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Travel To Canada With A Felony Conviction

Travel to Canada with a felony conviction, it doesn’t matter the crime you have committed. If you are still asking questions like, can you go to Canada with a felony? you are not alone because many people think it’s impossible to travel to Canada having a criminal record. Entering Canada with a felony is like an impossible task, but with the help of this article you will be able to go to Canada with a felony conviction, it doesn’t matter what the case might have been.

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What is a Felony

A felony is regarded as a crime of high seriousness. A felon is a person who has committed a felony. Upon conviction of a felony in a court of law, the individual may be referred to as a convicted felon.

In the United States and in Canada, the most serious crimes are classified as felonies which includes but are not limited to the following: Murder, Manslaughter, Animal cruelty, Arson, Burglary, computer crime fraud and abuse, cocaine trafficking, tax evasion, rape/ sexual assault, forgery, mail and wire fraud, kidnapping, vandalizing on federal property, terrorism, etc.

An individual who is criminally inadmissible into Canada is inadmissible for work, study, and visitation, and is prohibited from applying for Canadian permanent residence.

Entering Canada with a criminal record such as felony conviction may be difficult but not impossible. Canada has been known for its strict entry requirements when it comes to admitting individuals with felony convictions. To gain entry in Canada with a felony conviction, you must get prior approval before entering.

How to travel to Canada with a felony

Traveling to Canada with a felony is achievable through a temporary resident permit in case you do not know what a temporary resident permit is, we have provided a straight to the point definition below.

1. Get a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

2. Obtain a record suspension (Pardon)

3. Complete your legal sentence

What is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) allows an individual to overcome their inadmissibility into Canada for a specific period reason and for a specific period of time. A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) will aid an inadmissible individual gain legal entry to Canada as a foreign worker, student, or as a visitor only on temporary grounds.

Occasionally, if you are inadmissible into Canada, you won’t be allowed to enter the country. If you have a valid reason to travel to Canada that is justified in the circumstances, you may be issued a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). However, if you are granted entry into Canada on a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), you can stay in Canada during the validity period of the TRP which is usually for months.

To be eligible for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), your need to stay in Canada and must be greater than the health or safety risks posed to Canadian society as determined by an immigration officer. Even if the reason for your inadmissibility is minor, you must demonstrate that your visit is justified. Irrespective of you being justified, there is no guarantee that you will be issued a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP).

As a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) holder, you must comply with the conditions imposed on your Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), Must not work or Study without a work or study permit, cannot re-enter Canada without prior authorization, must leave Canada at the end of your authorized period of stay.

Valid reasons for entry to Canada may include:

  • Travel for work,
  • To visit unwell family member;
  • Attendance of a family wedding.

How to Apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

To apply for a Canadian temporary resident permit, you need to apply for a temporary resident visa. If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you need to check the Canadian visa office responsible for your area, since every office has its own specific application process.

In order for an inadmissible individual to apply for a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), you must have been convicted of a criminal offense and:

  • Have had less than five years since the completion of the sentence, or
  • Have had more than five years since the completion of the sentence, and you have not applied for, have yet to receive a decision on an application for criminal rehabilitation.

The processing fee to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is $200 CAD at the Canadian Immigration office or at any Port of Entry.

The Canadian government encourages you to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) well in advance if you know that you require entry to Canada and that you are inadmissible. The processing time at a consular office can take anywhere from 4-6 months.

Obtaining a Record Suspension (Pardons)

A record suspension allows a convicted felon who has completed all of his or her sentences to have their criminal record set aside in order to enable them to gain access to employment and educational opportunities and to fully reintegrate into the society. A record suspension (formerly called a pardon) does not erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime, it only prevents that information from being shared.

However, a record suspension cannot be used to prevent prohibitions such as restraining orders, firearm restrictions, and driving restrictions.

Only the Parole Bod of Canada can grant, deny, cancel, or withdraw a record suspension.

What to do Before Applying for a Record Suspension

Complete your sentence as seen below;

  • You must have completed all sentences of imprisonment and conditional sentences
  • Complete all probation orders,
  • Have paid all fines associated with your sentence.
  • You must have original documents to prove that you have completed all your sentences, and these documents must include:
  • All your correct information,
  • Dates of sentence completion,
  • Original signatures,
  • Original stamps or seals.
  • In cases where the proof that your sentence is complete happen to be missing, you can try and get it by contacting:
  • The lawyer who represented you,
  • Your probation officer,
  • The courts, for a record of fines paid.

You will also have to complete your waiting period

The duration of the waiting period is determinant of the committed by the individual. The duration could range between 5 and 10 years. The various form of offense includes: Summary offense indictable or hybrid offense

A summary offense is one that can be heard by a magistrate sitting alone. A summary offense can also be heard in the absence of the accused individual from the court. For a summary offense, you will have to wait for a period of five years from the date after which the sentence was completed. Summary offenses include but not limited to the following: property damage, road traffic offenses (such as unlicensed driving, drink driving), offensive behavior, etc.

Indictable offenses are highly serious offenses that cannot be heard in the absence of the accused individual from the court. For an indictable offense, you will have to wait for a period of ten years from the date after which the sentence was completed. These offenses include murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking, burglary, etc.


If you are a convicted felon and still wish to travel to Canada, then this post is a detailed guide to see you through all you need to know. The only way a convicted felon can move to Canada is simply by acquiring a temporary resident permit. If you are stuck at any point, you can contact us as we are open to help you in any way we can. Let us know your questions in the comment section and we will be glad to give you the best advice we can.

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