Canada lifts COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all travelers with criminal records

Removing the vaccine mandate makes it easier for all travelers to enter Canada, but there will still be steps to take for those with criminal records.

As of October 1, Canada has lifted all COVID-19 related travel restrictions, meaning unvaccinated travelers are no longer allowed to enter Canada from abroad without requiring any tests or completing a quarantine. will be allowed.

While this opens some doors for some, there are travelers who may not be acceptable to Canada because of their criminal record. A criminal record in any country, including the United States, can affect your ability to enter Canada, even if it has been several years since you were convicted.

However, in some circumstances it may be possible for recorded convicts to enter Canada if they are able to obtain a temporary resident permit or can demonstrate that they have completed the criminal rehabilitation process.

What makes a person unacceptable to Canada?

There are several felony convictions that can make a person unacceptable to Canada. Some of the most common offenses include reckless driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fraud, assault and drug offenses.

Any of these, even if they are considered a minor, may be enough to prevent you from being admitted to Canada, even if it happened a long time ago. However, those who are currently serving a sentence or have recently completed a sentence are less likely to be admitted to Canada.

temporary resident permit

If you need to enter Canada for a specific period of time, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). A TRP gives you legal entry into Canada for a specific period of time provided you have a valid reason for your visit. TRP can be invoked at any point, regardless of how long ago you completed your sentence or even if you are still serving part of your sentence.

It should be noted that the chances of getting a TRP decrease with the seriousness of the offense committed, how recently you completed your sentence or if it is still in progress.

how to apply?

There are two options for those applying for TRP. In both cases, you will need to submit supporting documents that explain why you are inadmissible to Canada as well as your reason for coming to Canada. All applications will be reviewed by an official who will evaluate the risks and benefits of allowing you to enter the country based on your previous conviction.

If you are approved, a TRP is only valid for the time you plan to live in Canada, and you will need a new one each time you enter the country.

Once you or your attorney has gathered all the required documents, you will need to send your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for approval.

Apply through a Consulate

If you have time to plan your trip in advance, US citizens can submit their TRP application to the Canadian consulate. Processing times vary but will grant you entry into Canada and ensure that you spend less time at your port of entry.

Apply at port of entry

It is possible to obtain a TRP upon arrival at a port of entry into Canada such as an airport or land boarder, but there is no guarantee that a Canadian immigration officer will allow you to enter the country. The final decision rests with the officer on duty and should evaluate if your travel is reasonable against the health and safety of the Canadian people. There is still a chance that you may be denied entry into Canada.

If you are denied entry, you will not be allowed to enter Canada until you have received approval from the Canadian consulate.

criminal rehabilitation

If you have been unable to enter Canada in the past and more than five years have passed since the end of your sentence, you may be eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation.

A person is considered to be rehabilitated if they can prove that they are living a stable lifestyle, at least five years have elapsed since the end of their sentence, and they are unlikely to engage in further criminal activity. Is.

The way you calculate five years may vary depending on the type of sentence you are given.

  • Suspended sentence: Count five (5) years from the date of sentencing.
  • Suspended sentence with fine: Count five (5) years from the date of payment of fine. In case of different payment dates, the rehabilitation period starts from the date of last payment.
  • Imprisonment without parole: Count five (5) years from the end of the term of imprisonment.
  • Imprisonment and Parole: Count five (5) years from the completion of parole.
  • Probation: Probation is part of the sentence. five (5) years from the end of the probationary period calculate the year.
  • Driving Prohibition: Count five (5) years from the expiration date of the prohibition. You have been banned from driving by a criminal court.

legal opinion letter

This letter has been prepared by a Canadian attorney and uses sections of Canadian law to provide the Canadian border authorities with a legal basis as to why they should allow you to enter the country.

The type of conviction makes a difference

Ultimately, the most important factor in deciding whether a person is rehabilitated is to establish what would have happened if you had committed the same crime within Canada. For example, the IRCC of Canada distinguishes between a sentence resulting in a sentence of less than 10 years and a sentence of more than 10 years under the Canadian Criminal Code. Anything over 10 years is considered serious criminality and can have a negative impact on your chances of being rehabilitated.

While the process can be lengthy and involves fees, if you are considered rehabilitated, you will not need to redo the process each time you enter Canada.

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