Criminal RehabilitationAmericans seeking permission to enter Canada

What is Criminal Rehabilitation?

Criminal Rehabilitation is a Canadian government application required to evaluate if you are considered rehabilitated due to a US criminal record and can therefore have your inadmissibility overturned. This application, although eligibility is a factor, is subjective where merit comes into account. This is a one time application that once approved allows you to travel freely into Canada once again, on condition you are not found to be involved in any new criminal activity.

Why do I need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation?

It is considered illegal to enter Canada if you have a US criminal record and unfortunately this is not universally recognized or understood.

Sadly, we have heard countless stories over the years of disappointment due to refusal of entry upon the first part of a big trip. This is usually devastating to your family or important business relationships.

With the ability to travel for pleasure being so much more accessible, business relationships and family extending across borders and without Pardons being offered to the general public across the country, applying for Criminal Rehabilitation to travel into Canada may be your only option to regain your freedom.

How do I get approved for Criminal Rehabilitation?

To avoid being turned away at a port of entry or an international airport, it is advised that you submit a formal application with the appropriate government body.

In certain circumstances, you may attend the border in person with supporting documents in hand, however, there is no guarantee you will be approved on the spot which means you may have simply wasted your time.

As with any application of importance, we strongly recommend seeking professional guidance to assist you.

Reach out to one of our team with any of your unanswered questions.

  • Rabhir - Philadelphia, PA
    I found Pardon Partners online after a friend told me he has made recent contact with them to deal with his own DUI in New York back in the 1980's. Speaking with them gave me the confidence that although this may not be easy or fast, I can feel assured they know they will sort my situation out to avoid me having to cancel family holiday plans again next year.
    Rabhir - Philadelphia, PA
    Theft 1994

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Common Questions

How do I know if I am inadmissible to Canada?
If you have a foreign criminal record of conviction you will be required to complete this application to request permission to enter Canada. Canadian and American governments share criminal record databases so it is ill advised to attempt to enter Canada if you have a criminal conviction on file in your home country. If your criminal record does not consist of a conviction, it is recommended you seek further advice or direction on how to legally enter Canada without potential upset of finding out you will be denied entry after making concrete travel plans. Contact us to review your case and answer any questions you may have.
What crimes will keep you out of Canada?
Any criminal record of conviction outside of Canada is grounds for being denied entry. If you have been charged by police for a criminal offence outside of Canada, this will be available to border officials and being refused entry and possibly being held for interviews is very likely. To avoid travel arrangements being hampered, we encourage you to do your due diligence before booking flights or hotel accommodation. Offences rendering you inadmissible include, but are not limited to: 1. DUI (DWI, Drive Over 80mgs, etc.) 2. Assault, Domestic Violence 3. Theft related offence 4. Fraud related offences 5. Drug related offence (Possession, Trafficking, etc.) We are happy to discuss your particular situation further, so feel free to reach out with questions.
Can I immigrate to Canada with a criminal record?
It is illegal to enter Canada with a criminal record of conviction, however, there are solutions to resolve your inadmissibility. Depending on how long ago your offence took place and your need to enter, different immigration applications will serve you. Pardon Partners offers services for individuals with offences more than 5 years ago or older, and will provide alternative resources for individuals with more recent offences.
Can I enter Canada if I have a DUI?
We would strongly advise against this. DUI (an american term or abbreviation) is the equivalent to Drive While Ability Impaired (DWI), Drive with over 80 mgs alcohol in blood, Care & Control of Vehicle all of which are considered illegal offences under the Canadian Criminal Code. If you have an offence of this nature on record outside of Canada, you must follow laws governing the borders if you have intentions of entering Canada.
How long does it take to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation?
The Criminal Rehabilitation application takes place in two phases. The first requires document collection and analysis and the second, government decision making. Collecting and analyzing the required documentation can take anywhere from 4-10 months, followed by government decision-making which can take upwards to 12 months, but sometimes happens sooner. Correspondence is most often sent out to confirm the process is underway and an estimated timeline to expect a decision. Make sure to start well in advance of any intended travel to ensure you are permitted to enter and do not experience delays or worse, refusal of entry to Canada.