Criminal Records and Temporary Resident Permits

By 13 September 2016June 22nd, 2022No Comments

Temporary resident permits (TRP), formerly known as, Minister’s permits, allow a person who is otherwise inadmissible to Canada to enter the country for a specific reason and for a specific window of time. The applicant must demonstrate that there is a significant reason to enter Canada in order to obtain one. Once a person holds a TRP, they are prohibited from submitting an application to become a permanent resident. A TRP will only allow a person to enter as a foreign worker, student, or visitor if they have a valid reason to enter the country.

Note that this differs from the Temporary Resident Visa also known as a Canadian Visitor Visa.

A TRP is required for people who are otherwise inadmissible to Canada due to a criminal record. A TRP is required until criminal inadmissibility has been removed from a person’s file. This can happen in one of three ways:

  • Convince an immigration officer that you meet the legal terms to be deemed rehabilitated
  • Apply for rehabilitation, successfully complete it and obtain approval
  • Be granted a pardon/record suspension

It’s important to note that status as a temporary resident can be removed and deportation requests can come into effect if a person ends up committing a crime during their stay in Canada.

Who needs a TRP?

Obtaining a TRP is necessary if a person wishes to come to Canada and it’s been less than five years since the completion of their sentence, or more than five years have elapsed since the completion of their sentence and they have not applied for, or have not received a positive response to their efforts toward criminal rehabilitation. It’s important that a person with a criminal record who is trying to enter Canada take the steps to go through criminal rehabilitation.

A person will need a TRP if a criminal record represents:

  • A security risk
  • Human or international rights violations
  • Convictions of crime or an act outside of Canada that would be a crime
  • Ties to organized crime
  • Serious health problems
  • Financial problems
  • Lies on an application or in an interview
  • Unmet conditions to Canada’s immigration law, or
  • A family member does not meet the conditions to enter Canada

How can a pardon help?

If a person was convicted in Canada and takes the steps to be granted a pardon / record suspension or a discharge, they will be admissible to Canada – which will allow for a permanent residence application. If a record suspension or discharge is obtained in another country, it must be validated by a visa office that serves the home country for it to take effect in Canada.

Obtaining a pardon / record suspension helps to ensure that a border services officer has enough information to decide if you may enter Canada. The officer will need make sure that you are not inadmissible on any grounds, and a pardon or record suspension can make a significant impact on this decision.

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