A misdemeanor arrest or conviction may make a U.S. citizen citizen inadmissible to Canada. Entry to Canada with a misdemeanor is however possible provided the crime is considered relatively minor. The severity of the crime is judged based on the corresponding punishment in the Canadian judicial system and not the American system. A good example of this is a DUI charge. In the United States a DUI (impaired driving, DWI) a relatively minor crime and considered a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions. Canada on the other hand, considers driving under the influence alcohol or other substances that impair the ability to drive very seriously. In fact, a DUI conviction in Canada carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible to Enter Canada With A Misdemeanor?
A single non-violent misdemeanor with no other charges that has had a sufficient amount of time pass may be eligible for what is called “deemed rehabilitation”. You will have had to complete any required court orders and pay any restitution or fines as per sentencing.
Simple assault requires an application for either a temporary resident permit od criminal rehabilitation.
Entry to Canada With Multiple Misdemeanors or Felony Convictions
Generally speaking, felonies are an equivalent to an indictable offence in Canada and considered a serious crime. No amount of time going to makes a person eligible for deemed rehabilitation. Special permission to enter Canada will be required. This takes the form of 1 of 2 options. You can apply for either a Canada Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation.
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
A Temporary Resident Permit allows individuals with serious misdemeanors, multiple misdemeanors, and even felony convictions enter Canada for a fixed period of time. Generally speaking, a Temporary Resident Permit is issued for a period of one year but can be issued for up to three years. In emergency situations they can be issued quite quickly. More often there is a waiting period of XX months.
Criminal Rehabilitation is permanent permission to cross the Canadian border despite having misdemeanor convictions. Application for criminal Rehabilitation can take up to 12 months.
Free Admissibility Consultations
We recognize that every case is unique and it’s best to have a professional review your situation. Simply call Mitch at 1-800-438-7020 or use the online form on this page.