Whenever I ask clients if they have any criminal record in their past, most people answer negatively and some clients get upset at me for even asking such “rude” or “impolite” question.
Unfortunately, I end up finding some clients who would be considered to have criminal records in Canada but not in their own home country. As a result, we end up with two issues, instead of one issue – (1) criminal inadmissibility assessment AND (2) misrepresentation for non-disclosure.
For example, a drinking and driving charge in Canada is a criminal coded conduct. Unfortunately, many countries do not have it under their criminal codes, such as New York State, Ireland, or Australia. In most cases, it is categorized under their road traffic regulation (similar to Ontario Highway Traffic Act).
Conversely, some foreign criminal/penal codes are not considered criminal coded conducts in Canada. For example, in South Korea, it is a criminal/penal conduct for letting under-aged people to enter into movies without guardians or parents. In Canada, such conduct is only dealt by specific provincial regulatory legislations, such as the Consumer Protection Act.
Since June, 2013, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is serious about removing those who have criminal records in oversea or in Canada. In fact, it is their top priority to remove people with criminal records. In addition, permanent residents in Canada are still foreign nationals in Canada would be considered seriously, including removal without appeal to Immigration Appeal Division, depending on their charge, conviction and sentences in Canada or oversea countries.
Finally, it is critical for you to be prepared to deal with criminal inadmissibility issues in advance with carefully prepared submission to both CIC and CBSA. Therefore, it is critical to engage immigration counsel from the beginning, especially if you are charged in Canada, to prepare for your immigration status.
If you have any individual questions or concerns, please contact our office for more customized consultation for your unique situation. Please note that this posting is for general information only and is not to be considered binding or official legal counsel since situations will vary and can be complicated. The content in this post is current as of the day of entry. Due to the changing nature of Immigration law, the information in this entry may or may not still be applicable at time you are reading this.