Can a U.S. Criminal Record Affect Canadian Immigration?

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Can a U.S. Criminal Record Affect Canadian Immigration?

United States citizens who want to immigrate to Canada have many advantages over people from many other countries. Their documents will not require translation, and their work and educational credentials are often equivalent to those in Canada. They can also experience shorter processing times.

Can a Criminal Record in the U.S. Harm My Application?

Although U.S. citizens often have an easier time going to Canada, they are not exempt from numerous regulations designed to safeguard the nation. If the person has any type of criminal conviction, even just for a traffic violation, they can be deemed inadmissible to the country. As a result, their application for immigration will be denied.

Many Americans with criminal records have even been halted from taking a short trip to Canada. Even without a conviction, an arrest can affect a person’s immigration application. 

Here are some of the most common reasons that US citizens are barred from immigrating to Canada, as well as how to remedy the inadmissibility:

1 – Reckless Endangerment

If you have been arrested because your driving was dangerous to the public, it constitutes a criminal act under an Act of Parliament in Canada. As a result, this will render you inadmissible. However, with other violations that count as “careless” driving but are not considered endangering the public, you may still have a chance.

2 – Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence is a widespread crime in the US, and it’s also a common ground for inadmissibility to Canada for US citizens. As of 2018, drunk driving is considered a serious criminality in Canada and will make a person inadmissible. There are, however, some stipulations in the law.

If an individual’s DUI occurred before December 31, 2018, it would not be considered a “serious criminality.” They will still be inadmissible to Canada, but they can eventually overcome it when they are deemed rehabilitated.

A person can apply for criminal rehabilitation five years after the end of their sentence. This application entails convincing the government of Canada that the individual no longer poses a threat to public safety and are no longer at risk of reoffending. Immigration officers will be investigating if the applicant has a place to live, a lifestyle that helps them avoid criminal activity, and a stable job and personal relationships.

3 – Possession of Cannabis

With Canada’s Cannabis Act passing in 2018, people with a conviction for cannabis possession are generally not considered inadmissible to Canada. It will likely be a non-issue, but the Supreme Court of Canada has not released an official statement regarding the admissibility of a cannabis conviction outside of the country. The immigration officer will have to make the final decision.

Hire a Canada Immigration Lawyer

Although US citizens have many advantages when it comes to immigrating to Canada, criminal records can still affect their application. Reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, and cannabis possession are among the most common issues that Americans face when applying, but some of these challenges can be overcome.

If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm, please contact us at info@brightimmigration.com or call 1-888-404-8472.

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Our professionals make the difference. Our representatives are recognized by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and Law Society of Upper Canada. We are guided by our commitment to professionalism, ethics, and belief in providing our client with access to quality legal care and immigration help. You can rest assured that you are well represented and protected when you choose Bright.

Expert help, expert care

Our professionals make the difference. Our representatives are recognized by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council and Law Society of Upper Canada. We are guided by our commitment to professionalism, ethics, and belief in providing our client with access to quality legal care and immigration help. You can rest assured that you are well represented and protected when you choose Bright.
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