I have a criminal record and want to visit Canada

Many Americans visit Canada each and every day to shop or visit with family. Many even take vacations here! In most cases, an American citizen only needs to show the Canadian border officials their valid passport in order to enter Canada. However, imagine how disruptive and upsetting it will be if you or one of the members of your family are denied entry to Canada because you have a criminal record. 

The criminal offences Canada considers to make you inadmissible to Canada can be so small and seemingly insignificant, that many people don’t realize they will be affected until it is too late and they’ve already had to turn around and come back to the United States.

How can I get my criminal inadmissibility waived?

You have two options if you have a criminal record and want to enter Canada. The first is applying for criminal rehabilitation, and the second is applying for a temporary resident permit.

To apply for criminal rehabilitation, your criminal conviction needs to be older than five years. You can apply for criminal rehabilitation at your closest Canadian Consulate or Embassy, and if you are approved your criminal inadmissibility will be removed.

The other option you have is applying for a temporary resident permit. You can also do this at your local Canadian Consulate or Embassy, or even at the border if you like. However, it is a complicated process and if you do it at the border you could risk being denied if you don’t have all the information that’s required. In order to apply for a temporary resident permit, you need to provide a series of supporting documents including:

– Information about your finances to show that you can support yourself in Canada.
– Information about what is waiting for you back in the United States (a job, a home, family) so Canada knows you’ll return after your trip.
– Information about your criminal case.
– Information about why you want to enter Canada, what you’ll be doing and where you will be staying.

Do not leave it up to chance. We can help you determine if you are inadmissible to Canada and what to do about it for the best chance of success. Contact our immigration law firm at the phone number on the top of this page, and we can help!

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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