply for rehabilitation or for a record suspension. We assist these clients in their application for a special permission to enter or remain in Canada.