Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that on December 1st, 2023, application fees for foreign nationals applying to regain their status or return to Canada after being inadmissible will be increased.
The increase applies to the following applications:
The application fees are being adjusted for inflation in accordance with the Service Fees Act (SFA). These fees have been adjusted to account for inflation since 2018, and will continue to be adjusted annually for inflation every December 1st.
As part of the SFA, partial refunds are issued to clients when service standards are not met. These partial refunds, known as remissions, will be issued to applicants if IRCC receives their application on or after December 1st, 2023. The remission will typically be issued by July 1st of the following fiscal year.
How to overcome inadmissibility
Canada’s admissibility requirements ensure that a foreign national meet certain requirements before they are allowed to enter the country, which include passing a criminal background check. IRCC and Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) secure the borders from anyone who may pose a risk to the country and so they may deny entry to a foreign national who is likely to commit a crime during their stay in Canada.
If you are a foreign national and have been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense, you may be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada. However, there are three main ways to overcome inadmissibility to Canada:
- A Temporary Resident Permit application
- A Criminal Rehabilitation application
- A Legal Opinion letter
A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) grants temporary access to Canada for a certain period of time. A TRP is used in situations where a traveler has a valid reason for entering into Canada and the benefits of their entry outweigh any risks to Canadian society.
A TRP application can be granted for up to three years, depending on the reason of entry to Canada. A person can apply for a TRP anytime and it does not require the applicant to have completed their criminal sentence.
A foreign national may also submit a criminal rehabilitation application. This application permanently clears past criminal history for the purposes of entering Canada. The criminal rehabilitation application is a one-time solution and does not require renewal. Upon receiving approval for criminal rehabilitation, a person will no longer be considered inadmissible and would not need a TRP for entry into Canada.
In order be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, you must meet the following criteria:
- Must have committed an act outside of Canada that would be equivalent to an offence under the Canadian Criminal Code,
- Must have been convicted of or admitted to committing the act, and
- Five years must have passed since the sentence has been completed. This includes jail time, fines, community service or probation.
Finally, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you can pre-emptively avoid being found inadmissible to Canada by submitting a legal opinion letter addressed to the judicial authority hearing your case.
A legal opinion letter is drafted by a Canadian immigration lawyer and explains the consequences of a conviction for the Canadian immigration purposes. It cites relevant sections of Canadian law to help the official determine the charges and how different outcomes (conviction, sentencing, etc.) would affect the ability to come to Canada.