Who is Inadmissible to Canada? – Who May Not Visit or Immigrate to Canada?

Inadmissibility to CanadaJalal is a citizen of Afghanistan. He intends to immigrate to Canada under the Express Entry system. Jalal had a clash with the law when he was 16 years old. He stole some money from his school. Jalal never served prison time, but despite being 25, his police report reflects the issue. Jalal wonders if he is inadmissible to Canada. 

Canada has strict rules to protect its citizens’ safety and security and the integrity of its immigration system. As a result, certain people may be inadmissible to Canada.

What Does Inadmissibility to Canada Mean?

If a person is inadmissible to Canada and lives outside the country may not visit, study, work or immigrate to Canada. If an inadmissible person is currently inside Canada, has to leave Canada immediately.

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Who is Affected by the Inadmissibility Rules?

All of the inadmissibility rules affect foreign nationals. Some of these rules affect Canada’s Permanent Residents (i.e. people who have already immigrated to Canada but are not naturalized citizens yet). The inadmissibility rules do not affect Canadian citizens as they have the unqualified right to enter and remain in Canada under the Constitution Act, 1982.

Under What Circumstances, a Person Becomes Inadmissible to Canada?

The following table shows the causes of inadmissibility (see sections 33 to 43 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act). In this table, PR means Permanent Residents, and FN means Foreign Nationals.

Type Explanation Who
Security Espionage, Subversion of  a
Government by Force, Terrorism, Danger to the Security of Canada, etc.
Human or international rights violations Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes PR, FN
Serious criminality Committing a crime that the maximum term of imprisonment is
at least ten years or the actual term of imprisonment is more than 6
Criminality Indictable offences, etc. FN
Organized criminality Being a member of a criminal gang PR, FN
Health grounds A danger to public health or safety or causing excessive demand to Universal Healthcare in Canada FN
Financial reasons Not being able to support themselves in Canada FN
Misrepresentation Misrepresenting or withholding material facts PR, FN
Non-compliance with Act Several reasons such as a PR not meeting the residency
requirements or FN studies in Canada without a valid Study Permit

How to Resolve Inadmissibility?

Depending on the nature of the inadmissibility and whether the affected person is in Canada or not, they could have one or more of these options. In some cases, none of the options are available.

  • Attending a hearing at the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)
  • Appealing the decision of the immigration officer or the ID at the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB
  • Filing for Judicial Review with the Federal Court of Canada
  • Requesting Rehabilitation from the IRCC to remove the inadmissibility forever
  • Requesting a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) to be able to enter or stay in Canada despite the inadmissibility
  • Applying for a Declaration of Relief under subsection 42.1(1) of the IRPA for inadmissibility to Canada under section 34 (security) paragraphs 35(1)(b) or (c) (human or international rights violations), and/or subsection 37(1) (organized criminality) of the IRPA
  • Requesting permanent residency of Canada under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations
  • In the case of inadmissibility due to misrepresentation, waiting for five years

You may also read the following relevant articles:

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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