The global coronavirus pandemic essentially put the world on pause for over a year, including closing international borders. Leisurely travel through flying on airplanes and many other modes stopped. Now that vaccines have started to roll out, including vaccinations for both Canadian and American populations, there’s a high chance people can start to cross back and forth again. What will hopefully follow soon after is international travel.
Whether you’re an American looking to cross over or someone from a different country or another continent waiting to fly over, it’s key to check on factors that can affect your trip. The following, which have been identified by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), will render a person inadmissible to Canada:
- Criminality grounds
- Health reasons
- Not meeting Canadian immigration program requirements
There’s a high number of people hoping to visit Canada with some type of criminal history in their records. As any immigration agency would say right off the bat, there are strict rules in Canada regarding those people. Someone looking to travel to Canada (whether temporarily or to take the permanent residency route down the line) has to be aware of the rules and operations surrounding criminal inadmissibility.
When a person is convicted of something illegal both in Canada and in the country where they did it, that’s double criminality. Since terminologies and even technical definitions can vary somewhat or get lost in translation, there will be a comparison by an immigration officer. Canada’s Criminal Code is sure to have the equivalent offence on file; an immigration attorney can help with this as well.
There are two categories for criminal inadmissibility according to Canadian immigration law: Criminality and Serious Criminality.
When there are two non-indictable offences, even if they’re two different things, that could be grounds for criminal inadmissibility. While less serious than indictable offences, they still count towards a criminal history. In American terms, these are generally like misdemeanours.
As previously mentioned, if there was a conviction made in another country with an equivalent in Canadian law, those are grounds. Especially if the crime is an “indictable offence” or, in American terms, something that’s very much like a felony.
It should be noted that committing an offence and being convicted of one are two different things.
- Committed an offence – Nothing has been proven in court against the person despite suspicion from authorities (Pending charges, for example)
- Convicted – Someone that underwent the judicial process, determined to have committed the crime
As the name suggests, it renders people criminally inadmissible for heavier reasons. Any foreign conviction of a crime recognized by Canadian law with a maximum Canadian sentence of at least a decade in prison will be grounds. Committing an act recognized by Canadian law with a maximum Canadian sentence of at least a decade of imprisonment falls under this, too.
Criminal inadmissibility is a very real stumbling block that can keep potential travellers from entering Canada. This includes people who have been convicted as well as people who have committed offences. There are two categories: Criminality and Serious Criminality. For more information on this, it’s best to consult a Canada immigration expert.
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