November 27, 2009
Q I am a Canadian citizen. My brother-in-law was convicted more than 5 years ago in the US. He is planning to apply for a Canadian visa as a visitor, however he does not want to write about this criminal record as he is afraid of a refusal. If he applies for a Canadian visa without mentioning this criminal record , is there any chance he can get an approval?
A. Your brother-in-law’s idea of not disclosing his criminality is not wise. You must bear in mind that sooner or later Immigration Canada will discover the convictions. Many have attempted this approach and if they were not caught immediately at the border (border officers can quickly access an applicant’s criminal background in either country), they were in hot water on an extension and/or subsequent application. His proposed action would amount to a misrepresentation finding in addition to an inadmissibility finding for criminality. Once down that road it is very difficult to turn around. Little is to be gained and much is to be lost. A Temporary Resident Permit application in conjunction with a visitor visa application with disclosure can overcome the inadmissibility issue. Good luck!