Protecting Yourself against Criminal Inadmissibility


The Calgary Stampeders defensive back Quincy Butler has left the CFL team for the season because he is an American who is now ineligible to work in Canada.

Butler was involved with an assault outside of the Cowboys nightclub on May 15th of this year, and he received news in early October that his guilty plea to a charge of assault causing bodily harm makes his work in Canada disallowed. He was suspended by the CFL on June 1st, to be reinstated only for the first three games of the season. 

This case is a reminder to note that inadmissibility to Canada can arise from several previous criminal convictions, and the circumstances of inadmissibility (for example, the subject is a professional athlete) do not change the rules. Criminal inadmissibility can arise from violent and non-violent offences alike, such as underage drinking, driving without insurance, and writing a bad cheque. A helpful infographic can be found here.

If you or someone you know is interested in coming to Canada to work, go to school or to get involved with a professional sports team, ensure that criminal inadmissibility is not a potential barrier to entry. Should criminal inadmissibility arise, there are two main ways to gain access to Canada despite a previous criminal history:

Temporary Resident Permit allows an individual to overcome their inadmissibility to Canada for a specified reason and for a specified period of time. As long as the         individual can demonstrate that there is a significant reason they must enter Canada, a TRP will help them gain temporary entry to Canada. 

Criminal Rehabilitation is a more permanent solution to criminal inadmissibility. The individual requests absolution from the Government of Canada for the particular crime committed in a foreign country that is barring entry. Once an individual is deemed “criminally rehabilitated,” they have a “clean slate” in the eyes of the Canadian Government and they may enter Canada whenever they like. It is important to note that if more than 10 years have passed since the completion of a sentence, the individual may be deemed rehabilitated.  

Do not let criminal inadmissibility affect your chance to work, study or play in Canada. If you think you may be criminally inadmissible and would like a professional opinion, contact the attorneys at FWCanada.

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.

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