Are you a Permanent Resident or Foreign National charged with a criminal offence in Canada? Do you know how your criminal charges can impact your ability to stay in the country or obtain citizenship?
If you are not a Canadian citizen, and you are convicted of a criminal offence in Canada, your status in this country could be jeopardized. It is important to speak with your criminal defence lawyer about your immigration status. They can assist you in informing Citizenship and Immigration Canada that you have been charged or can refer you to an immigration lawyer who specializes in such cases.
In some cases, a conviction will lead to an individual becoming inadmissible in Canada with no right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division. This means that the individual can be removed from the country. However, the individual may still be able to argue Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds in order to stay in Canada. In those cases, the following factors are important:
a. Seriousness of the offence
c. Establishment in Canada (eg. work, career, training, property owned, income and taxes paid)
d. Family in Canada (children, spouse)
e. Community support.
f. Degree of hardship if removed to the country of origin.
The U.S., in particular, has unique rules about allowing people with criminal convictions for “crimes of moral turpitude” across its border. If you have been convicted of a crime, you may require a Waiver in order to travel to the United States. Waivers for travel to the U.S. take approximately 6-18 months to process and are valid for 1-5 years. When criminal charges and immigration law intersect, it is important to seek the advice of a criminal lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome of your case, which includes ensuring that your status in Canada is preserved.
Katherine Clackson, Associate
DDSG Criminal Law