Deported from the USA. Can I come to Canada?

Matt Hendler, Michael Schwartz
Published: September 12, 2021

Canada and the United States share security information at all ports of entry. This can include criminal and immigration records, even from long ago.

This means that when a person tries to enter Canada from the United States, Canadian border agents have access to all prior U.S. removal or deportation orders. Essentially, if you have been previously deported from the United States, Canadian officials will know—and know why—and may deny you entry to Canada.

Contact a criminality expert at the Law Firm of Campbell Cohen

A record of being deported from the USA—or any other country—can negatively impact all Canadian immigration applications. This is the case whether you want to come to Canada to work, study, or live. Both temporary and permanent stays are affected including those to work, study or reside. For this reason, it is important to understand how a removal order from the U.S. and other countries can affect your ability to enter Canada.

The American Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency reports that in 2020, it conducted over 103,000 administrative arrests. In that same period, it also removed over 185,000 people from the United States. Many of those who have been deported show interest in Canada as a new place to settle. Before doing so, it is important to understand the steps to take to ensure you can enter Canada freely.

Are you looking for a way to overcome inadmissibility to Canada because of a foreign deportation?

If you have been deported from the US or another foreign country, you are considered criminally inadmissible to Canada.

To overcome this status, you will require permanent clearance from a Canadian consulate by applying for criminal rehabilitation. This is a status the Canadian government can provide in order to resolve inadmissibility. It lasts permanently—as long as the person does not re-offend—and allows indefinite travel in and out of Canada.

Eligibility will depend on things like how the kind of crime and sentence imposed and how much time as passed since sentence completion. Being criminally rehabilitated can ease any worry about being turned away at the border.

If you were deported from the U.S. because of a criminal conviction, and if it has been more than five years since completing your sentence, you are likely eligible to apply for Canadian criminal rehabilitation. This application is handled by a Canadian consulate. The process is quite thorough, as you must prove that you are posing no risk to Canada or its citizens.

The most important consideration in criminal rehabilitation is establishing the equivalent offence in Canada. For example, Canada considers some criminal acts as less severe, whereas it treats others as “serious criminality”. Any crime for which the maximum sentence is ten years or more is considered a serious crime. As of 2018, driving under the influence (DUI) carries with it a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. This means that since that point, a DUI conviction is considered serious criminality.

If a criminal record translates to serious criminality, a traveler will face further issues. These include additional scrutiny, longer processing times, and higher application costs ($1,000 CAD) from the Canadian government. The processing fee for non-serious criminality is $200 CAD. Once the application has been prepared and submitted, the standard processing time is approximately 12 months.

Contact a criminality expert at the Law Firm of Campbell Cohen

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Discover your Canadian immigration options at

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Your options to overcome inadmissibility to Canada
Woman stares a departure board in airport.
The security screening process for Canadian immigration
Canadian flag
Understanding why some people might not be allowed in Canada and ways to overcome inadmissibility
Man dressed in suit shaking hands with another person across a table. There is paper and a pen between them and there is also a gavel on the table.
Three ways to overcome your criminal inadmissibility to Canada
Top Stories
Parental education and income have positive effect on educational attainment of childhood immigrants
Newcomer access to credit in Canada improves over time, according to new study
IRCC to introduce new automated tools for faster PGWP and work permit extension processing
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Work
IRCC to introduce new automated tools for faster PGWP and work permit extension processing
A woman looks into a camera with two professional looking people behind her. IRCC is set to introduce new automated tools to assist with PGWP and WP processing.
How to immigrate to Canada as a transport worker
Happy truck driver looking through side window while driving his truck
Top 10 questions about Canada’s work permit process
Toronto skyline
Canada ranked the most attractive destination for immigrant entrepreneurs in 2023
Link copied to clipboard