Can You Travel to Canada with a Criminal Record 2023?

Can You Travel to Canada with a Criminal Record 2023?

Canada is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and has been ranked as one of the best countries in the world to live in.  The majority of people decide to pursue their education and careers in Canada because it is home to many of the greatest institutions and workplaces.

While applying for a Canadian visa, you might have many questions in your mind. Among them, one of the questions can be if you can travel to Canada with a criminal record.

Before finding out the answer to this question, let us first understand the minimum requirements to get a Canadian visa.

Requirements for a Canadian Visa

Canada is one of the most beautiful and safest countries in the world. It is a country with a lot of opportunities for people who want to start a new life.

Moreover, it is the only country that welcomes a high percentage of visitors throughout the year when compared to other countries. If you wish to get a Canada visa, check the requirements below:

You need to have a valid passport and a valid Canadian visa or eTA (electronic travel authorization).
You should explain the purpose of your travel to the immigration officers and also assure them that you will return immediately after the work.
As an immigrant, you need to have good financial support to meet your needs during your stay in Canada.
You should not be involved in any illegal activities or have a criminal history.

1. Can You Travel to Canada with a Criminal Record?

The Canadian Government has decided to accept 465,000 visa applicants  for the year 2023, and gradually the count could rise to 485,000 for the year 2024.

In addition, the government has a plan to welcome refugees and people with criminal backgrounds [as defined by immigration regulations] in order to meet the immigration target of 500,000 by 2025.

So, yes you can travel to Canada with a criminal record provided you give a proper and genuine reason for the same along with documented proof.

2. Why is Canada Accepting People with Criminal Background?

Canada’s immigration policy has been modified and the country is all set to welcome people with criminal backgrounds and refugees. One of the reasons to do so is to maintain the economic stability of the country. The other reason is to recover the fiscal loss experienced during the pandemic period.

The government also believes that there might be instances where people were forced into crime without their consent. So, Canada has taken the unprecedented step of allowing anyone with a criminal record to travel and apply for a visa if one has a proper explanation for the crime, or if one can convince the immigration representative the reason behind the offence.

Let us find out how you can get a Canadian visa despite having a criminal record.

3. How to Get a Visa Despite Having a Criminal Background?

People with a criminal record can travel to Canada if they have been pardoned or received a record suspension.

NOTE: A pardon is an official act of forgiveness from the Governor General of Canada. It is not the same as an expungement, which removes all information about the conviction from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for a pardon, talk to your local police service or Canadian immigration administrative general, high commission, or consulate office abroad.

You must ensure that you do not engage in any criminal activities during your stay in Canada. If you commit a criminal offense while in Canada, you will be sentenced to ten years or more in prison. It will make you criminally inadmissible and you will be unable to enter the country again.

4. How Will My Visa Be Approved if I Have a Criminal Background?

Canada’s immigration laws are very lenient, and they don’t deny entry on the basis of criminal records alone. They only ask for an explanation for your crime, and decide based on that if you can enter or not.

However, visa approval will entirely depend on the immigration department’s decision to consider your reasons for further authorization in accordance with Canadian immigration policy. If you have committed a serious crime, then it may not be possible for you to enter Canada. However, if it is a minor one, then there should be no problem entering Canada.

Final Words

Canada is a great place to visit, no matter which country you live in. People with criminal records can also visit the country without any hassle. But they are advised to adhere to certain rules and regulations set by the Canadian Government.

If you still need more information, then get in touch with Immivoyage. The Expert immigration Consultants at Immivoyage will guide you and help you get visitor visa. Contact today!!