How to Enter Canada with a Criminal Record

Did you know if you are a United States citizen and have any type of criminal record in your history, you could be denied entry to Canada? This happens every day. A criminal offence that seems “tiny” or is very old can still result in your being denied entry to Canada. Through information sharing between countries, Canada will have access to any of your criminal history. 

Even if you have gotten into Canada prior despite your criminal record, you may have just been lucky! Your luck may run out, however. If you have been denied entry to Canada due to a criminal record or fear you may be refused entry to Canada in the future because of your criminal record, you have two main options:

A temporary resident permit to enter Canada with a criminal record

You could be eligible to apply for a temporary resident to come to Canada despite your criminal record. A temporary resident permit is also called a visitor’s visa in Canada. You would have to prove information about your criminal case as well proof of your ties to Canada in order to apply for a temporary resident permit.

Criminal rehabilitation to enter Canada

Criminal offences that are decades old can cause you to be denied entry to Canada. However, if your criminal conviction occurred over five years ago, you could make an application for criminal rehabilitation This would remove your criminal admissibility and allow you to enter Canada.

Both of these processes can be complicated, and you can still be denied a temporary resident permit and subsequently refused entry to Canada. If you have a criminal record, it is important that you consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure the best chance of success. We have handled thousands of refused entry cases, and we can help you!

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.