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British Columbia's Family and Immigration Law office located in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Immigration Law Canada: What happens if I wish to sponsor a person who has a criminal record from outside of Canada?

Persons seeking entry into Canada must typically meet a set of requirements set by the Canadian immigration authorities.

One of the criteria that the candidate must successfully satisfy the Canadian immigration authorities is that of ensuring that the candidate's criminal record does not make that person ineligible.

If the candidate seeking to be sponsored into Canada is facing a criminal charge that could lead to a prison sentence of 10 years then there is a chance that the application will be suspended. 

If the candidate seeking to be sponsored into Canada has been convicted of a crime outside of Canada, then depending on the crime, that person may be determined to be inadmissible into Canada. This analysis by the Canadian Immigration authorities is nuanced. At its most basic, the analysis consists of assessing what an equivalent crime and sentence would be if that person were convicted and sentenced in Canada.

If a candidate is at the first instance criminally inadmissible, then that candidate may apply for "rehabilitation" before submitting their sponsorship application. There are requirements about who may apply for "rehabilitation".

If a candidate has been convicted within Canada, then it is usually necessary to obtain a record suspension (previously known as a pardon) from the Parole Board of Canada. There are different requirements for a candidate who is charged with a summary, indictable or summary offence.

There are also specific rules regarding candidates who have been charged with violent offences and sexual offences, particularly in the context of family sponsorships.

If you are wishing to immigrate to British Columbia, please feel free to contact our immigration law office located in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Written by
Anith Layland, BCPA registered paralegal
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