Individuals who travel to Canada may be refused entry because of their criminal records. Border agents assess the criminal history of each individual who wants to enter Canada. If the person is perceived to be dangerous or a person who could put the safety of people around him at risk, he will be deemed inadmissible. The border agent may use their discretion and deem the foreigner rehabilitated if that is the case.
In this article, we explain what It means to be deemed rehabilitated. We will explain the factors that may cause you to be deemed rehabilitated. The important thing foreigners should know about being deemed rehabilitation will also be listed below. Then, we will explain how deemed rehabilitation is applied to people with DUIs. The ways you can apply to be deemed rehabilitated will be stated as well. Lastly, we will explain how you can check if you qualify to be deemed rehabilitated.
What is deemed rehabilitation?
This means that an offender has completed their sentence, paid any fines and enough time has passed for the individual to be allowed entrance into Canada. An individual who is deemed rehabilitated is no longer seen as a danger to people around them.
An individual may be deemed rehabilitated by a border official or at the Canadian consulate. The official uses their discretion when deciding if to state that someone is rehabilitated. However, there are a few factors that they consider to help them decide if an individual is rehabilitated. These factors are:
– What sort of crime was committed? (Was it a summary or indictable offense?)
– Was the offender a minor when they committed the offense?
– When did the individual commit the crime? How much time has passed?
– Has the individual repeated the offense?
– Was the individual a first time offender?
– What sentence was given for the offense? Was the sentence longer than 10 years?
– When did the individual finish serving their sentence?
– How has the individual changed?
– Is the individual remorseful about the offense?
The answers to these questions will determine if the individual is deemed rehabilitated.
Important thing foreigners should know about deemed rehabilitation
1. You are eligible to be deemed rehabilitated if at least 10 years has passed since you completed your sentence.
Ten years should have passed since you completed your sentence, community service, paid any compensation fees, completed parole and any other punishment attached to your sentence. Significantly, the 10-year count begins after you have completed all aspects of your sentence.
2. If you were convicted for violent acts, you may not be deemed rehabilitated. Even if you apply after the 10 years has elapsed, you may still be seen as dangerous. In such a case, you will need to provide proof showing that you are rehabilitated. If you cannot provide proof, your only chance to enter Canada is to to apply for criminal rehabilitation or a temporary resident permit.
3. Individuals with a single criminal record (especially a misdemeanor) may get deemed rehabilitated easier than another individual with multiple misdemeanors or one felony.
4. If you have been convicted of destroying property or owning deadly weapons, you may never be deemed rehabilitated. To enter Canada, you will have to apply for and get a temporary resident permit. You may also apply for criminal rehabilitation but it may take up to 1 year before you get approval.
5. A legal Opinion Letter can aid your being deemed rehabilitated. If you are traveling to Canada with the hope that you will be deemed rehabilitated at the border, be prepared. Apart from bringing necessary travel documents, also provide a Legal Opinion Letter. A Canadian immigration lawyer can provide you with a letter that states why you should be declared rehabilitated.
6. You may not be declared rehabilitated if you have a suspended sentence, deferred hearing, or even a sealed record. This is because to qualify for deemed rehabilitation, 10 years must have passed since you completed your sentence.
To enter Canada, you will need to hire an immigration lawyer.
How deemed rehabilitation applies to individuals who have a DUI
A DUI is a serious offense in Canada and can cause an individual to be deemed inadmissible. However, before December 2018, an individual could be deemed rehabilitated even if they had gotten a DUI. If 10 years had passed since the end of the sentence attached to the DUI, the offender could be declared rehabilitated.
Since December 2018, this has changed. Individuals with DUIs are no longer deemed rehabilitated even after 10 years. People, with DUIs, may be inadmissible to Canada for life.
Understandably, individuals who got their DUIs before this new law was passed in December 2018 may be deemed rehabilitated if they qualify. If you got a DUI before December 2018 and want to travel to Canada, get a legal opinion letter. This letter will reduce your chances of being deemed inadmissible at the entry point.
If you got your DUI before the law was passed but you harmed people while driving under the influence, you may be deemed inadmissible to Canada. Furthermore, if you have gotten more than 1 DUI, you may not be eligible to be called rehabilitated.
Many other traffic offenses can make the border officials refuse your entry into Canada. These offenses include: driving with a suspended license, driving over the speed limit, ignoring traffic lights and evading police. If any of these offenses cause harm to be inflicted on someone else, you may not be deemed rehabilitated even after a decade.
Steps you can take to be deemed rehabilitated
If an individual is deemed rehabilitated, they will be able to enter Canada as they wish. Their previous criminal record will not cause them to be inadmissible to Canada. If you want to be deemed rehabilitated, below are 3 ways that you can achieve this:
1. An assessment at the Canadian embassy or consulate
You can be deemed rehabilitated at the Canadian consulate. Instead of taking a long trip to Canada and being denied entry, you should go to the Canadian embassy or consulate. At the consulate, you will be given an application form. This form should be filled honestly and submitted. After submitting this form, you may be asked to submit some documents which will be used to review your application.
You may be asked to attend an interview. All the information you supplied on your form, the documents, and the answers you gave during the interview are important. These answers will help the examining officer decide if you are rehabilitated. This application is free but there is no guarantee that you will be deemed rehabilitated.
If you are not deemed rehabilitated, you may have to apply for criminal rehabilitation or a temporary resident permit.
2. Assessment at a Canadian Port of Entry
Individuals who live within the United States can go to the closest Canadian point of entry for an assessment. There, you will be asked for all your necessary documents. You will also need to provide information concerning your criminal record.
After these documents have been reviewed, the officer will tell you if you are deemed rehabilitated. The assessment process at the point of entry is not the same as the assessment process at the consulate. Before going to the point of entry, check the website for the documents you need to bring. The assessment at the Canadian point of entry is free.
If you are not deemed rehabilitated, you may be advised to apply for criminal rehabilitation.
3. Assessment at the Canadian border
If you are confident that you will be deemed rehabilitated, you can be assessed at the Canadian border. The risk involved is that you may be denied entry at the border. The documents you will be asked to submit at the border include:
-A valid passport
– Court documents on your prior convictions
– Proof that you have completed your sentence and paid any necessary restitution
– A full criminal record
– A police record from your country attesting to your good character. The police record should be from the country where you have resided recently for more than 6 months.
After assessing these documents, the border official may decide to deem you rehabilitated. However, if the official is not yet satisfied, they will interview you. If you are deemed rehabilitated, you will be allowed to enter Canada.
How to assess yourself for deemed rehabilitation
Before you go to the Canadian consulate, border or entry point, you should assess yourself first. A self-assessment may help you save yourself from making an unnecessary trip.
To qualify for deemed rehabilitation, you must meet these conditions
– 10 years have passed since you completed your sentence and the punishments attached to the sentence
– You have been convicted for a misdemeanor or felony once
– You have not been arrested or charged for violent crimes
– The conviction was not for the destruction of properties or possession of arms.
If you are qualified for deemed rehabilitation, you can commence with the process.
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