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Criminal Inadmissibility

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), a person may be found criminally inadmissible for offences committed inside or outside of Canada. Foreign nationals applying for temporary or permanent residence have a different standard than permanent residents who are already in Canada.  A foreign national will be inadmissible and denied entry to Canada on the basis of simple “Criminality”.  A permanent resident of Canada will lose status and be removed from Canada only if found inadmissible due to “Serious Criminality”.

    1. Serious Criminality
        • you have been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years (regardless of whether this penalty was imposed), or you have been sentenced to at least 6 months of imprisonment (regardless of any maximum term by which the act is punishable).
        • you have committed or have been convicted of an offence outside Canada that is an offence in that country, and that in Canada would constitutes an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.

2. Criminality

        • you have been convicted of an offence in Canada that constitutes an indictable offence, or two offences (not arising from the same occurrence) under an Act of Parliament; the same applies if convicted outside of Canada of equivalent offences.
        • you have committed an offence outside Canada that is an offence in that country, and that in Canada would constitute an indictable offence.

Some criminal offences can be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment, and these are referred to as “hybrid” offences.  For the purposes of immigration law, if you are convicted of a hybrid offence, it will be considered an indictable offence. A permanent resident who is found to be inadmissible for serious criminality can lose permanent residence status.  Not all criminal convictions result in inadmissibility and the assessment of criminality and serious criminality requires very careful analysis.  There are also certain circumstances where there may be no finding of criminality or serious criminality; for example, if the offence was committed when you were a minor, if there was a conditional or absolute discharge or a record suspension (pardon), among others, and these circumstances must be closely examined. Inadmissibility cases are highly complex and must be handled with expertise. If you are concerned that you may be found inadmissible, we can help you with the legal analysis, and if you have already been found to be inadmissible, we can identify the best course of action, which may include applying for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation.