Can You Enter Canada with an Assault Charge?
Potential travelers to Canada do not always realize that a prior assault
conviction may render a person criminally inadmissible to Canada. Regardless
of whether or not the person's country of residence classifies the assault as a felony
or a misdemeanor, they may be considered inadmissible to Canada if the
crime is equivalent to an indictable offense under Canadian law.
The Canadian border is notoriously strict, and prospective visitors with a criminal history that involves violence
can face particularly harsh scrutiny from immigration officials.
Even if a person has
been arrested for assault (including domestic battery or domestic violence) and is currently
waiting for trial, they still risk being refused by Canadian immigration officials since
the border treats pending criminal charges essentially the same as a conviction.
To overcome criminal inadmissibility in order to visit Canada with an
assault record, a person needs a Canada Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Permanent Rehabilitation. If the conviction is only for a single assault charge and
it is considered a non-serious offense, such as misdemeanor common assault not causing bodily injury, after a period of 10 years from full completion of sentencing an individual may be deemed
rehabilitated and considered admissible to Canada without the need for special permission. In the meantime, however, any arrest or conviction for
assault could cause the individual to be refused entry into Canada if they have not obtained a TRP or undergone Rehabilitation.
If you are interested in going to Canada but have domestic violence, criminal harassment, or an assault conviction on your criminal record, or are facing pending criminal charges for any of these crimes, phone us today for a free consultation.