Can I come to Canada on a hunting and fishing trip with a criminal record?

Julia Hornstein
Published: February 17, 2023

Canada is a popular destination for hunting and fishing enthusiasts due to the country’s diverse natural landscape and wide variety of wildlife and terrain. Many thousands of US citizens and residents choose to come to Canada annually for hunting and fishing trips. Individuals with a criminal record – however – can face issues at the border and be denied entry into Canada due to criminal inadmissibility.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

US citizens and residents are most commonly turned away at the border for crimes such as reckless driving, driving under the influence (DUI) and petty theft.

Criminal inadmissibility may sometimes be resolved with the passage of time, which is known as deemed rehabilitation. Despite this, if you have more than one offence or a single more serious offence, inadmissibility cannot be resolved simply because sufficient time has passed.

Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility

There are three main ways to overcome criminal inadmissible if you are planning a trip to Canada:

  • Submit a Temporary Resident Permit Application
  • Submit a Criminal Rehabilitation Letter
  • Legal Opinion Letter

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is an option if you are considered criminally inadmissible to Canada as it grants temporary access to the country for a certain period of time.

A TRP application can be granted for up to three years, depending on the reason of entry. A person can apply for a TRP at any point and does not require the completion of a criminal sentence. A TRP allows for one-time entry into Canada, but in some cases, it can permit multiple re-entries. Once in Canada with a TRP, you may apply to extend the duration of the permit.

A TRP is only used in situations where the traveler has a valid reason for entering Canada, such as for business purposes or an emergency. The benefits of their entry must outweigh any risks to Canadian society. Usually, traveling for hunting and fishing is not considered an important reason by immigration officers for entering Canada. For this reason, you should ensure the TRP application is well-prepared and conforms as much as possible to what immigration authorities are looking for in a successful application.

Criminal Rehabilitation Letter

You may submit a criminal rehabilitation application to the Canadian government to permanently clear your past criminal history for the purposes of entering Canada. The criminal rehabilitation application is a one-time solution that, unlike a TRP, does not require renewal. If an individual is granted approval for criminal rehabilitation, they are no longer considered inadmissible and would not require a TRP for entry into Canada.

In order be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have committed an act outside of Canada that would be equivalent to an offence under the Canadian Criminal Code,
  • Must have been convicted of or admitted to committing the act, and
  • Five years must have passed since the sentence has been completed. This includes jail time, fines, community service or probation.

Legal Opinion Letter

A legal opinion letter can be drafted by a Canadian immigration lawyer on your behalf explaining the facts of your situation and make a case as to why the immigration authorities should let you enter the country. The letter could identify relevant Canadian law and suggest alternate infractions that would not render you inadmissible to Canada.

An experienced immigration attorney can help you overcome criminal inadmissibility issues. Cohen Immigration Law’s team of lawyers and professionals will work to understand your situation and help you draft and submit the strongest application to Canadian immigration authorities.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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

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 media@canadavisa.com
Related articles
What is a Port of Entry letter?
Young smiling businesswoman holding digital tablet, check email, working online on the street
How does IRCC process Permanent Residence applications?
A stack of Canadian government documents waiting to be processed.
Five red flags to watch out for when choosing an immigration representative
Annoyed angry disappointed customers clients couple holding paper arguing with bank manager
Can a foreign national hold a valid study permit and work permit simultaneously?
student in headphones sitting at a desk studying at home in front of laptop computer
Top Stories
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
IRCC now accepting community applications for two new pilot programs
How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe
More in Express Entry
How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool
A person having an online interview with a recruiter
Can I count student work experience towards the Express Entry work requirement?
Two people sitting at a table looking at a tablet working on a project.
The state of the Express Entry pool: April 2024
A collage of a group of people preforming various actions in a single photo
Will my job offer get me Comprehensive Ranking System points as an Express Entry candidate?
Multiracial group of colleagues working on business reports during the meeting
Link copied to clipboard