Denied Entry to Canada
Have you been denied entry into Canada? If you have a criminal record, certain medical conditions, have violated immigration rules in Canada or other countries, have been deemed a security risk, or appear unable or unwilling to support yourself financially while you are in Canada, these are just some of the reasons you could be what's called inadmissible to Canada.
However, depending on the reasons for your inadmissibility, you may still be able to enter the country. Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs) are issued to people who have been previously denied entry (or who have not yet been denied entry but are still inadmissible) to Canada but can show a good reason for their visit such as travel for business, to visit family, tourism, and many other reasons.
If you need to travel to Canada urgently, you may even be able to receive a TRP as quickly as the date of your intended travel at the port of entry.
Getting a TRP is a temporary solution to the permanent problem of inadmissibility - You must apply for one every time you intend to enter Canada. However, under certain circumstances you may be able to apply for what's called criminal rehabilitation, which is permanent removal of criminal inadmissibility. If you are inadmissible to Canada because of a criminal history, you may have already been deemed rehabilitated and do not need a TRP to enter Canada.
|Get Help Now||Find out if you are rehabilitated and don't need a TRP|
|About Inadmissibility to Canada|
|Overcome your Inadmissibility to Canada with a TRP|
|Applying for an additional TRP if you have had one before|
|Reasons for refusal of a TRP application|
|Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) costs|
|Inadmissible to Canada FAQs|
About Inadmissibility to Canada
If you meet the criteria for being inadmissible, you may have difficulty at customs if you ever try to enter Canada. The most frequent reasons people are deemed inadmissible by the government are
- a criminal record (including Driving Under the Influence / Driving While Intoxicated (DUI / DWI));
- having been diagnosed with a contagious disease;
- having been involved in terrorism or with a group that sponsors terrorism;
- if you have previously violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; (IRPA);
- misrepresentation in order to gain or keep status in Canada;
- being unable to support yourself or your family financially for your time in Canada
If you are inadmissible, this means that you are not allowed to enter Canada. However, there is a way in which you can enter Canada for a pre-determined length of time.
If you know you are inadmissible or if you were denied entry at the border, you likely need a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP, formerly a Minister’s Permit). You may also be eligible to apply for permanent criminal rehabilitation. Because the processing time for Criminal Rehabilitation applications is much longer than for TRP applications and the requirements differ, you may be eligible to apply for both at the same time. This means you could gain immediate, temporary entry to Canada with a TRP while your application for Criminal Rehabilitation is in process.
Overcome your Inadmissibility to Canada with a TRP
If you have been denied access to Canada on the grounds of inadmissibility, You may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) which would allow you to enter Canada for a temporary, predetermined length of time. A TRP is a temporary status document issued if you need to enter Canada soon for family, business, or even tourism purposes.
A TRP is not a Temporary Resident Visa, Visitor Visa, Work Permit, or Study Permit. A TRP is a document which gives you permission to enter Canada despite being inadmissible due to criminal, medical, or security issues; A TRV is a document which gives you permission to enter Canada temporarily as a visitor (TRV = visitor visa), worker (TRV = work permit), or student (TRV = study permit). It is possible to need both a TRP and a TRV to enter Canada depending on your circumstances.
Also, a TRP may be cancelled at any time without notice.
Applying for your first Temporary Resident Permit - Canadian Consulate vs. Port of Entry
If you are inadmissible to Canada, you can apply for a TRP in one of two ways:
1. Send your application to the nearest appropriate Canadian Consulate
2. Submit your application at the port of entry (Canadian border or customs) when you arrive in Canada
The application forms for a TRP are the same as the ones used for criminal rehabilitation. The only difference is that you select “For Information Only” if you are applying for a Temporary Resident Permit rather than permanent rehabilitation.
Pros and Cons - TRP Processing Time
TRP applications sent to the Canadian consulate are given more attention because the officer has more time to review your statements and documents, whereas applications submitted at the port of entry must be reviewed quickly to ensure that applicants continue to move through the border with minimal delays.
When you submit a TRP application to the port of entry, you will be asked to proceed to secondary inspection (away from the standard traffic line) where your application will be reviewed. You will receive the decision (approval or refusal) usually within an hour or two. If your application for a TRP is approved, you will be allowed to enter Canada right then. However, it is possible that your application will be denied and you will be forced to return to your country of origin directly from the border.
TRP applications submitted to a Canadian consulate take 1 – 6 months on average to process, and can take even longer. But if your application is refused, you will know not to come to Canada without applying for criminal rehabilitation when you are eligible.
Please note, in the United States, only the Canadian High Commissions in New York and Los Angeles currently accept TRP applications. Outside the US, you can submit your TRP application to any Canadian consulate.
Inadmissibility of Family Members
If you are inadmissible to Canada, any family members traveling with you are also inadmissible and require a TRP to enter Canada. If the officer determines that you and your family should be allowed to enter Canada, each family member will receive their own temporary resident permit which will be attached to their passport.
However, friends or other non-family members are not inadmissible simply because they are travelling with you.
Because IRCC has allowed you to enter Canada despite your inadmissibility and has determined that you will not be detained or deported at this time, as a TRP holder you are obligated to abide by the laws of Canada, take any action you can to resolve your inadmissibility (if possible), and leave Canada or request another TRP before your current one expires.
Continuing your stay in Canada - Applying for another TRP
Every Temporary Resident Permit is valid for a limited amount of time up to three years and will display an issue date and an expiration date. The length of validity is determined by the officer reviewing your application and can be any time between one day and three years.
It is not possible to "renew" a Temporary Resident Permit. If you wish to stay in Canada longer than the validity of your TRP, each family member who has been issued a TRP must apply for another Temporary Resident Permit.
If you apply for an additional Temporary Resident Permit after your first TRP has been approved and you are in Canada, your application will be sent to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.
If your application for a new TRP is still in process when your previous TRP expires, and you are still in Canada, you may remain in Canada until you receive the decision for your new TRP application. If the application is approved, you may remain in Canada; if the application is refused, you must leave Canada immediately.
Keep in mind that a Temporary Resident Permit will only be issued for a period of time that coincides with the validity of your passport. Before you apply, you should make sure that there is enough time on your passport to accommodate the length of validity you are requesting in your TRP application, and how long you want to stay in Canada if your application is approved.
Reasons your application for a TRP may be refused
If you are in any of the following circumstances, your application for renewal of your TRP may be refused:
- Your criminal offence occurred very recently
- The officer believes you will re-offend
- You did not comply with the conditions listed on your previous TRP
- You stayed in Canada after your previous TRP expired
- You left and re-entered Canada without obtaining a TRP (even though it is the mistake of the border officer to let you into Canada, it is still your obligation not to enter)
- You are inadmissible to Canada for reasons other than the ones you initially used to apply for your previous TRP
- You worked or studied in Canada without a valid permit
- You submitted a passport with your application which has already expired or is expiring soon
- You did not resolve the situation that causes your inadmissibility even if you were advised to by IRCC
Factors for consideration of your application for a TRP
If you are inadmissible to Canada, you must apply for a TRP every time you intend to travel to Canada. Each time you apply, officers consider the following:
- Whether you upheld the conditions and met the obligations of any previous stay in Canada
- Whether you are still inadmissible
- Whether another TRP is justified
- Whether you should be detained or deported from Canada
IRCC may also require you to take a medical exam. If you are requested to take a medical exam, this will add 3 months to the processing time of your application.
Leaving and re-entering Canada with a TRP
If you need a Visitor Visa to enter Canada, you must still obtain this document before attempting to enter Canada even if you have a Temporary Resident Permit.
If you leave Canada before you receive the decision on your application for another TRP, you will be expected to address the issue that is causing your inadmissibility before you return to Canada, through rehabilitation or otherwise.
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) Costs
Immigroup service fees usually range from around $1500 for the most basic TRP application to around $4000 for more complicated matters. Clients with more than one instance of criminality (multiple convictions) will have more complicated cases. Top Priority service for clients who need to travel to Canada urgently carries additional costs.
If you do not know where you stand, whether you need a TRP, whether you can be rehabilitated, or if you need supplementary documentation, such as an Authorization to Return to Canada, contact us for assistance.
In addition to the legal fees paid to a consultant or lawyer to assist you with this process, the applicant must also pay a fee to the Canadian government for application. Please refer to the fee schedule below.
- Temporary Resident Permit: $400
- Application for Rehabilitation: $200-$1000 (depending on the nature of the crime)
- Authorization to Return to Canada: $400
- Assessment of Rehabilitation: No fee
All information on this page was sourced directly from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. All research done and content written by Cassandra Johnstone, General Manager at Immigroup.
Inadmissible to Canada FAQs
How do I know if I am inadmissible to Canada?If you have attempted to enter Canada and you were denied entry, you are likely inadmissible. If you participated in an assessment at a Port of Entry or a Diplomatic Mission, and were told you could not enter, you are inadmissible. If you fit into any of the following categories, you are inadmissible:
- security risk:
- committed acts of espionage;
- committed acts of subversion (i.e. attempting to topple your government);
- committed acts of terrorism;
- membership in an organization involved in any of the above;
- human rights violations:
- committed war crimes;
- committed crimes against humanity;
- senior government official “in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions”;
- criminal activity:
- committed a serious crime that would be punishable in Canada by a prison term of at least 10 years;
- criminal conviction o membership in a criminal organization;
- health grounds:
- your condition is likely to endanger public health (i.e. you have a dangerous communicable disease);
- your condition would cause “excessive demands” on the health sector and / or on social services agencies in Canada were you to move here;
- you are unable or unwilling to financially support yourself and / or your family (or you are viewed as such by immigration authorities);
- immigration violations:
- misrepresenting yourself to Canadian immigration or border officials o failure to comply with any part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection ACT (IRPA) for example:
- overstaying your visa / permit;
- working / studying without a visa / permit;
- not living in Canada enough of the time, if you are a permanent resident;
- attempting to re-enter Canada after being deported without the proper authorization;
- begin subjected to a removal order.
- misrepresenting yourself to Canadian immigration or border officials o failure to comply with any part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection ACT (IRPA) for example:
- security risk:
How do I know if I can get into Canada if I am classified as 'inadmissible'?
If you are inadmissible on criminal or health grounds, you may be able to enter Canada under exceptional circumstances by applying for temporary resident permit (TRP).
If you are inadmissible on criminal grounds but your conviction was a long time ago, you may be able to enter Canada with an Application of Rehabilitation. If you are “deemed rehabilitated” you will not have to apply for rehabilitation or a TRP again, provided you commit no more crimes. Please note that an Application of Rehabilitation takes significantly longer than a TRP to process, so if you need to travel to Canada soon, you may want to file both applications.
If you are inadmissible for immigration violations you will likely have to support your TRP application with an Authorization to Return to Canada application.
If you are inadmissible on security grounds, human rights violations, or financial grounds, you are permanently inadmissible and cannot enter Canada.
What is a TRP??A temporary resident permit (TRP) is a document that gives you permission to stay in Canada that for a limited amount of time, determined by the Canada Border Services Agency and / or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. TRP holders are subject to strict requirements (especially time limits) and TRPs can be cancelled at any time at the discretion of the Canadian government.
What reasons are considered valid or compelling for the granting of a TRP to an otherwise inadmissible person?
The Canadian government does not specify what particular reasons are regularly accepted for TRPs. They will grant them on “exceptional” humanitarian, compassionate, or human interest grounds, but these are never defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
Humanitarian and compassionate grounds usually indicate that the applicant is somehow in danger if they cannot enter Canada, or that the applicant’s family is already in Canada and that they will experience hardships if the applicant is not allowed to enter Canada. Both of these cases must be proved to the satisfaction of Canadian immigration officials. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and there may be other grounds through which a TRP could be gained for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.
Human interest grounds usually refer to the cultural, scientific, academic (or other) import of the applicant’s work. For example, such grounds are used as the basis to allow an otherwise inadmissible eminent physicist to enter Canada to attend a conference on physics. Human interest grounds must be proved to the satisfaction of Canadian immigration officials by the applicant and those sponsoring the event(s) or conference(s). These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Other exceptional circumstances may be acceptable on a case-by-case basis but entry is at the discretion of the immigration officer. If you are unsure if your grounds will be accepted, you may contact us for a consultation.
I am inadmissible on criminal grounds. Can I apply for a TRP?
That depends on the type of crime(s) you committed. It also depends on where the crime(s) was committed.
For convictions for crimes that would be punishable within Canada by a maximum sentence of over 10 years in prison:
If you committed that crime in Canada and have since been pardoned for it you are admissible (if you need a Canadian Pardon, we can assist you with this process as well. Contact us for more information.
If you committed the crime in another country and have received a pardon, you may be able to apply for a TRP, if the pardon is recognized by Canadian Immigration & Citizenship (IRCC). In order to find out if your pardon is recognized, you must contact your local Canadian visa office.
If your pardon is not recognized by IRCC, or you committed the crime in Canada but have never received a pardon, you can still file an application for rehabilitation if at least 5 years have elapsed since the completion of your entire sentence. However it is extremely unlikely you will be eligible for a TRP before you have been deemed rehabilitated.
If your crime was an act that would be punishable in Canada by a maximum imprisonment of less than 10 years:
- If you committed the crime(s) in Canada and have been pardoned you are admissible.
- If you committed the crime(s) in Canada and have not been pardoned, it depends on the type of crime:
- For an indictable offence, you can fill out an application for rehabilitation if at least 10 years have elapsed since you completed your entire sentence;
- For two or more summary offences, you can fill out an application for rehabilitation if at least 5 years have elapsed since you completed your entire sentence;
- For a single summary offence, you should be admissible but it is advisable to apply for an assessment at a Port of Entry (if you live in the US) or at a visa office before you attempt to enter Canada;
- If you cannot wait the 5 or 10 years required of your conviction you can attempt to get a TRP.
- If you committed the crime(s) outside of Canada and have received a pardon, you can apply for a TRP, provided the pardon is recognized by Canadian Immigration & Citizenship (IRCC). In order to find out if your pardon is recognized, you must contact your local Canadian visa office.
- If the pardon is not recognized by IRCC, you can fill out an application for rehabilitation if at least 5 years have elapsed since you completed your entire sentence. If you cannot wait for the application for rehabilitation to be processed, you can apply for a TRP.
- If you committed the crime(s) outside of Canada and have not been pardoned you will need to fill out an application for rehabilitation if at least 5 years have elapsed since you completed your entire sentence. If you cannot wait for the application for rehabilitation to be processed, you can apply for a TRP.
- If less than 5 years have elapsed since the completion of your entire sentence, you can apply for a TRP.
You can apply for rehabilitation by mail or in person at any visa office, or at any Port of Entry if you are applying from the US (though the process is different).
Note: If you are applying in person at a Port of Entry or within Canada and you have not already been deemed admissible through an assessment by Canadian immigration officials, there is some element of risk to you and anyone accompanying you whose status is also in question. If you apply at a port of entry and are not allowed to apply for a TRP, you will be asked to return home immediately. If you do not do so, you may be detained, forcibly removed or even arrested and charged. If you apply for an assessment within Canada and are not allowed to apply for a TRP, you will be asked to leave Canada voluntarily. If you do not agree to leave voluntarily, you will be detained, or forcibly removed from Canada, and / or arrested and charged. If you are in Canada without permission, it is best that you leave the country immediately and apply for a TRP or application of rehabilitation from outside the country.
What is an Application for Rehabilitation?
An application for rehabilitation is a way of applying to determine if you are no longer inadmissible on criminal grounds. Under most circumstances it must be filed at least 5 years after the completion of your sentence, at the nearest visa office (or in the US at a Port of Entry). For particularly serious crimes it must be filed after 10 years. Early applications can be made, and may be granted under very special circumstances. An application for rehabilitation must be submitted even if you are only applying for the Canadian government's free assessment to determine the length of your inadmissibility.
If your application is accepted, you will no longer require TRPs to enter Canada.
If I inadmissible because of crime, must I submit an application of rehabilitation?
Not necessarily. Canadian immigration officials may deem you rehabilitated when you apply for entry into Canada if enough time has passed since your sentence ended (depending on the type and severity of the crime). The best way of discovering your status is through an assessment. An assessment determines whether you are already “deemed rehabilitated” by the Canadian authorities, whether you must apply for rehabilitation, or whether it is impossible for you to enter Canada because of your criminal past. The responsibility to prove you are rehabilitated lies with you so it is best to at least submit an assessment.
What is the difference between deemed rehabilitation and an application for rehabilitation??If you were inadmissible to Canada on criminal grounds you can become admissible if enough time has passed since your crime (depending on the nature of the crime). If you more than satisfy these rules you may be deemed admissible by Canadian immigration officials without having to pay to apply for rehabilitation. Canadian immigration officials can perform a rehabilitation assessment by request at overseas visa offices (or Ports of Entry in the United States) which will inform you whether or not you are now admissible. It is possible to attempt to enter Canada without the assessment if you meet the requirements posted on IRCC’s website. However, this is not recommended because admission is never guaranteed and you are more likely to be allowed to enter Canada provided you have made some kind of attempt to show the immigration officials you are rehabilitated.
I am inadmissible on health grounds. Can I apply for a TRP??The onus is on you to prove to the Canadian immigration authorities that your condition does not render you inadmissible. If you are coming to Canada for less than six months, you are not subject to a medical examination. It is therefore possible, though definitely not recommended, that if you have a medical condition which makes you inadmissible, you could apply for a temporary resident visa – provided it is for less than six months – and be accepted. However, failure to disclose your communicable disease would be an immigration violation and make you doubly inadmissible. You should not do this under any circumstances.
If you are the spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child of a Canadian permanent resident, you are admissible to Canada even if your condition will not cause excessive demand on the health or social system. Convention refugees and protected persons are similarly exempt from this category of inadmissibility. However, a communicable disease that endangers the public safety of Canada is still grounds for inadmissibility, regardless of the nature of your application.
If you think Canadian immigration authorities would regard your condition as grounds for inadmissibility, or you have been told by Canadian immigration authorities already that your condition makes you inadmissible, the onus is on you to convince them and a Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) that your condition either
- is not a danger to the public safety of Canada and / or
- will not impose excessive demands on the Canadian health and social systems. If you cannot do this, you will remain inadmissible.
If there are compelling humanitarian, compassionate or public interest grounds to allow you to enter Canada for a brief time despite a medical condition that makes you inadmissible, then you may be granted a TRP, but only at the discretion of immigration officials and a DMP. The restrictions on your TRP may be severe.
I am inadmissible to Canada because of a removal order. Can I apply for a TRP?Whether or not you can return to Canada depends on how you were asked or ordered to leave in the first place:
- Departure order (IMM 5238)
- If you complied with the departure order within 30 days and notified a Canadian immigration official of your departure, you can apply for a TRP and may even be granted a visa (depending on circumstances);
- If you did not comply with the departure order within 30 days, the departure order became a deportation order (see below);
- If you did not notify Canadian immigration officials of your departure, the departure order became a deportation order (see below);
- Direction to leave Canada order (IMM 1217B)
This order is not a removal order, whereas the other three are removal orders. If you complied with this order then you should be able to re-enter Canada normally and you should be granted a visa (if applicable);
- Exclusion order (IMM 1214B)
- If it has been 12 months since you left Canada and you have a Certificate of Departure (IMM 0056B) proving that fact, then you can apply for a TRP;
- If it has been less than 12 months since you left Canada according to your Certificate of Departure (IMM 0056B) you must apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada along with your application for a TRP. Some visa offices – specifically those serving visa-exempt countries - have their own forms. Otherwise, you must apply using the temporary resident visa form, which you would also use to apply for a TRP;
- If you do not have your Certificate of Departure, you must apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada along with your application for a TRP;
- Deportation order (IMM 5238B)
Anyone subject to a deportation order must complete and submit an Authorization to Return to Canada along with the application for a TRP.
- Departure order (IMM 5238)
What is an authorization to return to Canada (ARC)?
If you have been ordered out of Canada, or physically removed, you may need to apply for an authorization to return to Canada (see above). This authorization is the way the Canadian government grants you permission to apply for a TRP (as removal orders make you otherwise inadmissible to Canada). Depending on where you are applying, there may be a separate form or you may apply on a temporary residence visa (TRV) form (the same form on which you would apply for a TRP). For example, the visa offices in Vienna and in London both have their own ARC forms. It is best to contact the visa office near you before applying.
I am inadmissible to Canada because I violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). Can I apply for a TRP?
There are a number of types of violations of the IRPA that can render you inadmissible: misrepresentation, failure to respect the time limits of your visa or your permit, failure to respect the restrictions for permanent residents, and anything which makes you the subject of a removal order.
Misrepresentation is considered fraud. It includes using fake or altered documents to enter Canada, gain status in Canada or gain Canadian citizenship. These documents may include passports or other travel documents, visas, diplomas and other education certificates, vital statistics certificates (i.e. birth, death, marriage), and any kind of criminal records or police certificates. If you misrepresented yourself to Canadian immigration officials, you could be subject to the following penalties:
- inadmissibility for two years
- therefore you must wait at least two years since you left Canada to apply for a TRP;
- revocation of your status
- in this case you will have to apply for a TRP to re-enter Canada but there is no guarantee you will be granted one;
- criminal charges
- in this case you will be inadmissible for 5 years after completing the entirety of your sentence and you will have to apply for an application of rehabilitation after that time. If you have not received a pardon it is very unlikely you will be deemed rehabilitated, even if you have waited 5 years;
- a removal order
If you overstayed your visa or permit you can attempt to apply for a TRP within Canada but most likely you will be met with a removal order (unless there are exceptional circumstances). You should leave Canada and seek an assessment at the visa office in your country of origin. This assessment will tell you whether you can apply for a visa or a TRP.
If you are a permanent resident who failed to comply with the permanent resident condition regarding days in Canada, you should stop traveling immediately and stay within Canada until you again comply with the regulations. Applying for a TRP should only be a last resort if you are outside of Canada when you violate the condition and are not allowed to return. You may need to obtain an Authorization to Return to Canada in this case.
- inadmissibility for two years
I am inadmissible to Canada because of membership in an organization classified as terrorist by the Canadian government but I have not participated in any acts of terrorism or subversion. Can I apply for a TRP?No.
was a member of a government sanctioned by the international community. Can I apply for a TRP?
It depends one whether or not Canadian immigration classifies you as a “senior” member, i.e. someone with responsibility for the government actions that resulted in the imposed sanctions. The only way you could answer this question would be to ask for an assessment at the visa office nearest your country.
I was a member of an organization characterized as subversive decades ago, but now it is a political party with an active role in government. Am I inadmissible?
Most likely, it depends on whether your organization has been classified as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government. This is the kind of decision that would be made by Canadian immigration on a case-by-case basis and the only way you would be able to discover whether you are inadmissible or admissible would be through an assessment or a TRP application.
In order to apply for a TRP, you must apply using a temporary resident visa form, unless you are from a country where you don’t need a visa, and then you must use special forms from your closest visa office. Here is the list of countries where special forms are required:
Andorra Croatia Hungary Liechtenstein Papua New Guinea Slovenia Antigua and Barbuda Cyprus Iceland Lithuania* Poland* Solomon Islands Australia Denmark Ireland Luxembourg Portugal Spain Austria Estonia Israel* Malta Saint Kitts and Nevis Sweden Bahamas Finland Italy Monaco Samoa Switzerland Barbados France Japan Netherlands San Marino Taiwan* Belgium Germany South Korea New Zealand Singapore United Kingdom Brunei Greece Latvia Norway Slovakia United States
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