Will a criminal record prevent me from visiting Canada?

Even if you have had luck visiting Canada previously, it is very likely that a criminal record could cause you to be denied entry to Canada. Because Canada takes even minor crimes very seriously, many Americans who have small criminal convictions i their past do not even realize they can be criminally inadmissible to Canada.

If you attempt to enter Canada at the US-Canada border or via a Canadian port of entry like the airport with a criminal record, you will be turned away and have to go back to the United States.

What can I do?

First and foremost, you should discuss your criminal conviction and immigration history with a licensed immigration lawyer. Our immigration law firm has handled thousands of denied entry to Canada cases, and we can help you too. It is not easy to get into Canada with a criminal record, but if you let us help you we can make sure that you have the best chance possible.

The first thing to consider is applying for a temporary resident permit. This is also known as a Canadian visitor visa. When you apply for a temporary resident permit you are asking for special permission to enter Canada even with your criminal record intact. You will need to effectively demonstrate to Canadian immigration authorities that primarily, you are not a threat to Canada or Canadian society and that you will promise to leave Canada when your stay is over. This means you will have to discuss your criminal case with them as well as provide proof that there’s enough waiting for you at home in the United States to motivate you to return home.

Another consideration is applying for criminal rehabilitation at your closet Canadian consulate or embassy. If your criminal conviction occurred more than five years ago, you could be eligible for this, and if you are approved for criminal rehabilitation your criminal inadmissibility would be wiped away.

We are here to help you! Please contact us with any questions you may have about a criminal record causing you to be denied entry to Canada.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.