If you have a prior conviction under Canadian Law, it can potentially prevent you from entering Canada. This might also apply if you were convicted abroad, but were transferred to Canada through the Transfer of Offenders act.
One possible solution to this issue is a Canadian Record Suspension.
We have a short video you can view which provides an overview of your options to enter Canada with a criminal record.
Almost everyone who has been convicted of a crime in Canada will be eligible for a record suspension, although there are some exceptions and special cases. Certain offenders, including anyone convicted of a sex offense against a child, or persons who have been convicted of more than 3 Canadian indictable offenses, will be ineligible for a record suspension. Offenses related to marijuana might also have different rules.
If the Parole Board of Canada approves your record suspension application, the Canadian conviction in question will be “set aside.” This isn’t like an expungement or a pardon, and the conviction will remain on your criminal record. However, it will be removed from the Canadian police database and will no longer stop you from immigrating to or entering Canada!
As with Canada’s other measures that allow for entry into Canada, a waiting period after the crime was committed must have passed before a record suspension can be granted. The waiting period for a record suspension depends on the category into which the conviction falls. To determine in what category your conviction falls, read through our discussion on “Crimes that will make you inadmissible to Canada”.
|Summary Offense||In order to be eligible for a record suspension, five years must have passed since the completion of the sentence before a person can apply for a record suspension.|
|Hybrid Offense||Hybrid offenses are treated like indictable offenses for the purposes of Canadian immigration, so the rules for indictable offenses would apply.|
|Indictable Offense||To be eligible for a Canadian record suspension after an indictable offense, a total of ten years must have passed before a person becomes eligible for a record suspension.|
It is important to note that in cases where a person has criminal convictions from both Canada and the United States or another country abroad on their record, pursuing both a TRP or a Criminal Rehabilitation application (or both) at the same time as pursuing a Canadian Record Suspension will be necessary.