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Criminal Record and Rehabilitation

One of the most complex areas of Canadian Immigration is Criminal Rehabilitation. We offer a confidential and in-depth service and representation to overcome many scenarios.

In many cases a criminal record could preclude you from both visiting Canada and applying for any type of Visa or Permit. It is estimated that between 25-30% of the UK adult population have some form of Police record or conviction.

Canada has set procedures and laws to overcome many instances of Foreign (and Canadian) criminal convictions depending on factors such as the type of conviction, when it happened, the length of the sentence and if an applicant has other convictions.

In many cases, with the right application and we can overcome previous criminal convictions and make you admissible to Canada.

What is inadmissibility, rehabilitation and deemed rehabilitated?

Inadmissibility covers various areas that may preclude you and your family from entering Canada. These include criminal offences/ convictions, misrepresentation, security or health.

Rehabilitation is a term used in Canadian Immigration covering procedures and laws that allow a person with criminal convictions to overcome these through a Rehabilitation application, Deemed Rehabilitation, or special dispensation (Temporary Residency Permit).

Deemed rehabilitation means that enough time has passed since you were convicted that your crime may no longer bar you from entering Canada.

You may be deemed rehabilitated depending on the crime, if enough time has passed since you finished serving the sentence for the crime and if you have not committed more than one crime. In all cases, you may only be deemed rehabilitated if the crime committed outside Canada has a maximum prison term of less than 10 years if committed in Canada.

Canadian Immigration rehabilitation should not be confused with Rehabilitation under laws from your home country.


How are offences/ convictions judged for Canadian Immigration applications?

Any offence of conviction will always be judged against the equivalent offence/ conviction in Canada.

Canada has two types of convictions, Indictable (more serious) and Summary (less serious); many offences can be prosecuted either way dependent of the actual offence – these are called Hybrid offences. For Canadian Immigration purposes, if an offence can be prosecuted either way (Theft for example), Canadian Immigration will always view these as Indicatable Offences/ Convictions.


How will a criminal conviction affect an application?

This very much depends on when the offences have taken place, how many convictions you have and the seriousness of the convictions.

Offence/ ConvictionYou can Apply for RehabilitationDeemed rehabilitated
One Summary N/A – You are not inadmissibleN/A – you are not inadmissible
Two or more SummaryN/A5 Years after the end of sentence of the last conviction.
One Indicatable


If committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years or less


5 Years after end of sentence10 Years after the end of the sentence.
One Indicatable


If committed in Canada, would be punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than 10 years


5 Years after the end of a sentenceN/A
More than one offence, one or more being indictable 5 Years after the end of the sentence for the last offenceN/A


Applying separately or in conjunction with another Visa/ Permit submission.

An application for rehabilitation can be made separately or in conjunction with an additional application (PR/ Work or Study Permit). Applications will be applied for in different ways dependent on what Visa/ Permit or separate Rehabilitation application is made.


What we can do?

We will provide both a Roadmap to Rehabilitation, detailed analysis of your options and often a route to being found admissible to Canada, either through an application for Rehabilitation or often the correct legal argument made in conjunction with an application to travel or to apply for a Visa/ Permit to Canada.


Temporary Residency Permits

If you are otherwise inadmissible but have a reason to travel to Canada that is justified in the circumstances, you may be issued a temporary resident permit.

To be eligible for a temporary resident permit, your need to enter or stay in Canada must outweigh the health or safety risks to Canadian society, as determined by an immigration or a border services officer. Even if the reason you are inadmissible seems minor, you must demonstrate that your visit is justified.

There is no guarantee that you will be issued a temporary resident permit. If you would like to receive a permit, you will have to pay a processing fee, which is not refundable.

A permit is usually issued for the length of your visit to Canada—for example, one week to attend a conference. You must leave Canada by the expiry date of the permit or get a new permit before your current one expires.


UK Cautions

We specialise in applications for clients who have UK cautions, as a simple Caution may result in a refusal of a Visa/ Permit or application for an eTA (Travel authorisation).

We can cover basic principles via a consultation, provide relevant legislation and Immigration documentation for many applications; we also represent clients for rehabilitation applications involving UK cautions.

Call to arrange - UK consultation

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Call to arrange - Consultation in Belfast

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Call to arrange - Skype

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Call to arrange - Custom consultation

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