Inadmissibility is a complex issue affecting immigrants in Canada or those traveling to Canada. Canadian immigration law bans people from entering or living in Canada because of medical, security, or criminal aspects. Inadmissible persons cannot visit, study, work, or live in Canada. There are stringent rules and regulations in Canada for protecting the reliability of its immigration system and securing Canadians from immigrants who may compromise the health and safety of citizens. 

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  • Inadmissible on medical grounds – A person is medically inadmissible to Canada if they have a medical condition endangering public health and safety. Medical inadmissibility is inevitable if the individual’s health is likely to burden Canada’s public health system.  

    • Criminal background – Criminal inadmissibility refers to the denial of entry or deportation of a person because of criminal history or conviction. A few examples of criminal offenses that result in inadmissibility are manslaughter, organized crime, human trafficking, financial crimes, sexual offenses, smuggling of drugs, assault, and Driving Under Influence (DUI). The nature and seriousness of the crime determine inadmissibility. 
    • Security grounds – Canadian immigration authorities can ban the entry of individuals who may threaten national security. Acts of espionage, violence, or terrorism are a few reasons for inadmissibility on security grounds. 
    • Misrepresentation – Providing false information or hiding information to gain entry through immigration is a fraud. It will ban a person from entering Canada, resulting in inadmissibility. Misrepresentation can cause loss of status, prosecution, or a five-year ban besides removal orders. One may overcome the inadmissibility because of misrepresentation by proving innocence.  
    • Financial grounds – Individuals unable to support themselves and family members are inadmissible on financial grounds. Several immigration programs require the submission of proof of financial support. 
    Other reasons – Violating human rights or the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) can cause inadmissibility, besides war crimes. A single member’s inadmissibility may impact other family members in family immigration. – Canada’s most popular Express Entry application management system assigns higher marks to studies in Canada besides Canadian work experience. International students can leverage the Post Graduate Work Permit option to get relevant work experience and qualify for permanent residence through Express Entry selection.

Refusal to allow entry in Canada at the Port of Entry (POE) is ‘Denied Entry upon Arrival’. The Port of Entry may be a seaport, border crossing, or airport. The Denied Entry upon Arrival may result from inadmissibility because of medical, criminal, and IRPA violations. 

Removal orders result in the expulsion of an individual by immigration authorities on various inadmissibility grounds. There are three types of removal orders. 

  • Exclusion  Individuals receiving exclusion orders cannot enter Canada for up to two years until they get Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC).  
  • Departure order  An individual receiving a departure order must not live in Canada beyond thirty days from the order date. A departure order becomes a deportation order if the person does not leave Canada within thirty days.  

Deportation – Individuals facing charges of organized crime, criminal conduct, security issues, and human rights violations receive a deportation order. One may receive a deportation order following a failure to comply with a departure order or following the revocation of Canadian citizenship. A deportation order bans the individual’s entry into Canada permanently unless the Canadian immigration authorities issue permission in writing.  

Medical Inadmissibility

Applicants of permanent residence and temporary visitors need to pass a medical examination to rule out the presence of certain medical conditions that may pose a risk to people in Canada. IRCC-approved physicians conduct a medical examination and review the individual’s medical history. Medical inadmissibility bans entry to individuals on health grounds if the medical condition can impact the health and safety of Canadians. 

Several conditions affecting the mental and physical health of an individual may result in medical inadmissibility. A few of these are:

  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Psychiatric conditions
  • Paranoid disorders causing violent behavior
  • History of substance abuse causing violent outbreaks
  • Communicable diseases
  • Pedophilia

A person may be medically inadmissible to Canada if they will burden Canada’s public health and social services. 

A Procedural Fairness Letter allows a person facing medical admissibility to respond to the immigration authority on allegations of medical inadmissibility. The letter informs the person about suspicion of medical grounds to ban entry into Canada. An experienced immigration lawyer can help draft an appropriate reply to the letter if the grounds for inadmissibility are not strong enough.  

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Criminal inadmissibility

Criminal inadmissibility is a ban on an individual’s entry because of a history of a criminal offense outside Canada if the act is also a criminal offense, according to the Canadian Criminal Code. Mutual sharing of criminal records between countries enables access to an individual’s background. Immigration authorities in Canada can check the criminal records of individuals traveling to Canada by scanning their passports. A person with a criminal record may face Denied Entry upon Arrival. 

The immigration authorities must find a Canadian equivalent of the criminal act before deciding inadmissibility. The person becomes inadmissible if the crime is equally severe in both countries. The complexity of the Canadian Criminal Code makes it tough to look for the equivalent offense. Translating an uncommon offense in another country into a crime as per Canadian Criminal Code is crucial to know the prospect of entering Canada despite a criminal history. Professional immigration attorneys can help understand the Canadian criminal equivalent to assess an individual’s admissibility. 

How to overcome criminal inadmissibility?

Several types of convictions can cause criminal inadmissibility in Canada. Contacting an experienced immigration lawyer may help you overcome inadmissibility. The following are standard methods to address criminal inadmissibility issues:

A temporary resident permit bridges criminal inadmissibility temporarily. The immigration officer may allow a temporary permit under exceptional circumstances by assessing the merits of an individual case. The Temporary Resident permit may be valid for multiple entries for up to three years. 

The Canadian government enables candidates to overcome inadmissibility permanently through criminal rehabilitation. The candidate can apply for individual or deemed rehabilitation according to the specific background. Criminal rehabilitation covers serious and non-serious offenses. Consultation with a professional immigration expert is necessary to explore criminal rehabilitation options.  

A Legal Opinion Letter is a proactive measure if you expect inadmissibility because of criminal history. The letter mentions references to sections in the Canadian Criminal Code interpreting the consequences of crime in Canada. The person can effectively respond to allegations of inadmissibility with the help of a Legal Opinion letter by an experienced immigration lawyer.  

Denial from staying or entering Canada because of inadmissibility can be a frustrating experience. There are ways to overcome inadmissibility if you are facing or expecting a refusal to live or enter Canada. Royal Citizen Immigration provides professional legal advice to address the problem of inadmissibility. We can help you explore various options by assessing your background. Call us to know how Royal Citizen Immigration can help you overcome inadmissibility. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Inadmissibility refers to the denial of entry into Canada to an individual because of a criminal background or medical issues.

One can become a permanent resident in Canada despite a criminal history by applying for criminal rehabilitation.

One may apply for criminal rehabilitation if the criminal offense and all aspects of fines, sentences, and probation are over five years ago. It will permanently wipe out criminal inadmissibility.

A criminal rehabilitation process may require up to 12 months to complete.

A person with criminal inadmissibility may apply for a Temporary Resident Permit as a short-term solution.

A summary offense is a term for minor offenses in Canada. It may be equivalent to a misdemeanor as per US law.

Medical inadmissibility may allow the individual to stay in Canada temporarily through a Temporary Resident Permit.

Yes, the inadmissibility of one person will cause refusal of the entire application, including other family members.

Consulting a Canadian immigration lawyer and applying for criminal rehabilitation is the right approach to overcome criminal inadmissibility permanently.

A Canadian permanent resident may be inadmissible to Canada because of a criminal offense.  

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