As an immigrant in Canada, a criminal record will adversely affect your immigration status and your ability to remain in the country.
As soon as an individual with immigrant status is charged with a crime authorities are obliged to pass the information to the Canada Border Services Agency. Depending on the offence, the individual involved can be arrested or called in for legal advice.
Either way, immigration authorities can take steps to get a removal order against you. Under this order, you might be forced to leave the country. In extreme cases, your family members who also hold an immigrant status in the country might also be asked to leave with you.
Processing Of Records
Along with the Canada Border Services Agency, the criminal record is also forwarded to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and other government agencies including:
- All government security forces
- All USA law enforcement
- All Border enforcement
These records include information about your identity, charges against you, previous convictions, fingerprints, DNA and more.
Crimes That Affect Your Immigration StatusOffences that can force the authorities to change your immigrant status to ‘criminally inadmissible’ include several minor and major crimes. These include:
- Dangerous driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Possession of or trafficking drugs or controlled substances
For a detailed description of the offences that can affect your immigration status, review the following information on the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act website.
Note that if you are convicted of a crime before you reach legal age (18 years) you might receive some leniency.
Affect On Immigration Status
If you are an immigrant in Canada and have been convicted of a crime, depending on the gravity of your offence, the authorities can:
- Cancel your immigration status
- Deport you from the country
- Deport your entire family from the country
- Arrest you and schedule an immigration hearing
- Permanently refuse Canadian citizenship
- Cancel an already approved permanent residence status
What Can You Do?
Depending on the offence you are convicted with and your behaviour since then, with the help of a criminal lawyer you can:
- Convince the immigration officer that you meet the legal terms to be deemed rehabilitated
- Apply for rehabilitation via legal means
- Apply for a record suspension
- Get a temporary residential permit
To apply for rehabilitation enough time needs to have passed after you were convicted of the offence. This way the authorities have ample data to review your behaviour over a span of time.
The factors on which your rehabilitation status depend include:
- Number of offences committed
- The gravity of the crime itself
- Your behaviour after finishing your first sentence
Can You Stay In Canada If Your Crime Has Been Pardoned?
If you receive a Canadian Record Suspension or a non-conviction record your criminal charges have been dismissed, discharged or withdrawn.
Nevertheless, it will still affect your immigration application. The end decision depends on the crime committed and your legal status.
However, with the help of a lawyer, if you obtain a record suspension there is a chance your non-conviction record can be prevented from interfering with your immigration status.
A criminal lawyer can help you apply for a record suspension after checking whether you are eligible or not. Moreover, the lawyer will also notify them with your immigration status and about the process.
Do I Have To Go To A Criminal Lawyer?
Before applying for any sort of pardon, you need legal advice about both criminal and immigration law. Hence, consulting a Criminal Lawyer is extremely important if you want the process to be seamless.
If you have been convicted of a crime and your immigration status is being affected, get a lawyer as soon as possible.
If you have any queries about criminal charges and their effect on your immigration status and require the guidance of a professional criminal defence lawyer, visit our website or contact us here today.