Study permit whith a criminal record Канада

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Study Permit Canada FAQ

The Canadim Study Permit FAQ guide gives you all the information you need about the most important legal document you need to get started as an international student in Canada! Have a question? We have the answer:

Study Permit FAQs

1. What is a Study Permit?

A study permit is a document issued by Canadian immigration authorities that serves as permission for a foreign national to study in Canada. One cannot study in Canada without a valid study permit. Further, a study permit holder is only permitted to enroll in Designated Learning Institutions.

2. What is a Designated Learning Institution?

A Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is an educational institution that is permitted by provincial or territorial authorities to grant a letter of acceptance to foreign students. All primary and secondary schools are DLIs and can admit students from foreign countries. Post-secondary learning institutions can enroll foreign students only if they have a valid DLI status.

3. What are the Eligibility Criteria for Study Permits?

To obtain a study permit, you must have a valid acceptance letter issued by a DLI in Canada. Other eligibility requirements include:

  1. A valid passport or other lawful travel document.
  2. Adequate financial resources to pay fees charged by the educational institution, meet expenses for stay of student and accompanying family member(s) in Canada, and to meet the cost of return transportation for student and accompanying family member(s) after completion of the course.
  3. Good health and fitness. You, and your accompanying family, may be required to obtain a medical certificate issued after a complete medical exam. Only residents of certain countries are required to undergo a medical examination .
  4. Demonstrate that you are not a risk to Canadian society and have a clean criminal record as evidenced through a valid police certificate.

The medical and character requirements apply to all family members accompanying the student.

4. Are Study Permits Required for All Courses in Canada?

You don’t need a study permit if the course or program you plan to join is of less than six months duration. Since a tourist visa is normally issued with a validity of six months, the study permit requirement is waived for courses of a shorter duration. However, a permit will be required if the program is a part of a longer course or if the visitor will have to extend his/her stay in Canada in order to complete the course.

5. Can a Study Permit Holder Work in Canada?

Yes. A study permit holder is allowed to on a part-time basis without applying for a work permit, as specified on the study permit. Such a student must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). The right to work when holding a study permit ceases when the study permit expires or when the student stops attending the full-time course.

6. Can a Student Switch between Institutions with the Same Study Permit?

Unless it is specified on your study permit, any change in your field of study or educational institution in Canada doesn’t require applying for a new study permit. What that means is that high school and post-secondary students can switch between institutions and do NOT have to apply for a new permit. However, a move involving a change of status—a primary school student moving on to high school or a high school student enrolling into a post-secondary educational institution—can be done only after modifying the study permit. In the case that a study permit specifies the institution/field of study, any changes in program or institution must be modified before the permit holder can join a new course or school. Quebec requires students to apply for a fresh CAQ and, if required, a new study permit before switching from one institution to another.

7. Can Spouse and Children Accompany the Study Permit Holder?

Yes. A full-time student can be accompanied by his/her spouse and children to Canada. The spouse can study or work if they obtain a study permit or spousal open work permit respectively. Accompanying children attending pre-school, primary, or secondary school can study in Canada without requiring a separate study permit. However, children attending a post-secondary educational institution must apply for their own valid study permit.

8. Can One Apply for a Study Permit from Ins >

Only the following categories of individuals can apply for a study permit from within Canada.

  1. Minor children
  2. Exchange students
  3. Holder of a temporary resident permit valid for at least six months
  4. Spouse or common law partner residing in Canada and who have applied for PR under Family Class Sponsorship
  5. Holder of a valid study permit seeking extension or family member of such study permit holder
  6. Family members/private staff of accredited foreign representatives

All other foreign nationals must obtain the study permit before entering Canada.

9. What is the Val >

The study permit is valid throughout the duration of your study program. It will remain valid for an additional 90 days following the end of the program. The student must make preparations to either leave Canada or extend his/her legal stay within this period.

10. Can Study Permit Holders Return Home During Breaks?

Yes. However, the permit holder must hold a valid passport, a valid study permit, and a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA) if they are from a visa-exempt country, or a valid student visa if they are not. Permission to re-enter may be refused if all the required documents and conditions are not met.

11. How can a Study Permit Holder Stay in Canada after Completing the Course/Program?

Foreign graduates from Canadian DLI’s can apply an open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit program. Students graduating out of primary or high school can seek admission in a high school or post-secondary institution respectively. Those with Canadian work experience have the option of applying for Permanent Residence under Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, Provincial Nominee Programs, or other valid programs.

Have a question we didn’t answer? Complete our free online student assessment and include it in the comments section!

Criminal Inadmissibility

For Sentences Ending Less Than 5 years Ago The sentence ended more than 5 years ago but less than 10 years ago The sentence ended more than 10 years ago
If your offence is found to have a Canadian equivalent under an Act of Parliament (Federal), it could mean you’re criminally inadmissible to Canada If your offence is found to have a Canadian equivalent under an Act of Parliament (Federal), it could mean you’re criminally inadmissible to Canada If your offence is found to have a Canadian equivalent under an Act of Parliament (Federal), you may be “Deemed Rehabilitated”, with little or no further action required
Since 5 years have not passed, Criminal Rehabilitation is not an option Since 5 years have passed, you are eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation. *“Deemed Rehabilitation” does not apply in cases of:
  • Multiple offences
  • Serious criminality
Temporary Resident Permit could be an option Temporary Resident Permit could be an option

Criminal Rehabilitation and Temporary Resident Permit Applications

If you have been convicted of a crime – including a DUI – after your 18th birthday, you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada. In fact, the moment an arrest is made the burden of proof shifts as far as Canadian immigration is concerned; from innocent until proven guilty, to guilty until proven innocent. Once arrested, it is up to the accused to demonstrate that a favourable court disposition was reached, before entry to Canada will be granted.

When an individual is Criminally Inadmissible to Canada, they are prohibited from entering Canada for any reason. There are two remedies for those who are criminally inadmissible to Canada – a permanent and a temporary solution

  • Criminal rehabilitation is an application process, in which an individual petitions Canadian immigration to forgive their offences and give them a clean slate
  • Once an individual has successfully undergone the Criminal Rehabilitation application process, their prior offences are no longer grounds to deny them entry to Canada.
  • In order to be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, 5 years must have passed from completion of all sentences, fines and/or probationary periods.
  • If 5 years have not passed, or if your require entry to Canada before your Criminal Rehabilitation application is processed, a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) may be a good option for you.
  • A Temporary Resident Permit is a document that temporarily bridges Criminal Inadmissibility.
  • A Temporary Resident Permit should only be applied for with excellent reason
  • A Temporary Resident Permit can be issued for multiple entries to Canada, and can be valid for up to 3 years. The duration of a Temporary Resident Permit depends on the merits of the application and is at the discretion of the assessing Canadian immigration officer.
  • There is no prescribed time period that must elapse before an individual may apply for a Temporary Resident Permit. However, it is important to be strategic when applying for a Temporary Resident Permit, as Canadian immigration authorities will maintain a record of application that could affect future petitions.

When Canadian immigration authorities suspect someone of being criminally inadmissible they will:

Prior to issuing a formal decision

When in-person at a port of entry (airport, seaport, border crossing), Canadian immigration authorities will conduct an interview. This allows the individual the opportunity to explain him or herself, but also provides the interviewing officer an opportunity to gather statements that can be used against them.

Otherwise provide the applicant an opportunity to reply to the allegations of Criminal Inadmissibility in writing.

When rendering a final decision

If in person at a port of entry, Canadian immigration authorities will refuse that person entry to Canada.

Reject the application based on the Canadian immigration officer’s opinion that the candidate is inadmissible.

Non-Serious Criminality and Serious Criminality

Non-serious criminality and serious criminality are two separate designations Canadian immigration authorities use when assessing a foreigner’s criminal record. It does not matter how seriously the offence is treated in the foreigner’s home country. Canadian immigration authorities are only concerned with the offence’s equivalent as per Canadian law. There are different ramifications, depending on whether or not the foreign offence has a Canadian equivalent rooted in non-serious or serious criminality.

Non-Serious Criminality

  • If more than ten years have elapsed since the retirement of all sentences, fines and probationary periods, you are “Deemed Rehabilitated” (Single Offence)
  • If more than ten years have elapsed since the retirement of all sentences, fines and probationary periods, you are NOT “Deemed Rehabilitated” (Multiple Offences)

  • If more than 5 years have passed since the retirement of all sentences, fines and probationary periods, you are eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation
  • If less than 5 years have passed since the retirement of all sentences, fines and probationary periods, you are NOT eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation
  • Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is an option if you have a compelling reason to request access to Canada

Non-serious Criminal Rehabilitation application processing times are generally faster than serious criminality.

Serious Criminality

  • The sole factor used to determine serious criminality, is the consideration of the maximum possible sentence for the Canadian equivalent, of that foreign offence
  • “Deemed Rehabilitation” is not applicable in instances of serious criminality.
  • If more than 5 years have passed since the retirement of all sentences, fines and probationary periods, you are eligible to apply for serious Criminal Rehabilitation
  • If less than 5 years have passed since the retirement of all sentences, fines and probationary periods, you are NOT eligible for serious Criminal Rehabilitation
  • Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) may be an option if you have a compelling reason to request access to Canada

The serious Criminal Rehabilitation application procedure is the same as non-serious. What distinguishes the two is the manner in which they are treated. Processing times for serious Criminal Rehabilitation are typically longer than those relating to non-serious criminality. The government processing fees are also higher.

To find out how your offences could affect your travel to Canada, contact us for a free and confidential consultation with a Canadian immigration lawyer.

Can I Travel to Canada with Criminal Record?

Any US citizen or US resident that has a criminal record may be denied entry to Canada because of criminal inadmissibility. After 9/11 the United States and Canada have been sharing an increasing amount of information in the name of security, and as of 2010, the FBI criminal database is synced with the Canadian RCMP crime database. This allows the Canada border to quickly and easily see if an individual has a US criminal record, and potentially refuse them entry if they do. If a person is inadmissible to Canada due to criminality, the only way he or she can visit Canada with a criminal record is by obtaining permission from the Canadian Government.

Permission for criminal entry is granted by a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit or TRP for short, which is the fastest method to gain admission but eventually expires, or through a process called Criminal Rehabilitation which takes significantly longer to obtain but is permanent. A Canada TRP enables a foreign national with a criminal history to cross the border into Canada for a limited amount of time and may be issued for a single entry or many entries over a period of time as long as three years. The Canada Criminal Rehabilitation program allows somebody with a criminal record to clean the slate and forever fix their inadmissibility, but is only available to individuals who have finished their full sentence (payment of all fines, completion of probation, etc.) more than five years prior. If it has been less than five years since you completed your full sentence, your only option for traveling to Canada with a criminal record may be a Temporary Resident Permit.

Entering Canada After Being Arrested

Many Americans with criminal records do not realize that entering Canada may be a problem, and consequently can be denied entry when crossing the Canadian border without a TRP or Criminal Rehab to overcome their inadmissibility. The onus is always on the traveler to be able to justify their admission into the country, so it is possible to be refused entrance even if a person was found not guilty of a crime. If the Canadian border sees an arrest on a visitor’s record, they may be denied admittance into the country unless they have documents proving that the result was «no conviction». For this reason, people who are awaiting trial for a crime that could render them inadmissible likely need a Temporary Resident Permit in order to visit Canada even though they have not yet been convicted. This also means that people who are enrolled in diversion, deferral, suspended sentence, or conditional discharge programs may be inadmissible to Canada until they fulfill the program’s obligations and receive documents proving a favorable outcome.

Under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), a sealed record can be equivalent to a criminal record. Consequently, sealing a criminal record will not necessarily make an American admissible to Canada again without a TRP or Rehabilitation. Canadian border crossing rules for criminals are rigorously enforced by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents and given today’s climate of heightened security worldwide, the chances of a visitor being flagged due to criminality are significant.

Drunk driving is the most common crime in America, and therefore a majority of the US residents that are turned away due to criminality while crossing the Canadian border are people with a DUI. Even a single DUI or DWI from years ago can render a person ineligible to go to Canada, and drinking and driving plead down to a reckless driving charge can also be the basis for an international denial of entry. Although our Canadian immigration lawyer works mostly with clients who need to overcome an impaired driving charge in order to go to Canada, we can assist Americans with criminal records for other types of convictions as well.

If you have a criminal record and wish to visit Canada for work or pleasure, phone our legal team now for a free extensive consultation!

Deemed Rehabilitated

In certain cases, if an individual only has a single misdemeanor on their record, ten years after they complete their full sentence they may be deemed rehabilitated by virtue of time and considered admissible to Canada once again. If a person has more than one misdemeanor or has a felony conviction on their criminal record, however, Deemed Rehabilitation may not apply to them, and they may never become admissible by the passage of time. This means that anyone with multiple misdemeanors or a single felony on their criminal record can be considered inadmissible to Canada even 30 or 40 years later unless they have been given special approval for entry. If the crime involved a weapon, any property damage, or was violent in nature, the individual may also never be eligible for Deemed Rehabilitation. Consequently, offenses such as assault and domestic violence do not qualify for Canadian Deemed Rehabilitation and can render a person inadmissible for life unless they get approved for Criminal Rehabilitation. As of December 18, 2020, a DUI is considered a serious crime in Canada. Consequently, Americans with an impaired driving offense will no longer be automatically allowed into Canada after ten years.

Crimes That Can Render a Person Inadmissible to Canada

Anyone arrested or convicted of any of the following crimes may be barred from entering Canada. Arson, accessory, aiding & abetting, animal cruelty, assault or battery, aggravated assault or battery, attempt, break and enter, bribery, burglary, child abandonment, child abuse, child pornography, computer crime, conspiracy, corporal injury to a spouse, credit card fraud, conspiracy, criminal contempt of court, cyber bullying, debit card fraud, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, domestic violence, drug possession, drug manufacturing and cultivation, drug distribution, drug trafficking, driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving with a suspended license, embezzlement, extortion, false imprisonment, forgery, fraud, harassment, hate crimes, hit & run, homicide, identity theft, illegal bookmaking, indecent exposure, insurance fraud, involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, larceny, leaving the scene of an accident, money laundering, murder (first degree & second degree), perjury, probation violation, prostitution, pyramid schemes, racketeering or RICO, rape, receipt of stolen goods, robbery, securities fraud, selling alcohol to a minor, sexual assault, shoplifting, solicitation, stalking, statutory rape, tax evasion, tax fraud, telemarketing fraud, theft, trespassing, vandalism, voluntary manslaughter, and wire fraud.

Drug possession of the following illegal drugs can also result in a person being denied entry to Canada: amphetamine, cocaine, flunitrazepam (rohypnol), GHB, heroin, ketamine, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), mescaline, methamphetamine (meth), opium, PCP, and psilocybin. Selling these drugs can also render a person ineligible for entry to Canada, along with other drugs such as anabolic steroids. A single arrest or conviction of marijuana possession will not necessarily cause a person to be excluded from Canada provided they had less 30 grams of weed on them. Prior to legalization in Canada, two or more charges of possession of marijuana (including civil violations in states where small amounts are decriminalized) could potentially cause a person to be non-admissible to Canada. Now that the country has legalized recreational cannabis, however, offenses for possession of more than 30g are the ones that typically cause the most trouble at the border. Possession of scheduled prescription drugs without a valid prescription can also lead to an American being stopped at the Canadian border due to their criminal record. This includes painkiller drugs such as Oxycodone (Oxy), Demerol, and Dilaudid, as well as ADHD drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine.

I Have a Criminal Record Can I Travel to Canada Urgently?

It is possible to quickly go to Canada with a criminal record, provided you successfully petition the government for an emergency TRP at the border. Canadian admissibility is determined by the appropriate legislative equivalent in Canada. If you commit an offense in a jurisdiction outside of Canada, such as in the United States of America, you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada and could be denied entry at the border. If you apply for a TRP at the border, however, you may be given special entrance permission provided your situation is truly an emergency. Advanced permission for crossing the Canadian border with a criminal record can be obtained through a Canadian Consulate.

Can You Go to Canada with a Criminal Record?

Many foreign nationals, particularly Americans, are shocked to learn that a single criminal offense as «minor» as driving drunk can render a person ineligible to visit the country. We receive many phone calls from individuals who unfortunately only began searching for information related to entering Canada with criminal record after they were denied at the border as opposed to before their trip. While it seems obvious to many why Canada would attempt to exclude foreigners with a history of violent or sexual crimes such as armed robbery, some people find it crazy that they do not allow US residents with a first-time DWI offense to visit unless they have permission. In Canada, impaired driving now has a maximum imprisonment of ten years, and such offenses can therefore be considered serious criminality.

Determining Admissibility

Travel restrictions can make visiting Canada difficult if you have a criminal record. If you have been charged with a crime in a foreign country, such as the United States, admissibility to Canada is determined by the Canadian law the foreign criminal offense equates to and nothing else. If the equivalent offense in Canada can be considered indictable, which is serious criminality similar to a felony in the US, the visitor may be found criminally inadmissible to the country and refused entrance. If the equivalent Canadian criminal offense is a summary offense, similar to an American misdemeanor, the visitor may be considered admissible and permitted entry into the country without requiring a TRP or Rehabilitation provided it was a single conviction or they have had a clean record for more than five years. Hybrid offenses in Canada, such as driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), can be both a misdemeanor or a felony and can consequently render a person excludable from the nation since the potential for it to be prosecuted as indictable is there. In some states, an expunged criminal record could equate to a non-conviction in Canada. Not all expungements are treated this way by Canadian authorities, however, so speaking to a Canadian lawyer about your unique situation is always advisable.

Criminal Record and Entry to Canada

Any criminal record, whether it is a shoplifting charge at Walmart or a possession of cocaine with intent to sell conviction, can cause a dilemma when traveling outside the United States of America. Since the Canadian border has abounding access to American criminal databases, it is very easy to be flagged when entering the country. For this reason, many Americans with felony or misdemeanor criminal records apply for Canada Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Rehabilitation with meticulous detail prior to a trip north. Getting a TRP is generally a more straightforward procedure when you are doing so preemptively rather than after being barred by immigration authorities.

Study permit whith a criminal record Канада

I have a criminal record from the UK. It was serious enough to have attracted a short prison sentence.

I’m ashamed of it, but nevertheless, there it is. As is the tragedy with many people who have just a single conviction, it had the desired effect and I became a much better person afterwards. Degree educated, family man, business owner etc.

I’ve seen much conflicting advice on whether or not this precludes my obtaining a ‘B’ permit.

I’ve seen some (seemingly official) opinions that if you’re within the old EU states (I am, Scotland) then a criminal record check is not necessary due to the Free Movement of Persons. thing.

I’ve seen some expats say it varies from canton to canton.

I’ve seen some say it’s a no go.

I love Switzerland, and would hate for my dream of living there to end because of something I did years ago. Can anyone point me at any official advice?

Hi Bob, welcome to the forum. Free movement for persons aka Schengen is more for tourism than long term residence. If you intend to stay more than three months you have to apply for a residence permit (not sure if you need it earlier if you come for a job search but I’m sure that has been covered before).

On the residence permit application form you’ll be asked if you have previous convictions. The authorities want to know if it was in Switzerland or abroad, in what year, and for what offense. So a criminal record while it may affect your chances to get a permit won’t cause instant refusal of the application. However if you don’t disclose the criminal record in a successful application, you might get fined 500 Fr. or worse if the authorities find out (sum taken from a court case here).

Can I study in Germany with a criminal record from the US [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

I am a Chinese national who has lived in the US for 15+ years. I have a drug-related criminal charge against me from the US but I left the country before my court date (my lawyer did not feel like it was worth it for me to stick around). This was my first time offence, and non-violent.

I’d like to study in Germany for a masters degree but I’m worried this legal obstacle will prevent me from getting a student visa. I understand that the application asks for «convictions». Since I was not convicted (I never went to court) is it super risky for me to say no and leave it at that? I know there is an element of risk involved but I’m also wondering if my Chinese passport will play a role here. Are the German authorities likely to look into my criminal history both in the US (as I’ve lived there for so long) as well as China (I am a Chinese citizen; FYI I have no record in China). Or is it better to simply be honest and tell the truth (in which case I’m worried I will be denied the visa anyways). Is it wise to simply pretend I’ve never been to the US (or have spent very limited time there) and show them a clean Chinese criminal record? How likely is it for Germany authorities to look at my criminal history? (I.e. do enough research that they find this unresolved case)

I’ve also heard of universities asking prospective students to interview for a position. If I apply for a visa to go for the interview will this case come up then as well?

Seeing as how I need to have an acceptance letter from a German university before I apply I’d like to be more informed about my options before I start prepping my university applications.

marked as duplicate by Martin Bonner supports Monica, Dipen Shah, Community ♦ May 15 at 2:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Travelling to Canada with a Criminal Record – Beware!

Interview with leading business immigration lawyer BJ Caruso

I f you are a foreign national with a criminal convictionlisten to this Podcast BEFORE travelling to Canada! In this Podcast I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the most respected Business Immigration Lawyers in Canada, Barbara Jo Caruso of Corporate Immigration Law Firm based in Toronto, Ontario. BJ shared with me some tremendous insight on the inner workings of the Canadian POEs and some recent changes at the Primary Inspection Line that every foreign national needs to be aware of.

As a prior Customs Officer working at the Canadian POE, BJ walks us through the inspection process and shares some fantastic insight on what people can expect when they are going through the Primary Inspection Line.

Our conversation focuses primarily on what is now happening to foreign nationals with prior criminal convictions or even a criminal charge that was resolved, who are seeking entry to Canada.

If you fit into this category, this Podcast will give you tips and strategies on how to minimize your risk if travelling to Canada.

Most important take-aways from my interview with BJ Caruso:

  1. Overview of Canadian Ports of Entry and how the inspection process really works!
  2. Insight into the make-up of the modern CBSA Officer.
  3. Primary Inspection Line Officers now have access to CPIC.
  4. How criminal inadmissibility to Canada is determined.
  5. How to overcome criminal inadmissibility
  6. Tips for safely navigating the Canadian Ports of Entry
  7. Pros and Cons of applying for access to the Trusted Traveller Programs (NEXUS etc.)

[Chief Mountain Port of Entry, Alberta/Montana Border]

[Tweet “Changes at the Canadian POEs that are catching travellers off guard“]

Additional Resources:

  • The best way to reach BJ Caruso:
  • CBC Investigates | Border security: hundreds detained in 1st month of new screening measures –
  • Annotated Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada:

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Canadian Immigration Podcast

Topics for our Next Podcast

What Immigration topic would you like me to discuss in future podcasts? Comment at the bottom of this podcast and I will cons >

Read the Transcript

You can read additional notes for this episode, [spoiler]

Canadian Immigration Podcast – Show notes

Season 1: Episode 14

Interview with Barbara Jo Caruso.

Barbara Jo Caruso is a founding partner of Corporate Immigration Law Firm, located in the heart of the Financial District in Toronto, Ontario.

BJ is a co-author of the Annotated Immigration & Refugee Protection Act, published by Carswell (“The Annotated IRPA”). The Annotated IRPA is a leading immigration textbook in Canada, and is used by Federal Court Judges, Canadian immigration officials at all levels including Canada Border Services Agency Officers, Immigration Officers, Appeal Board Members, Refugee Board members, lawyers and law students alike.

I can attest to the fact the Annotated IRPA was definitely used by government officers. My first copy was given to me by the hearings officers in Calgary when I was working as a Pro Bono Student (Slave) while attending law school.

BJ is Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. She is one of the most respected business immigration lawyers in the country and a tireless advocate for her clients and our profession. She is currently serving as Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Immigration Section and a mentor to many young aspiring immigration lawyers across the country… included.

We could easily spend the whole podcast episode discussing BJs numerous professional accomplishments; however, knowing BJ, she probably just wants me to stop with the introductions and get to the real reason she has come on the Canadian Immigration Podcast –

and that is to discuss some recent changes that have occurred at our Canadian ports of entry that are catching many foreign nationals off guard.

Lead in Question:

  1. BJ, can you take a minute to explain these recent changes at Canadian ports of entry and how they are impacting people seeking entry to Canada?

Issues to discuss:

  • Overview of Canadian POEs and insight into the make-up of Border Service Officers
  • 1800 cases flagged in the first month of operations where travellers were identified as having outstanding warrants against them.
  • Can impact any FN who has ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime inside and outside Canada.
  • CPIC information is not updated – onus on FN to satisfy officer they are not inadmissible
  • Failure to disclose prior criminality could lead to finding of misrep and 5 year bar
  • How to overcome inadmissibility – TRPs, Rehab & “deemed rehab”

Additional Questions:

  1. So what happens if I am an individual with a DUI who is travelling to Canada for business and I really don’t have time to prepare a TRP or Rehab application?
    1. What can I expect to happen if I decide to travel anyways and test my luck?

  2. Let’s say I’m a Global Mobility Manager who needs to send a highly specialized employee to Canada on short notice, but fortunately the employee tells me prior to travel that she had a prior criminal conviction. What should they do?
  1. Given what we now know about the increased powers of inspection granted to CBSA officers at the front lines, If there was one piece of advice you could give an individual who needs to travel to Canada, but may be criminally inadmissible, what would it be?
  2. If there are individuals or companies out there with employees facing issues with criminal inadmissibility and they want to get in contact with you for further information and assistance, what is the best way to reach you?

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If you want to listen to more episodes, you will find all the episodes here.

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9 thoughts on “ Travelling to Canada with a Criminal Record – Beware! ”

Alberta and British Columbia CBSA officials are least educated in immigration law. The traveler need to be patient with CBSA uncensored and nonsense questions. Please carry all relevant information in your case with you while traveling because CPIC database is obsolete.

Victor, it seems like you may have had some negative interaction with the CBSA officers. Would you care to share your experience with the CIP community? I also welcome any other comments people may have dealing with the CBSA. Maybe we need to have an Episode dedicated to the best and worst experiences people have had navigating our unpredictable Canadian ports of entry.

It all depends how educated CBSA officials and their knowledge in immigration law. British Columbia has the most racist, unethical and uneducated CBSA officials. I have seen no accountability, no integrity and no professionalism in their practice.
The best experience I had with Toronto airport CBSA officials, very polite and professional but you have to be patient dealing with them and it takes several hours of waiting and interrogation.

I am not sure that I agree with you. If you are dealing with criminal admissibility issues at the border, you need to understand just how complicated it is from the perspective of the Canadian officer. While their US counterparts only need to master the Canadian Criminal Code (one code for all provinces), the CBSA officers need to deal with the US’s quilt of different state, territorial, and federal criminal codes. Does a Wisconsin civil (first offender) DUI conviction equate with a Canadian drunk driving offense? Does New York’s certificate of rehabilitation equate with Canada’s record suspension?

No, border agents aren’t immigration lawyers, but they do a pretty good job. As a US immigration lawyer and someone who has crossed from the Atlantic (Lubec Maine/Campobello Island New Brunwick) to the Pacific (Point Roberts Washington/Tsawwassen British Columbia), my opinion is that by and large CBSA officers are generally nicer than their US counterpart. That said, getting politely returned (versus rudely returned) to your home country doesn’t really change things.

Carrying all your documents is certainly a good idea if you have had criminal exposure, but there are ways to have your border records updated to avoid many of these hassles by getting your issues notated in the CBSA system. If your underlying convictions were Canadian, you might also want to consider looking into a Record Suspension from the Parole Board of Canada.



One of the challenge I noticed, if CBSA officer is Punjabi or Caucasian then they deal with travelers differently. Foreign nationals need to embrace Canadian culture and behave ethically no matter what position they have in CBSA. Specially Punjabi origin CBSA officials treat travelers way differently then Caucasian counterparts.

Its all about ethics and how educated and trained CBSA officials now a days and its very questionable. Its all across departments, when workers collect salary from tax payer’s money there is no accountability and integrity because no incentives given whether you do your job good or bad. One good officer may be pulling all the weight of other incompetents.

Obviously there are good agents and there are bad agents. I would also imagine that Punjabi speaking agents would be routed to international airports rather than a rural crossing into Manitoba.

Again I am not a Canadian immigration attorney so my knowledge of their FOSS (Field Operation Support System) is limited, but when I get a US court order setting aside a criminal conviction, expunging a criminal record, or which would otherwise impact the status, I send them over to the Canadian border post, ask to speak to secondary inspections, and have them present certified copies of the document with my letter of explanation and simply ask them to update the FOSS records. This obviously works much better at a land port of entry than it does at an airport.

In the US, we have something called “deferred inspection” normally located at our international airports and you can get your I-94s updated to address issues of this nature. (Complicated cases go to a special CBP office in Virginia). Canadian “Inland Processing” is similar, but I can’t tell you if they can make the adjustment or not.

Lastly, if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, I would advice you to buy a copy of your records under the Access to Information Act. If you are not, have an immigration attorney or consultant obtain them for you. See what is on the records.

Thanks so much for the great insight. Much appreciated my friend.

Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility with a Temporary Res > June 26, 2013 by CIC News

If you wish to work in or visit Canada, a criminal conviction can pose a barrier to entering the country. In the past, many vacationers have been dismayed to learn that even a single minor conviction from years ago can render them ‘inadmissible’ to Canada on the basis of criminal concerns. Thankfully, steps can be taken to address problems of inadmissibility to Canada.

For many individuals with one or more criminal convictions, a popular way to come to Canada on a temporary basis is to apply for and receive a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). Last year, over 12,000 TRPs were issued to new temporary residents in Canada, including visitors, workers, and students.

What is a TRP?

A TRP is a government document that is issued to a foreign national for a set period of time. During that time period, it allows the holder to enter and reside in Canada temporarily despite their criminal record.

A TRP can be issued for any length of time up to three years, and it can be extended from within Canada. Individuals applying for Canadian Permanent Residency can apply for this document for a short-term stay, but must pursue an application for Criminal Rehabilitation in order to enter Canada permanently.

Who Needs a TRP?

Any individual who wishes to come to Canada temporarily and is considered inadmissible may be eligible for a TRP.

Individuals with both summary and indictable offenses (known as misdemeanors and felonies in the United States) may follow the same application procedure. Of course, individuals with multiple or serious offenses may need to present a stronger case for entering Canada than individuals with a single minor conviction.

Obtaining a TRP

The most common way to obtain a TRP is to apply through a Canadian Visa Office or Canadian Port of Entry. The core of the TRP application is to present an argument that an individual:

  1. Has a compelling reason to enter Canada, and
  2. Their reason to enter Canada outweighs possible risks to Canadians

There are a number of ways to achieve these two points, including:

  • Providing sources (employers, etc) who attest to an applicant’s good character
  • Explaining clearly the reason for entering, whether it be to see family, work, etc

A new rule instituted last year has allowed Canadian Border Services officials to waive the $200 application fee and issue a TRP at the border for individuals with one offense that did not result in jail time. This can be done on a one-time basis only, and helps travelers who arrive at the border unaware of their inadmissible status. Last year almost 2,300 TRPs were issued in this way.

“Individuals from the United States and other countries exempt from the requirement for Temporary Resident Visas have the option to arrive at the Canadian border without first securing a necessary TRP,” said Attorney David Cohen. “However, I caution individuals in need of a TRP to plan ahead if at all possible. The decision to admit you to Canada is at the discretion of the visa officer reviewing your file, and it would be unfortunate to travel all the way to the border only to be turned away.”

A criminal conviction is by no means the end of one’s plans to come to Canada. Like booking airfare or double-checking your passport, obtaining a TRP and/or other necessary documentation is simply another step to take in preparing for your time in the country.

For assistance in applying for a TRP, please contact Campbell Cohen today.

What is a Record of Employment (ROE)?

What is a Record of Employment (ROE)?

The Record of Employment (ROE) refers to a form that employers need to complete for employees. These employees will typically be receiving insurable earnings. When these employees stop working and experience an interruption of earnings, they will require their employees to provide a Record of Employment (ROE). This Record of Employment (ROE) could be paper-based or in electronic form.

It is worth mentioning that the Record of Employment (ROE) is the single most important document in the Employment Insurance (EI) program. Every year, over one million Canadian employers fill out more than nine million Record of Employment (ROE) forms for their employees.

Employers would need to complete the Record of Employment (ROE) even if the employee does not intend to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. On the Record of Employment (ROE), the employer would need to enter details about the employee’s work history with the employer’s organisation. This would also include specifying the insurable earnings and the insurable hours.

There are two Record of Employment (ROE) formats available at present. Therefore, employers can transmit the Record of Employment (ROE) to the authorities electronically. Alternatively, employers can complete paper Record of Employment (ROE) forms as well.

What is an Electronic Record of Employment (ROE)?

Employers typically submit an electronic Record of Employment (ROE) to Service Canada electronically. For this, the employers would need to:

Submit the Record of Employment (ROE) through the Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web) by using compatible payroll software for uploading the Record of Employment (ROE) from their payroll systems

Submit the Record of Employment (ROE) through the Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web) by manually entering the data online through the website of Service Canada or,

Submit the Record of Employment (ROE) through Secure Automated Transfer (SAT), which a payroll service provider will typically perform on the employer’s behalf via bulk transfer technology

There are two different kinds of electronic Records of Employment (ROEs). Employers can typically identify them based on their serial numbers. Their serial numbers will usually start with the following letters:

W – Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web)

S – Record of Employment Secure Automated Transfer (ROE SAT)

The Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web) is an efficient, reliable, secure, simple and easy-to-use way for issuing a Record of Employment (ROE) electronically. When they use the Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web), employers will be able to create, submit, print and edit Records of Employment (ROEs) with the help of the internet. It is worth mentioning that the Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web) gives employers the flexibility of issuing Records of Employment (ROEs) based on their pay cycles.

For more details on the Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web), employers would need to visit the website of Service Canada. Or, they would need to call the Employer Contact Centre at 1-800-367-5693 (TTY: 1-855-881-9874).

What is a Paper Record of Employment (ROE)?

The paper Record of Employment (ROE) is a one-page form in triplicate. This means that there are three copies of the Record of Employment (ROE). As such, the first one is the original, with the second and third being carbon copies.

On completing the paper Record of Employment (ROE), employers would need to distribute the three copies of the paper Record of Employment (ROE) by:

Giving the first copy (i.e. the original) to the employee as proof of insurable earnings for claiming Employment Insurance (EI) benefits

Sending the second copy (i.e. the blue copy) to Service Canada as specified on the form and,

Retaining the third copy (i.e. the white copy) in their files for six years

It is worth mentioning that there are different kinds of paper Records of Employment (ROEs). Therefore, people would need to identify each kind based on its serial numbers. The serial numbers of these Records of Employment (ROEs) will usually start with the following letters:

A – English or French

It is worth highlighting that the authorities have distributed all Records of Employment (ROEs) in this series

Therefore, employers can no longer order these series

However, Records of Employment (ROEs) with these series are still valid

It is worth highlighting that people no longer use this format

This is because the authorities have replaced this format with the Record of Employment on the Web (ROE Web) and,

Z – The Record of Employment (ROE) for fishers

The instructions for completing this version of the Record of Employment (ROE) are different from other Records of Employment (ROEs)

  • For details, the readers would need to go through the webpage titled ‘How to Complete the Record of Employment (ROE) Form for Self-Employed Fishers’ given on the website of Service Canada
  • Flying to Canada with a criminal record

    The NBAA has posted useful updated information on flying to Canada with previous convictions, which may affect your passengers, or crew. Canada is known for refusing entry to the country if you have a DUI charge on your record.

    Here are the highlights:

    If denied admission because of a DUI, a traveler’s options depend on the time elapsed from the completion of the sentence or probation period, not the arrest date.

    • If it has been 10 years or more, you’re automatically deemed rehabilitated, and the border agent welcomes you to Canada.
    • Between 5 and 10 years from the completion of a sentence or probation, travellers can apply for “criminal rehabilitation,” which documents that someone is “no longer a public safety threat in Canada and costs up to $1,000, said Healy.
    • For those whose sentence or probation ended less than 5 years ago, Canadian border officials can offer a one-time free temporary resident permit. The permit, which costs $200, is good for up to a year, and you can enter and leave Canada as needed during the approved period. A traveler can apply for a permit at a consulate or at the border, but a traveler’s ability to use this option at the border is at the discretion of the border official involved.

    Also, from tomorrow, November 10, 2020 – most people will need an eTA to enter Canada. More on that here.

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