Unfortunately for concert goers, recording artist Chris Brown’s concerts in Montreal and Toronto were cancelled this week due to “immigration issues.”
Brown was forced to cancel the concerts as a result of his criminal inadmissiblity. According to Canadian immigration law, any person that has committed an act outside Canada that would be considered a crime in Canada is inadmissible to enter the country.
In 2009, after an incident with fellow performing artist Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, Brown was charged with and later pleaded guilty to, felony assault. He was given five years probation along with 180 days of community service. In early 2014, he had his probation reinstated and given 1,000 hours of community service after taking part in a hit-and-run accident. Later that year, after violating the terms of his probation by assaulting a stranger in Washington, D.C., Brown was sentenced to 108 days in a Los Angeles County jail.
Brown’s new concert tour, set to start in early February, was postponed due to the judge revoking his probation from unplanned travel and failing to complete the community labor within the time limit. Hours before he was set to take the stage at the Bell Center in Montreal, and a day before the Air Canada Center in Toronto, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) denied Chris Brown entry to Canada due to criminal inadmissibility.
In a tweet to 14 million followers, Chris Brown said, “Unfortunately I will not be able to perform in front of sold out crowds in Montreal and Toronto.” Another tweet read, “The good people of the Canadian government wouldn’t allow me entry. I’ll be back this summer and will hopefully see all my Canadian fans.” Both tweets, however, have since been deleted.
This is not the first time Brown has had difficulty crossing the border. Reportedly, he cancelled a performance in Toronto last year over similar concerns of inadmissibility. Furthermore, Brown was denied entry into the United Kingdom in 2010 due to a “serious criminal offence,” and was forced to cancel his European tour. According to his representative Nicole Perna, Chris Brown will reapply to enter Canada at a later date.
A person can be criminally inadmissible to Canada for a number of reasons. The most common reasons is a past conviction of or offense committed an act that would be considered a crime in Canada. Other reasons include being a security risk, individuals with serious health or financial problems, or others who do not meet Canadian immigration law conditions.
In order to overcome inadmissibility, individuals can take various steps to gain entry, with the most common being an application for a Temporary Resident Permit. Chris Brown will likely be forced to explore Temporary Resident Permit and eventually Criminal Rehabilitation process in order to gain entry to Canada for any future concerts.
For more information on Criminal Inadmissibility in Canada and how to overcome it, see FWCanada’s Criminality & Admissibility page.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.