How to Enter Canada if you have a Criminal Record

Some people are denied entry to Canada because of a criminal record. In the past, people have been denied entry to Canada for criminal offenses they never thought would catch up with them – such as an arrest for marijuana possession decades ago or a DUI conviction. Rest assured, a criminal record of any kind can result in your being denied entry to Canada. How to Enter Canada With A Criminal Record

Admission to Canada with a criminal record

Even if you have a criminal record and have been denied entry to Canada, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, also called a visitor’s visa. An application for a Temporary Resident Permit can often be made at the Canadian border if you are a US citizen, otherwise they can be applied for at your local Canadian Embassy or consulate.

Other ways to enter Canada with a criminal record

Aside from applying for a Temporary Resident Permit to enter Canada, there are other options for people with criminal records. For example, one could apply for a criminal pardon or criminal rehabilitation, which would eliminate your criminal inadmissibility.

Which option is best for me?

How you can enter Canada with a criminal record depends on your individual situation, your desired timeframe when visiting Canada as well as your original criminal offence. These factors combined need to be considered when determining which option is best for you.

For more information on applying for a Temporary Resident Permit or how to enter Canada with a criminal record, contact us at the form on the right.


Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: Criminal Pardons denied entry to Canada Enter Canada with a Criminal Record Temporary Resident Permit Visitor Visa Canada

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

15 Responses to “How to Enter Canada if you have a Criminal Record”