How can criminal offence affect my Canadian immigration process?

Migrating to Canada is most times not as simple as it sounds. For many people, there are difficult hurdles to cross before one can finally migrate and gain permanent residency in Canada. For this reason, the threat of getting your Canadian permanent residency status taken away is often unthinkable.

However, there are certain situations when one would have to face the threat of having their permanent residency status taken away. One such situation is to face a criminal charge.

Having a crime go on your record can negatively affect your immigration process and may prevent you from ever becoming a Canadian citizen or ever having permission to live in the country. In other words, you could be considered “criminally inadmissible.”

Crimes that can render you criminally inadmissible to Canada include manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs or/and alcohol, dangerous driving, theft, assault, drug possession and trafficking.

If you are in Toronto and have been accused of any crimes similar to those listed above, then needless to say your permanent residency status is in jeopardy and you need to hire a Toronto criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

What happens after you are charged?

If you are a Canadian permanent resident, once you get charged with a criminal offence, immigration officials will receive a notification. If you are convicted of the crime, you could have your permanent residency status withdrawn and you could be deported to your country of origin.

The first thing to do when you find yourself in this situation would be to hire a very experienced criminal and immigration lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, check if you are financially eligible for legal aid and if you are, then apply for it.

If you can afford a lawyer but do not know a good immigration lawyer, then contact Matthew Jeffery, Immigration lawyer.

Next, you will be given a court date where you would be expected to appear to plead guilty or not guilty.

If you are convicted of the crime or if you plead guilty, an admissibility hearing may be held by the Immigration and Refugee Board to decide whether you should be allowed to remain in the country or not. At the end of this hearing, you may get a removal order or you may be allowed to stay in the country.

If you are given a removal order, and your sentence is for less than six months, then you may be given the right to appeal the order to the Immigration Appeal Division. However, if you get sentenced to more than 6 months of jail time, your right to appeal is automatically lost. Needless to say that it is in your best interest to avoid jail time, and the only way to do this is by hiring the best lawyer you can find.

What happens if you get a criminal record?

If you manage to get a criminal record, you must apply for a Canadian pardon as soon as you are eligible to, so that the criminal record does not affect your permanent residence status. If you are receiving a Canadian pardon, your criminal record would be suspended, so that it is no longer a public record. Asides jeopardizing your permanent residency status, a criminal record can make it very difficult for you to find jobs, volunteer or even find a good place to live, so it is in your best interest to have your criminal record suspended by applying for a pardon as soon you are eligible.