Canada has a lot of initiatives and immigration streams to support family reunification. At the same time, you should know that the country also follows strict guidelines when admitting foreign nationals. This is done to ensure the security of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Considering this, you may find it difficult and even stressful to successfully sponsor a spouse with a criminal record. On the bright side, this does not mean that it’s impossible to apply for sponsor immigration.
If you are planning to sponsor a spouse with past convictions, you must first overcome his or her criminality depending on the nature of the crime committed and the sentence received.
Sponsoring a Spouse With A Criminal Record
As mentioned earlier, the fundamental step you need to take to sponsor your spouse is to overcome his or her criminality. You can do this by having the criminal record expunged, obtaining criminal rehabilitation, or by having your spouse deemed rehabilitated.
In the simplest words, criminal rehabilitation is the process of helping or retraining those who have committed a crime. This is done to reduce recidivism or the tendency to re-offend. Consequently, being deemed rehabilitated means that you are deemed unlikely to be involved in any further criminal activities.
To be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, the charges on your record must have occurred at least a certain number of years ago depending on the crime you committed. For example, if you were convicted for minor offenses, at least five (5) years must have passed after you completed all the conditions of your sentence for you to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation. For indictable offenses, you will need at least 10 years.
Unfortunately, if you have committed an offense that resulted in a prison sentence of at least 10 years, you will never be eligible for criminal rehabilitation.
Applying for Criminal Rehabilitation
When applying for criminal rehabilitation, your aim is to prove that you do not pose any threat to Canadian society anymore. You need to show that you have complied with every sentence imposed on you and have reformed from your criminal past.
There are documents that you can use for this. Particularly, you will need police clearances from anywhere you have lived as well as court dockets from the times you attended court.
Moreover, you must also prove that you are now a productive member of society. You can do this by providing a detailed personal statement. You may also submit letters of reference from people who know you well and can attest to your good character. Finally, you may also provide proof of your volunteer work as well as your employment. The more documentation you provide, the better chance you have for approval.
For a successful application for rehabilitation, make sure to complete relevant application forms and provide sufficient supporting documents. Take note that the application may take at least a year to be processed.
Spousal sponsorship is already overwhelming on its own. Sponsoring a spouse with past convictions can even be harder. Aside from submitting the fundamental documents, the spouse to be sponsored needs to prove that he or she has already turned back his or her criminal past. There is a variety of documentation you can gather for this.
Ultimately, remember to pay close attention to every aspect of the application process. Otherwise, you may face application refusal. If worse comes to worst, you may also be ineligible for sponsoring any individual in the future. To avoid this, seek the help of an immigration advisor in Toronto, ON before moving forward with your application.
If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-404-8472.