Crime and Punishment
François de La Rochefoucauld once said: “Our repentance is not so much for the harm we have done, but for the fear of its consequences“.
Canadian immigration law states that a person who does not have Canadian citizenship may be denied admission to Canada or may face deportation from Canada if the person has committed a crime (inside or outside Canada), classified as a serious violation of the law under the Canadian Criminal Code. This provision applies to both permanent residents and guests of Canada, foreign students, temporary workers, refugees, etc.
In order to remove the inadmissibility, an individual with criminal background must undergo a rehabilitation procedure (if a crime was committed outside Canada) or a pardon (if a crime was committed in Canada).
The presence of a criminal offense record in an applicant’s personal history may affect his process of obtaining a permanent resident status in Canada. At best, the immigration process will be slowed down due to extra criminal checks. In more serious cases, not only the candidate himself, but also members of his family, are threatened with non-admission or expulsion from the country. Moreover, if a candidate’s criminal past was somehow hidden when receiving permanent status, then at any given time, even after living in Canada for many years, this person may lose his status (including citizen status) if it turns out that during the immigration process there was a hiding of information.
So, what kinds of crimes will not allow you to get admission to Canada, whether you are a tourist, student, worker or permanent resident in the country of the maple leaf?
First of all, these are crimes for which the term of punishment is defined by the Canadian Criminal Code of 10 years or more (even if in the country where this crime was committed, the term of punishment for this crime is less than 10 years). It should be emphasized that driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol) under Canadian law is a serious crime, and people with such a record in their personal history are not allowed in our country. Canada also adds to the list of inadmissible individuals those who were involved in organized crime, terrorist groups, money laundering, and other illegal activities.
Canadian Criminal Code defines three types of violations of the law:
1. Indictable offenses are serious criminal offenses involving a long sentence.
2. Summary offenses are less serious crimes involving a sentence of less than two years.
3. Hybrid offenses are crimes of the mixed type, which can be prosecuted both in summary order and on the indictment.
Current trends are such that mixed-type crimes are considered by the immigration authorities as serious criminal offenses, even if they were considered by law as summary or minor crimes in the country of origin. The general trend is to tighten the law and, thus, the rehabilitation process becomes more complicated.
We will be able to take a closer look at the procedures of rehabilitation and pardon in the following publications.
All the best!
Emily and IMMIGRATION PROJECT