The Canadian federal court clarified that in the visa application process, officers don’t have to consider criminal rehabilitation unless the applicant directly prompts them.
The case of Ms. Bello, who has a UK criminal background, stands out. The court backed the visa officer’s decision to deny her permanent residency in Canada. Notably, Ms. Bello didn’t undergo the rehabilitation assessment but instead appealed for an exemption based on humanitarian and compassionate reasons.
This decision highlights that Canadian visa officers don’t automatically assess rehabilitation for those with severe criminal records. The applicant must clearly specify this request in their application.
For those addressing criminal inadmissibility in Canada, three primary avenues exist:
- Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): This pathway allows short-term entry into Canada, often up to three years, based on a strong reason for entry.
- Criminal Rehabilitation: This approach clears previous criminal offenses, enabling entry into Canada. Specific criteria govern it, including a five-year wait after serving the sentence.
- Legal Opinion Letter: Experienced Canadian immigration attorneys write this document. It explains the consequences of a criminal conviction in the immigration scenario, helping officials determine its effects on admissibility.