How to Get Into Canada with a Criminal Record

Denied entry to Canada because of a criminal record?

Some people who want to come to Canada for business, to visit family, or for a vacation are very surprised when they are denied entry to Canada because of a criminal record. Even a criminal conviction that is decades old or for something seemingly “small” (such as a marijuana possession charge in the 1970s) can work against you and result in your being denied entry to Canada.

How to get into Canada with a criminal record

If you are worried about being denied entry to Canada or have been denied entry to Canada once before – don’t panic! You do have options. However, it’s important to get the issue sorted out as soon as possible once you know you will be traveling to Canada – it is extremely inconvenient and can be costly if you are denied entry to Canada at the border.

If you are denied entry to Canada or fear you might be in the future, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, or TRP. A TRP will allow you to visit Canada on a temporary basis if you would ordinarily be denied entry to Canada because of a criminal record or even a medical problem.

You may want to speak with a licensed immigration lawyer before you travel to see if your criminal offence will indeed make you inadmissible to Canada. However, take note that even if you’ve gotten into Canada prior you may not experience the same result the next time – each border officer is different and it’s up to them whether you are admissible to Canada or not.

While you can apply for a TRP at the Canadian border, it’s recommended that you consult with a licensed immigration lawyer beforehand – it’s NOT guaranteed you will get into Canada with a TRP, and you should have your case reviewed by someone who knows the law.

In addition, you can also apply for TRP at the Canadian Consulate or Canadian Embassy in your country – however, this can take several months to be processed and if you plan on travelling soon you should do this as quickly as possible.

Avoid delays and being turned away at the Canadian border because of a criminal record – have an immigration lawyer review your case for the best chance!

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.

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