July 8, 2015
Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility: The ABCs of TRPs
If an individual has been deemed “criminally inadmissible” by Canadian Immigration Officials because he/she has committed or been convicted of a crime, the long-term options for overcoming the inadmissibility can be limited and onerous. It may eventually be possible to end the inadmissibility by way of Rehabilitation. However, Rehabilitation is not available in all cases and, even where it is, a significant period of time (either five or ten years) must pass before the application will even be considered. A more immediate solution for overcoming criminal inadmissibility on a short-term basis is the Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). Specifically, section 24 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows immigration Officers to issue a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) to a person who is otherwise inadmissible to come to Canada. Circumstances warranting the issuance of a TRP might involve an urgent need to spend time with family in Canada, or a pressing business engagement.
In deciding whether a TRP is warranted, the Officer will balance all of the facts in order to determine whether temporary entrance into Canada is justified in the particular circumstances of the case. An Officer’s decision to refuse a TRP is highly discretionary and will be accorded deference by the court. To avoid the risk of refusal, a TRP application must effectively demonstrate that the compelling need to visit Canada outweighs any potential risk associated with the criminal inadmissibility.
In order to make a TRP application compelling, applicants should adduce all relevant evidence in support of their application. In the case of criminal inadmissibility, it is essential to convince the Officer that the applicant poses no danger to the Canadian Public. The evidence should demonstrate:
- A lack of recent criminal activity;
- Chance of successful settlement without reoffending;
- Evidence that criminal activity was an isolated incident;
- Proof that the offence did not involve drugs, alcohol or violence;
- Proof of punishment and completion of sentence;
- Evidence that the person has been reformed or rehabilitated; and
- Compelling reasons for the need to enter or remain in Canada
Supporting documentation related to the charges and convictions, criminal record checks, identity documents, reference letters and a personal letter should also be put forward.
Individuals who require entry into Canada and are eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, should apply for rehabilitation, in addition to the TRP. As noted above, Criminal Rehabilitation is a permanent solution to criminal inadmissibility, while a TRP is a temporary bridge for inadmissibility.
Applicants can apply for a TRP at a Canadian port of entry or a visa office. A TRP may be issued for a period, not exceeding three years, and may be extended from inside Canada. The permit is no longer valid if the holder exits Canada, unless re-entry has been authorized.
For more information on Criminal Inadmissibility, please click here.