If you have been convicted of a crime and a certain amount of time has passed since you completed your sentence, then you can apply to be considered rehabilitated.
If an officer determines that you have successfully rehabilitated, then you will no longer be inadmissible to Canada for that conviction(s).
You must be determined criminally rehabilitated if you are going to apply for any type of status in Canada, including sponsorship, permanent residence, work permit, study permit, visitor visa, etc.
If necessary, you can apply for both a TRP and Criminal Rehabilitation at the same time.
Criminal Rehabilitation Eligibility
Once 5 years have passed since the completion of your sentence, you can apply for criminal rehabilitation for any crime.
The officer who reviews your application will consider:
- How many convictions you have
- The circumstances leading to the convictions
- Have you been in trouble since the convictions?
- Have you accepted responsibility for the convictions?
- Do you meet the other requirements for entry to Canada?
- Do you have a valid reason for wishing to enter Canada?
Officers consider many components when making a decision on a criminal rehabilitation application. This list is not comprehensive and does not contain all factors.
For certain types of less serious convictions, officers can deem you rehabilitated due to the amount of time which has passed since your sentence was completed.
Whether you can be deemed rehabilitated depends on several factors:
- What crime was committed
- How serious the crime was
- How much time has passed since the sentence was completed
- 10 years for one indictable offence
- 5 years for two or more summary convictions
A request to be deemed rehabilitated can be processed at the Canadian border almost exclusively for American citizens. There are very limited circumstances to allow another nationality to apply at the border.
Certain circumstances will automatically disqualify someone from being deemed rehabilitated. These include:
- The crime you committed is a serious crime in Canada
- The crime you committed involved
- Physical harm to a person
- Any type of weapon
- Serious property damate
If you are not eligible to be deemed rehabilitated, then you can apply for individual rehabilitation as described above.
What’s the Difference Between Serious Criminality and Criminality?
When determining whether someone should be considered rehabilitated for a crime they have committed, one of the biggest factors considered is whether the crime is considered serious.
In Canada, a serious crime is any crime which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years or more in prison.
This includes crimes with a maximum sentence of:
- 10 years imprisonment
- 20 years imprisonment
- Life imprisonment
What’s the Difference Between Indictable and Summary Offences?
In Canada, an indictable offence is considered more serious and carries mandatory prison time. This is roughly equivalent to a felony in the United States.
In Canada, a summary offence is considered less serious and does not carry mandatory prison time. This is roughly equivalent to a misdemeanor in the United States.
Canadian Pardon for Crimes Committed in Canada
If you were convicted of a crime inside Canada, you need to apply for a Record Suspension (pardon) instead of criminal rehabilitation. Without a pardon issued by the parole board of Canada, you will remain inadmissible to Canada and unable to be granted any type of status in Canada.