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Although you might have a criminal history, it is not necessary that you are criminally inadmissible to Canada. The first step is to determine if you are criminally inadmissible.

An individual is criminally inadmissible if the individual:

  • was convicted of an offense inside Canada;
  • was convicted of an offense outside Canada which is considered a crime in Canada; or
  • committed an act outside of Canada that is considered a crime under the laws of the country where it occurred and would be punishable under Canadian law.

Further, it is important to consider the following in determining your admissibility:

If your charge/charges were withdrawn or dismissed:

  • If the offence occurred in Canada, you are not inadmissible.
  • If the offence occurred outside Canada, you may be inadmissible.


If you received an absolute or conditional discharge:

  • If the offence occurred in Canada, you are not inadmissible.
  • If the offence occurred outside Canada, you may be inadmissible.

If your pardon was granted:

  • If the offence occurred in Canada, you are not inadmissible if you were pardoned under the Criminal Records Act in Canada.
  • If the offence occurred outside Canada, you may be inadmissible.

There are three ways you can overcome criminal inadmissibility in Canada:

  1. PARDON (permanent basis);
  2. CRIMINAL REHABILITATION (permanent basis); and/or
  3. TEMPORARY RESIDENT PERMIT (temporary basis).

When applying for any of the above, it is very important to prove in your application that you are indeed rehabilitated. What this means is that you have to show, via documentary evidence, that you lead a stable lifestyle and that you are unlikely to be involved in any further criminal activity.


If you have committed a crime in Canada and have been convicted in Canada, you must apply for a record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada. However, in order to be considered for a record suspension under the Criminal Records Act, there needs to be a specific time period that has to have passed from the end of the sentence which was imposed, which can include  payment of a fine, probation or imprisonment.

A record suspension, if approved, will remove the individual’s criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Upon searching the CPIC, that individual’s criminal record will not show up.


If your application for Criminal Rehabilitation is approve, you will no longer be criminally inadmissible into Canada and you will be able to enter Canada without having your past criminal actions acting again you.

In order to qualify for this application, you would have to show that:

  • You committed the criminal act outside of Canada and five (5) years or more have elapsed since the act; and/or
  • You were convicted outside Canada and five (5) years have passed since the end of the sentence imposed.

However, even if you meet the above requirements, you might still not be eligible for this application. Your eligibility to apply for this application depends on the type of offences and length of rehabilitation periods. Please contact SSLF to inquire, given your situation, if you are eligible for a criminal rehabilitation or are even deemed rehabilitated.

When putting your application together, we at SSLF will assemble a strong package with a written submission along with documentary evidence proving:

  • that you are completely rehabilitated;
  • have turned your life around for the good; and
  • have no connection to your criminal past nor committed any further criminal activity.


While applying for a criminal rehabilitation will permanently remove your criminal admissibility, the processing time is lengthy. If you want to enter Canada on an urgent basis for a specific reason and a short period of time, you will not be able to do so with a criminal rehabilitation application. You would need to apply for a TRP.

You can only apply for a TRP if:

  • You have a very specific reason you need to enter Canada for;
  • Your stay in Canada will be for a short period of time;
  • You have very strong ties to the country of citizenship or resident;
  • You do not post as a risk to the Canadian public or danger to Canadian safety; and
  • Do not have a ongoing criminal history.

Please contact SSLF if you need to enter Canada on an urgent basis but are unable to do so due to a criminal record.

Please contact Subuhi Siddiqui Immigration Law Firm for your immigration, citizenship or status matter. To set up a consultation, give us a call at (647) 454-9364 or e-mail us at subuhi@ssimmigration.ca.