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Criminal Inadmissibility – Ask our criminality specialists!

August, 2011

Anyone planning to enter Canada for permanent residency, to study, work, or simply visit may be prohibited from doing so if he/she has been charged or convicted of a criminal offence. Even minor offences may render a person inadmissible to Canada.

We invite our readers to pose any immigration questions they have for our criminality specialists. At the bottom of the article you will find a link to where you can post your question.

1) Does a criminal offence of any kind make me inadmissible to Canada?

The short answer is no. It is not always easy to determine as to whether a criminal offence would render someone inadmissible to Canada. The important distinction is between summary and indictable offences. A conviction for a single summary offence may be ignored for Canadian immigration purposes. If an individual has been convicted of one or more indictable offences, or more than one summary offence he/she can be considered inadmissible to Canada, and should submit an application for Criminal Rehabilitation and/or a Temporary Resident Permit prior to entry to Canada.

2) How can I tell if my offence is summary or indictable?

The proper way to make this determination is to consult the Criminal Code of Canada or other relevant federal legislation. All criminal offences in Canada are punishable by either summary conviction or by indictment. Where an offence is hybrid, meaning that it is punishable by either summary or indictment, it is considered indictable for the purposes of Canadian immigration law.

3) Do misdemeanour convictions in the United States make me inadmissible to Canada?

People in the U.S. often assume that their misdemeanor convictions do not make them inadmissible to Canada. However, this assumption is often incorrect. Canada does not make a distinction between misdemeanor and felony convictions. The first step is to determine whether the foreign conviction has an equivalence under Canadian federal legislation. If there is an equivalence then as mentioned above, the true distinction in Canada is between summary and indictable offences.

4) I was stopped for speeding in the United States; does this make me inadmissible to Canada?

Usually, but not always, a speeding violation will not make you inadmissible to Canada. In order to be considered a criminal conviction in Canada, an offence must violate federal legislation such as the Criminal Code of Canada. Traffic violations generally fall under the jurisdiction of the Provincial governments in Canada and therefore are not considered criminal convictions. However, if someone has been convicted of the equivalent of reckless or negligent driving, this can be considered a criminal offence in Canada and might make this person inadmissible to Canada.

If you are unsure whether your offence will affect your Canadian immigration application, we suggest you contact an experienced Canadian immigration attorney.

Contact our criminality specialists with your questions.



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruna June 20, 2013 at 12:31 pm

A person who is inadmissible to Canada for misrepresentation is inadmissible in US also?
Thank you, Bruna.

Shankar sharma June 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Dear sir,I want to live in Canada. its my dream.what are the requirement to be an eligible to apply for temporary residence.
Kindly please clear me about this.

isidro fernandez zamorano August 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

if a felony fall above the guide lines that canada immigration law is asking for the background of a person convition of .any charge or indictment in foreing contry this make the criterial for not to enter canada as a temoporary permanent worker , can you define the type of criterial to make a person inamissible or post the type of convition that make inamissible and type of crime what are the crimes that make the person inamissible to enter canada ?

Asm tanvir haider October 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I have been fined by magistrate court for fare evasion june 2014 and i don’t have any kind conviction other than this. Please i need your advice. Am i inadmissible to canada

We welcome your comments on the news article above. However, we do not respond to specific questions in this space. If you have a question, you may Contact Us If you want to know if you qualify for Canadian immigration, you may complete our Free Assessment