Common Criminal Convictions That Can Cost You Your Canadian

Are you looking to move to Canada? Did you know that your immigration application can be rejected for a crime?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when applying for Canadian immigration is not thinking about their admissibility. Since Canada does not classify crimes as felonies, misdemeanours or petty offenses, sometimes even seemingly minor crimes can make immigration difficult for an applicant. Whether you are travelling or immigrating to Canada, any criminal record can become a serious obstacle. If you are considering immigrating but think your application may be rejected because of past criminal activity, here is a blog by a Canadian immigration lawyer to help you out.

Crimes That Can Disqualify Your Canadian Immigration

Even minor or old criminal matters are taken seriously by the Canadian government. An immigration officer will investigate your criminal history and decide if you are eligible for a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Any serious crime renders a person inadmissible, but there are several other non-violent convictions also on the list. Let’s take a quick look at all possible convictions.

Driving Under Influence (DUI)

Driving while intoxicated (by drugs or alcohol) not only increases your risk of an accident but may also cost you your Canadian immigration. Since DUI is a dangerous offence that can claim lives and lead to criminal charges, it remains on your criminal record which will hamper your chances of receiving an immigration permit. Careless and irresponsible driving while not under the influence is also a serious driving violation since it has the potential of causing life-threatening injuries or even death.

Human Rights Violations

These include war crimes, crimes against humanity or anything that is responsible for gross human rights violations. Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act  describes crimes against humanity as “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, persecution or any other inhumane act or omission that is committed against any civilian population.” Even if you did not commit the crime yourself but were part of a group that did, the Canadian government still considers you guilty and may deny you entry on this basis.

Fraud or Theft

Fraud is a broad term that refers to intended use of false or misleading information for illegally depriving another individual or entity of their money, assets or legal rights. Theft, the most common type of fraud, will result in the denial of your immigration application. That said, the type of burglary and amount of money and/or commodities stolen is considered when determining the seriousness of the crime. For example, if the amount stolen is below $5,000, the fraud may be considered on the lower end of the scale. However, when the amount exceeds $5,000 and the fraud is performed with the help of a weapon, it becomes a violent act or threat of violence. Another type of fraud that can restrict you from immigrating to Canada is using a credit card you know has been revoked or cancelled; this is also applicable when using a bad cheque.

Drug Offences

Purchasing, possessing, consuming and/or distributing drugs is a serious crime with lifelong repercussions, let alone being denied Canadian immigration. In fact, there is no such thing as a ‘minor’ drug offence in Canada. Despite marijuana being legalized (to a certain extent), drugs like opium, heroin, methadone, cocaine, codeine, oxycodone and morphine are still illegal. The consequences of drug law violations include jail, denial of Canadian immigration/travel permit, restrictions on entering the US, difficulty in pursuing post-secondary education and finding employment. Even the pettiest drug charge must be taken seriously to avoid these consequences. It’s advisable to take advice from an experienced immigration lawyer in Canada to analyze your chances of receiving a Canadian entry permit.

Few things are as frustrating as having your immigration application refused. It can ruin your travel, higher learning or work plans, as well as dreams of living in a different country. Since immigration is a complex process that requires a strong legal strategy, attention to detail and careful submission of legal documents, it’s best to seek help from a Canadian immigration lawyer who knows the process well. This reduces the risk of wasted money, time and permanent rejection.

License: You have permission to republish this article in any format, even commercially, but you must keep all links intact. Attribution required.