Canada, just like several other countries all over the world conducts extensive screening of foreigners entering the world to ensure that its citizens are protected from people who might be a danger to the society. During the screening process, which occurs various points of entry, you can be deemed to be criminally inadmissible thus being denied entry. This usually occurs if you have a criminal record in your country of origin (or any other country) due to various criminal offences that include white collar crimes.
What are white collar crimes?
White collar crimes are non-violent crimes that are usually carried out by professionals against other individuals or organisations. The term “white collar crimes” is used generally to include corporate, occupational, or economic crimes, but it mainly refers to financially motivated crimes that are committed against individuals and legitimate organisations (includes institutions, corporations, businesses, government agencies).
Common white collar crimes that can result in criminal inadmissibility
In Canada, most white collar crimes are classified as either hybrid (can be prosecuted as the summary or indictable) or indictable offences, which automatically lead to criminal inadmissibility. Therefore, if you have a record for a white collar crime , chances are that you will be denied entry into Canada, even if the crime had been classified as a misdemeanour offence in the country of conviction; the offence can be classified as hybrid or indictable under the Canadian law.
Therefore, if you have a record for a white collar crime, chances are that you will be denied entry when travelling to Canada. The following is a look at some of the common white collar crimes that leads to criminal inadmissibility:
1. Fraud – a hybrid offence
2. Theft- a hybrid offence
3. Identity fraud – a hybrid offence
4. Breach of trust
6. Government fraud
7. False pretences
8. Forgery and counterfeiting
10. Tax evasion
11. Money laundering
12. Insider trading
How to overcome criminal inadmissibility for white collar crimes
Due to the broad nature of white collar crimes, it is very hard to determine for sure whether you are criminally inadmissible or not. Therefore, if you have a past conviction for a white collar crime in the past, you should hire the services of a Canadian lawyer specialising in dealing with white collar immigration issues. The lawyer will then help you to determine if you are criminally inadmissible or not. Alternatively, you can use the free online assessment that is offered by most Canadian immigration lawyers, which will help you to determine if you are criminally inadmissible or not.
If the lawyer, or your assessment, reveals that you are criminally inadmissible, you cannot be enter Canada and you will most likely be turned away point of entry when you try to do so. However, there are a number of options you can use to resolve your criminal inadmissibility, thus allowing you to enter Canada. Below is a look at these options:
1. Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit
The Temporary Resident Permit is a government document that is issued by the Canadian immigration authorities to foreigners with a past criminal conviction, thus allowing them to enter Canada. The permit is a temporary solution for criminal inadmissibility, which only allows you to enter the Canada for a specific period and for a specific reason, for example, the burial of an immediate family member, for work reasons, to study, to attend a conference, to attend an event (artists and athletes), etc.
In order to receive a Temporary Resident Permit, you must make an application to the Canadian embassy or visa office in your home country (although you can apply at the point of entry when entering Canada). During the application, you must persuade the immigration officers you have a good reason for entering the country, as well as demonstrate that you are not a security threat to the country. Therefore, it is advisable that you hire the services of Canadian immigration lawyers to help you draft the application. In addition, it is best that you apply for the permit early in advance in your home country before travelling, as it is possible for the application to be denied when doing so at the point of entry.
2. Applying for criminal rehabilitation
Criminal rehabilitation is another option that you can use to overcome Canadian criminal inadmissibility, thus being allowed to enter Canada. Criminal rehabilitation is, however, different in that it is a permanent solution, where your past criminal record is absolved by the Canadian government. Therefore, once you have successfully completed criminal rehabilitation, you can enter Canada freely even with a past conviction (unless you commit another crime, at which point the criminal rehabilitation becomes void).
Unlike the Temporary Resident Permit, criminal rehabilitation is a process that you must undertake in order to overcome your inadmissibility. You can only be eligible for the process if you were convicted of an offence outside Canada (or confessed to having committed). At least 5 years must have passed since the completion of sentence/punishment. Once you have met all the eligibility criteria, you can then apply for criminal rehabilitation where you must provide information about the crime(s) you were convicted of, and your rehabilitation situation. The application is then reviewed by an immigration officer who can approve or deny it. If approved, your criminal inadmissibility is lifted and you can enter freely.
3. Using a Legal Opinion Letter
A Legal Opinion Letter is a document that is prepared by a Canadian immigration lawyer to explain a criminal record in order to persuade the Canadian immigration officers that you should not be denied entry. The Legal Opinion Letter can be used for two main purposes:
1. To explain that the offence on your criminal record does not constitute an equivalent offence under the Canadian law that would cause you to be denied entry.
2. Explain that you are deemed rehabilitated, after passing of 10 years since you were convicted of a single non-serious offence outside Canada.
White collar crimes, in addition to DUI offences, are mainly why most foreigners are denied entry into Canada. Therefore, if you have a record for a white collar offence in any country, chances are that you will be denied entry into Canada for being criminally inadmissible. However, with the help of a good Canadian immigration lawyer, you can be able to overcome the inadmissibility .