Foreign nationals attempting to enter Canada with a prior conviction for false pretences often do not realize that they may be criminally inadmissible and unable to enter the country.
Criminal inadmissibility to Canada is dependent on the crime the person was convicted of, the number of convictions, and the amount that has passed since the completion of the entire sentence. In the case of a false pretence charges, under Canadian law, the offense is considered to be a hybrid offense. In determining inadmissibility, all hybrid offenses are treated as indictable offenses, which means false pretence convictions render individuals criminally inadmissible to Canada.
If the sentence imposed for the crime was completed in full over 10 years before the attempt to enter Canada, there is a chance that the individual has been Deemed Rehabilitated, which would lift their inadmissibility and allow for free travel to Canada. Deemed rehabilitation is only an option in cases where the person only has one conviction, and if that one conviction was for a non-serious offense. Even though someone’s criminal inadmissibility is lifted in cases where a person was deemed rehabilitated, there is still a chance that the person could run into problems at the border, so FWCanada recommends the presentation of a legal opinion letter explaining the case and the reason why the person is no longer inadmissible..
For individuals with a false pretence conviction who are criminally inadmissible to Canada, and where less than 10 years have passed since the completion of their sentence, there are still options that could help them enter Canada.
If more than 5 years have passed since the sentence for the false pretences charge was completed, Criminal Rehabilitation is an option that would permanently remove a person’s criminally inadmissible status. For offenders with multiple convictions or a conviction that constitutes a serious offense under Canadian law, deemed rehabilitation due to the passage of time does not apply and applying for Criminal Rehabilitation is necessary if they want to enter Canada.
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
While a Criminal Rehabilitation application is used to permanently resolve inadmissible status, in cases where the required 5 years have not passed since the sentence has been completed, Temporary Resident Permits are another option that can allow for criminal inadmissibility to be overcome. A TRP for entry into Canada can be granted to an individual if they have a specific reason for their need to enter Canada. The individual will need to explain in detail on the application the reason why they need to travel to Canada, and common explanations tend to revolve around family, work, or emergency situations.
A TRP can also be applied for in cases where more than 5 years have passed since the completion of the sentence. TRPs are often applied for in conjunction with a Criminal Rehabilitation application, as Criminal Rehabilitation applications have a longer processing time and a TRP can allow entry into Canada if the rehabilitation application is awaiting processing with the Government of Canada.
To find out if you are inadmissible to Canada due to a past false pretences conviction or for other questions about admissibility or immigration, fill out this Assessment Form here.