Will my criminal record keep me out of Canada?

Unfortunately, it is a very good possibility that your criminal record will keep you out of Canada. Most American citizens just need a valid passport to visit Canada for whatever reason, but Canada is very particular about who is allowed into Canada. Criminal records, especially those that have anything to do with driving under the influence of alcohol or drug possession will almost certainly result in your being denied entry to Canada

This can be extremely upsetting and unfortunate, especially if you had plans to visit family in Canada.

What can I do if I am denied entry to Canada?

If you are denied entry to Canada or have concern that you will be denied entry, you should speak to a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as possible. We can assist you in determining your best option for entering Canada. It is not impossible to enter Canada while having a criminal record, but it is difficult.

You may be able to apply for a temporary resident permit to enter Canada with a criminal record. This visa will allow you to come to Canada for a short period of time, although it is not a guarantee that you will be admitted into Canada. On a temporary resident permit, you are considered a visitor to Canada. People who are from countries that aren’t on the visa-exempt list (the United States is visa-exempt) also have to apply for one if they want to visit Canada.

Because Canada is very strict about even minor criminal offences, you will need to provide Canadian immigration authorities with a lot of information about yourself and your travels to Canada to be considered for approval.

What is required for a temporary resident permit?

Information on your reasons for visiting Canada, your past travels to Canada, your personal finances and your home situation in the United States are all things that will be considered when you apply. Primarily, you must prove that you will return home to the United States when or before your temporary resident permit expires.

You may apply for a temporary resident permit at the border, but this can be considered risky because you could risk being denied at the border. However, if you are approved, it is essentially instantaneous.

Another option is applying for a temporary resident permit at the Canadian embassy. This method takes a few months to process, so it is very important that you act as quickly as possible if you know you must travel to Canada.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.