Your Legal Rights at Work

Convicted Of A Crime In The U.S., But You Want To Visit Canada? 2 Options For Legal Entry

by Lewis Hamilton

Taking a trip north of the U.S. border can be exciting. Unfortunately, many people soon realize that crimes they have been convicted of in the United States could prevent them from legally entering Canada on vacation.

If you are planning to visit Canada in the near future, but you are worried that your criminal record could stand in the way, it can be beneficial to retain the services of an immigration attorney. Here are two options for entry that an immigration attorney can help you obtain prior to your Canadian vacation.

1. Temporary Resident Permit

In order to protect its citizens, the Canadian government has established a list of reasons for which an individual might be inadmissible into the country. Some of these reasons include security threats like a history of espionage or membership in a terrorist organization; and some reasons are due to previously convictions for crimes like shoplifting or DUI.

Working with an immigration attorney to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) allows you to petition the Canadian government for authorization to enter the country when you would not otherwise be eligible. Be sure that you start the application process well in advance of your trip, since the average processing time for applications submitted through the Los Angeles visa office is 28 days.

2. Criminal Rehabilitation

Having the help of an immigration attorney can be beneficial when attempting to apply for criminal rehabilitation. Since the Canadian government evaluates American criminal records based on the comparable Canadian statute, it's important that you have an attorney who knows the Canadian legal system well enough to identify the statute that applies to your crime.

If the maximum amount of time you could be charged for committing your crime in Canada is less than 10 years, the government considers you automatically rehabilitated 10 years from the date of your conviction. You can apply for criminal rehabilitation as early as 5 years from your conviction date. If your crime would have been punishable by more than 10 years if committed in Canada, you will not be able to apply for criminal rehabilitation as a means of entering Canada for your vacation.

Hiring an immigration attorney, like David Borts Law Office, to help you gain legal entry into Canada if you have a criminal record can be beneficial. These professionals will be able to determine if applying for a TRP or criminal rehabilitation will be most beneficial in helping you take a Canadian vacation in the future.