If an individual has a criminal record with only one summary offence, that individual will be admissible and is able to travel to Canada freely. Regardless of how the offense is classified in the region where the person was convicted, if it is considered to be a summary offense in Canada, inadmissibility will not be an issue. In cases where two or more offences were committed that would constitute a summary offense under Canadian law, that individual then becomes inadmissible to Canada.
Examples of offences that constitute a summary offense in Canada include trespassing at night, disorderly conduct, and contempt of court.
If a person has two or more summary convictions and is inadmissible to Canada, there are options that could allow that person to enter Canada.
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
Temporary Resident Permits are permits that would allow inadmissible foreign nationals to overcome their inadmissibility temporarily in order to gain entry into Canada for a set period of time. A specific reason for the necessity of travel to Canada must be demonstrated and approved by the CIC, most reasons revolve around work and specific events (including family and leisure events).
If an individual was convicted of more than one summary offence and is criminally inadmissible, and if 5 years have passed since the completion of the entire sentence for all charges, the individual may have been Deemed Rehabilitated. In cases where an individual has been deemed rehabilitated, they become admissible to Canada and do not need to apply for any permits to enter the country. It is recommended that individuals who have been deemed rehabilitated present a legal opinion letter to immigration officials upon their entry to Canada confirming their admissibility.
For more information on entering Canada with prior summary convictions or for any questions related to Canadian immigration, fill out this Free Online Assessment Form.