Denied Entry to Canada: Your Options to Become Eligible
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) outlines the reasons why certain people would be denied entry to Canada or denied a visa. These people are known as “inadmissible”. This is decided when you apply to visit Canada or at a port of entry.
Some of the reasons you could be denied entry to Canada include issues of:
- security (espionage, subversion, terrorism)
- human or international rights violations (war crimes, crimes against humanity)
- criminality (organized crime, conviction of certain minor or serious crimes)
- health (if the condition can affect public health or safety, or cause excessive demands on services)
- misrepresentation (false information or withholding information)
- having a family member that is inadmissible
If you have been denied entry to Canada, there are options for becoming admissible.
Temporary Resident Permit
If you have been denied entry to Canada, it would still be possible to enter Canada if you have a compelling reason that is considered more important than the health or safety risk to Canadian society. You would apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, at a cost of $200 CAD which is non-refundable, whether the permit is accepted or not. A follow-up interview with an officer might be necessary.
The permit would typically last for a short amount of time, at which point you would have to apply for a new permit or leave Canada.
Overcoming criminal inadmissibility
It may still be possible to enter Canada if you have committed a crime. The type of crime, the amount of time since the sentence was completed, and your current behavior are all factors that are taken into consideration.
If you satisfy the requirements, you could be deemed rehabilitated, essentially absolving you of the crime. You’d fill out an application, and send it to a Canadian visa office to assess the details. You would describe the nature of your crime(s), and the reasons why you think you are rehabilitated and why it will stay that way. It is advised to take this initial step, instead of waiting to see if you qualify when you arrive at a port of entry, where you would have to satisfy an immigration officer. If you are a U.S. resident, this is your only option.
If you are unable to get deemed rehabilitated, the alternative is to apply for individual rehabilitation. This involves submitting an application to the Canadian visa office to determine if you lead a stable lifestyle and that you would not likely commit any further crimes.
Pardon or discharge:
It would be possible to enter Canada if you receive a pardon for your conviction. You can apply for a Canadian Pardon through the National Parole Board for a conviction for a crime committed in Canada. If the conviction took place outside of Canada, and you have received a pardon, confirm with a CIC office if the pardon is considered valid in Canada.
Canada makes an effort to allow for foreign nationals to visit the country, while maintaining a secure border. As a result, many requirements are in place to ensure that Canada is safe. It may be difficult to know for sure if you would be eligible to visit Canada based on your complicated background. Enlisting the help of a Canadian immigration lawyer can help clear up your concerns.
Don’t let being denied entry to Canada stop you from visiting the country; you could potentially still make it happen!