Canada is a country that accepts and gives rights to religion, culture, language, and freedom of choice. It is a country that provides opportunity and provides people with the tools they need to create the life they want. It should come as no surprise that there are many individuals from all around the world who wish to, and are trying to, immigrate to Canada.
As accepting as Canada is, however, there are certain things that can easily get in the way of your successful immigration, and one of these things is a criminal record.
If you or someone you know is wanting to, or is already in the process of, immigrating to Canada, it would be beneficial to understand how having a criminal record may affect your immigration to Canada.
Let’s take a look at the two different situations you may encounter where a criminal record could affect your immigration process.
Having A Criminal Record Before Attempting To Immigrate
Having a criminal conviction, or in some cases even just a charge, from any country abroad, can often deem you inadmissible to Canada. Of course this is only true if whatever crime you have been charged with or convicted of has an equivalent offense in Canada.
If you are in this situation, there are different means you can take to overcome your criminal charges or convictions and move forward with your immigration. For example, if you are charged but have been acquitted, have applied for and been granted a pardon, were a young offender, or have successfully waited out the length of inadmissibility period, you should be able to proceed with your immigration.
Being Charged Criminally While In Canada
Similarly, if you are currently residing in Canada but are not yet a Canadian citizen and you are charged or convicted of a crime within Canada, your immigration status in the country may be in jeopardy. You may even be required to leave the country.
The consequences will depend upon a few factors, including: the seriousness of the offense, the potential for rehabilitation, your current establishment within Canada, whether or not you have family in Canada, present community support, and the degree of hardship if removed back to your country of origin.
What Are You Waiting For
As you can see, criminal charges and convictions can easily stand in the way of your chances of successfully immigrating to Canada. If you are wanting to, or already in the process of immigration and have a previous criminal record or have been charged recently, a criminal lawyer, along with your immigration lawyer, can help navigate the situation.
While it may seem hopeless, a criminal charge or conviction is a hurdle but is not an indefinite closed door – if you truly wish to immigrate to Canada, there are steps you can take to make that dream a reality.