If you are an American citizen looking to enter Canada and you have a criminal record, you may face a denial at the port of entry.
Dogen Law is here to assist you in navigating these complex legal matters and achieving your goal of entering Canada. Our experience in criminal rehabilitation applications paves the way for you to overcome past obstacles and embrace new opportunities north of the border.
Criminal Rehabilitation is a legal process designed to help individuals with a criminal record overcome their inadmissibility to Canada.
In the context of Canadian immigration law, a person with a criminal record may be deemed inadmissible to enter or stay in the country if their past criminal activities are considered severe enough to pose a threat to Canadian society. Criminal Rehabilitation allows such individuals to enter Canada, provided they meet specific eligibility criteria, such as completing their sentence and demonstrating that they have been rehabilitated. If granted, Criminal Rehabilitation can remove the legal barrier preventing an individual from entering Canada for both their current trip and future visits.
Among the array of offenses that could potentially lead to your criminal inadmissibility to Canada are the following:
DUI (including DWI, DWAI, and related offenses)
If you have any of the above offenses on your criminal record, Dogen Law’s adept guidance can usher you through the intricate Criminal Rehabilitation process, assuring renewed possibilities and experiences within the Canadian borders.
In general, you can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation if you satisfy one of the following conditions:
You committed a crime outside of Canada more than five years ago, for which you were not charged.
You were convicted of a crime outside of Canada, and a minimum of five years have passed since the completion of your sentence.
If a decade has elapsed since the conclusion of your sentence, you might already be deemed rehabilitated through the passage of time, an avenue recognized as Deemed Rehabilitation.
Given the distinctiveness of each case, enlisting the counsel of a proficient lawyer remains a prudent step, ensuring optimal guidance tailored to your circumstances. At Dogen Law, we stand ready to navigate the intricacies of your situation, steering you toward the most suitable pathway to a successful Criminal Rehabilitation application.
Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation can be a tedious process. Ensuring you have the correct documents and are prepared for interactions with border agents will improve your chances of a smooth entry to Canada.
Dogen Law is here to guide you through every detail, ensuring your Criminal Rehabilitation application is well-positioned for a favorable outcome.
Having the correct documentation is paramount when seeking entry to Canada with a criminal record. Documents typically include valid identification, travel papers, and supplementary paperwork that border authorities require on a case-by-case basis.
Dogen Law offers comprehensive guidance on the precise documents you must possess, aiding you in sidestepping any unnecessary border-related predicaments.
Canadian border officials will likely inquire about your criminal record during your entry process. Maintaining transparency and providing accurate details are of utmost importance. Ready yourself for potential inquiries by gaining insight into how to answer questions about your past criminal convictions.
With Dogen Law’s support, you can be well-prepared to manage these interactions confidently.
Two of the most common legal paths to overcoming inadmissibility into Canada with a felony or misdemeanor are to obtain a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation. While both options grant you access to Canada, it’s essential to discern their distinct characteristics and prerequisites.
The key difference between Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs) and Criminal Rehabilitation centers on the timeline from the occurrence of your offense or the completion of your sentence. Here’s the breakdown:
Eligibility for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) arises if less than five years have transpired since your sentence concluded, or if unique circumstances apply.
Opting for Criminal Rehabilitation becomes viable when more than five years have passed since your sentence’s conclusion, providing an appealing solution.
Additionally, processing times and how long you can stay in Canada differ between TRPs and Criminal Rehabilitation. In short, and as the name suggests, TRPs are temporary, whereas Criminal Rehabilitation is a more permanent solution to overcome inadmissibility to Canada.
For urgent and credible reasons for entering Canada, applying for a Temporary Resident Permit may be the best solution to meet your needs. TRPs are typically single-entry permits and will allow you to enter the country for a limited time, generally the length of your visit. TRPs do not guarantee re-entry, and you may need to apply for a new TRP if you wish to return or a multi-visit TRP.
On the other hand, a successful application for Criminal Rehabilitation will allow you re-entry to Canada like most other Americans wanting to visit Canada.
It’s important to note that Criminal Rehabilitation applications generally take longer than Temporary Resident Permit applications. As such, a strategic approach often involves pursuing both avenues concurrently. By securing a TRP, you can cross the Canadian border while simultaneously awaiting the verdict of your Criminal Rehabilitation application — balancing your immediate and future travel aspirations.
A third common way to enter Canada while still having a past criminal history is through what is known as Deemed Rehabilitation.
The fundamental contrast between Criminal Rehabilitation and Deemed Rehabilitation revolves around the process of being deemed rehabilitated. While Criminal Rehabilitation necessitates a formal application, Deemed Rehabilitation relies on the natural progression of time for its determination. To illustrate, individuals with a single non-serious conviction can potentially achieve Deemed Rehabilitation if over a decade has elapsed since the conclusion of their sentence.
In such instances, the obligation to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation may be unnecessary. Instead, one gains the privilege to freely enter and depart Canada similarly to most other American citizens. However, for those convicted of more serious offenses like a felony conviction, an application for entry might still be a requisite step.
In more recent years, the rules for Deemed Rehabilitation have changed. Foreign individuals convicted of a DUI, DWI, DWAI, OVI, and other drinking and driving offenses are no longer automatically granted Deemed Rehabilitation.
Deciphering whether you qualify for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation or need to initiate a Criminal Rehabilitation application for entry into Canada can be intricate. At Dogen Law, we offer a complimentary assessment, enabling you to explore your eligibility comprehensively. With our experienced legal team, you can make informed decisions that align with your aspirations and legal requirements.
Yes, it is possible to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) and Criminal Rehabilitation simultaneously. This strategic approach allows you to address both immediate entry needs through a TRP and pursue a more permanent solution with Criminal Rehabilitation. Applying for both options concurrently can provide you with the flexibility to travel to Canada while awaiting the outcome of your Criminal Rehabilitation application.
The Government of Canada requires a processing fee of $200.00 for non-serious crimes with less than a ten-year sentence. A serious crime requires a processing fee of $1,000.00 to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada.
Typically, you will pay the initial $200.00. If you need to pay more, you will receive a notice for the extra fee. You will also pay the same price if you seek a TRP in Canada. Although, there are some cases this fee can be waived.
The Canada Rehabilitation application can take approximately six to twelve months (6-12) to process. That is often why the council will advise you to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit simultaneously. Processing a TRP can take three to six months (3-6).
If you arrive at the border with an emergency, you can apply for a TRP, which may expedite the processing time. However, the Canadian government advises against this option. To know more about TRP, you can read about it in our article.
Many crimes require Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada. The most frequent that we see are driving offenses that involve:
There are various classifications of driving under the influence, including:
OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
OUI (Operating Under the Influence)
OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated)
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
DWI (Driving While Impaired or Intoxicated)
DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired)
DWUI (Driving While Under the Influence)
Reckless driving will also get you turned away at the border. Therefore, you will also have to apply for CR in this case.
Fraud includes theft or any offense where the intent is to deprive another individual or company, and/or organization of their rightful ownership of something. The monetary cost determines the severity.
A theft under $5,000 is deemed a non-serious offense, but committing fraud over this amount is considered a serious crime. The offense may also be upgraded to a serious crime if violence, the threat of violence, or a weapon is used.
Assault includes different types of verbal or physical disputes between one or more individuals. It’s important to note that assault with or without a weapon doesn’t change the severity. In both cases, you will be inadmissible to Canada and requires Criminal Rehabilitation.
Drug offenses may include sale, distribution, consumption, purchase, or possession. Whether it is viewed as a serious or non-serious crime may depend on the type of drugs, the number of drugs in possession, and the action taken with the drugs.
Because there are so many variables, it is best to consult an experienced lawyer to know how to proceed.
Navigating the complications of Criminal Rehabilitation in Canada can be challenging.
At Dogen Law, you’ll gain access to experienced and licensed lawyers in both Canada and the United States. From your first assessment, gathering documentation, and the application process, applying for Criminal Rehabilitation becomes a smooth process and has a higher chance of success.
Don’t be turned away at the border. Call or email for your free consultation today.