Anyone who has ever been arrested and/or convicted on a felony charge may be deemed inadmissible to enter Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). In Canada, a felony will usually correspond to an indictable offense, and is considered an offense of a more serious nature than a misdemeanor.
Some of the most common offenses which can restrict a convicted felon’s entry into Canada include federal offenses such as fraud, aggravated assault, robbery, breaking and entering, burglary, drug trafficking, as well as drug possession (depending on the nature of the substance involved).
Offenses such as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), though normally considered misdemeanors, can also become felonies if the offenses are multiple in nature or if personal injury or bodily harm was caused as the result of drunk driving.
A convicted felon looking to enter Canada, be it for personal or business purposes, and regardless of how would enter the country, be it by car, air, sea or simply transiting to take a flight or embark on a cruise ship, must have the proper authorisation to do so. Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) can be a possible, though temporary, option for any incoming expected trips. For a more permanent solution (and for those eligible, i.e. if over five (5) years have elapsed since the completion of all terms and conditions pertaining to the conviction of a felony offense), an application for Criminal Rehabilitation would be more relevant. If approved, it would permanently remove the inadmissibility for the disclosed offenses (please note that all offenses must be disclosed).
Canadian authorities will evaluate several elements when assessing if a convicted felon should be permitted to enter Canada, such as the nature of the offense(s), as well as the risk factors versus the necessity to enter Canada. Factors such as the time that has elapsed since the conviction, prior offenses committed or repeated offenses, as well as the severity of the crime will usually be taken into consideration to determine if the individual represents a danger to Canada if allowed entry.
If a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is granted, the individual may enter and exit Canada legally. Furthermore, if the permit specifies it, the holder may enter and exit Canada as many times as necessary during the time period allotted by the Canadian authorities. TRPs can be issued for a maximum of three (3) years at a time. An extension can also be requested on an existing permit or a new one can be requested after a previous one has expired.
For further information, please contact one of our specialized attorneys for a free consultation at 1 (844) 326-8410.