Oct 9, 2018 – Criminal inadmissibility rules have seen Canada Border Services Agency officials turn away nearly 270,000 people over a decade, new figures show.
Candidates can be deemed inadmissible to Canada for involvement in both individual and organized crime.
Criminal inadmissibility rules include offences both inside and outside Canada.
Foreign nationals convicted of a crime in Canada can be deemed inadmissible if:
- They are convicted of a crime that could give rise to a jail sentence of at least ten years.
- They have been convicted of a crime that could give rise to a jail sentence of at least six months.
- They have been convicted of a crime that is punishable by way of indictment.
- They have been convicted of two distinct crimes that arose from two distinct events.
Foreign nationals convicted of a crime outside Canada can be deemed inadmissible if:
- There are reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed a crime that, if committed in Canada, could be punished with a jail term of at least ten years.
- There are reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed a crime that, if committed in Canada, could be punished by indictment.
- There are reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed two or more distinct crimes arising from two or more distinct events. These crimes must be equivalent to crimes under Canadian law.
The Canada Border Services Agency rejected nearly 270,000 criminals and terrorists between 2007 and 2016.
Those rejected tried to enter Canada through multiple channels, including as new permanent residents, on work permits, on study permits, as visitors and as refugees.
Figures show a steady decline in numbers, with less than 6,500 deported in 2016, compared with more than 9,000 in 2008.
The reason or the decline is unknown, although some put it down to pre-screening done through the Electronic Travel Authorization, as well as the introduction of visa restrictions.
Those turned away include nearly 64,000 Americans and more than 22,000 Mexicans as the two main nationality groups.
On June 21, 2018, Canada implemented important changes to its Criminal Code, in relation to impaired driving offences. The new rules which take effect in December 2018, re-classifies this offence to one of serious criminality by increasing maximum imprisonment to 10 years from five years.
Is It Possible to Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility to Canada?
If an inadmissible person’s entry into Canada is deemed to be “justified in the circumstances”, they will be granted a Temporary Resident Permit and be allowed to enter Canada for a limited time.
A TRP will have a validity period of between one day and three years depending on the specific circumstances of the person applying for the TRP.
A person can overcome an inadmissibility finding via rehabilitation. Attaining rehabilitation usually depends on:
- The type of crime that was committed
- How long it has been since the crime was committed
- The way that a person has behaved since committing the crime.
There are two main kinds of rehabilitation: Deemed Rehabilitation and Individual Rehabilitation.
1) Deemed Rehabilitation
A person can be deemed to be rehabilitated if enough time has passed since he or she has committed a crime. In order to be deemed rehabilitated, a person must have committed a crime that comes with a jail term of less than ten years or less than five years depending on the crime. Being deemed rehabilitated does not involve an application process. It merely involves showing a Canadian official that enough time has passed since you last committed a crime. For more on Deemed Rehabilitation, click here.
2) Individual Rehabilitation
As opposed to deemed rehabilitation, which is concerned with how much time has passed since a crime was committed, individual rehabilitation involves an assessment of whether a person is likely to commit new crimes. Individual rehabilitation also involves a formal application process. In order to apply for individual rehabilitation, individuals must be able to show:
- That they meet the relevant criteria
- That they have been rehabilitated
- That they are unlikely to take part in future crimes.
- That, at least five years have passed since the end of their criminal sentence, including probation.
- That, at least five years have passed since they committed the original crime.
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