Case Study: Criminal Rehabilitation
A client who had multiple offences when he was young in the United States called our office to seek entry to Canada. He had tried to enter Canada after leaving his cruise ship but was denied entry because he had multiple offences in the United States (one of which was a DUI). Most of these offences occurred many years ago.
What approach should we take to criminal rehabilitation?
The first step is to understand what the exact offences were and why the officer denied him in the first place.
- We generally get an Access to Information Report done, to see if the CBSA recorded any information on their end, we also ask that the client obtain an FBI report as well as state reports for any state that they’ve lived in for more than 6 months.
- From here, we can determine the equivalency under Canadian law, and determine, with the help of the ATI request, if he is eligible for criminal rehabilitation.
- Once we make this determination, we must show the officer that the client has made positive changes in their life to move past their previous actions and behaviours.
We need to paint a picture for the officer of how the client has changed their life for the better. This can include starting and caring for a family, going to school, working a full-time job, participation in community activities, and more. In other words, we focus on any activities that will help establish this narrative. We also like to have the client describe, in their own words, what they’ve been doing since the offences occurred, and how they’ve drastically improved their lives since then.
Ultimately we need to show beyond reasonable doubt that the person does not pose a threat to public safety in Canada.
According to Immigration Canada, there are a number of other reasons why you may be deemed criminally inadmissible, such as:
- you are a security risk,
- you have committed human or international rights violations,
- you have been convicted of a crime, or you have committed an act outside Canada that would be a crime,
- you have ties to organized crime,
- you have a serious health problem,
- you have a serious financial problem,
- you lied in your application or in an interview,
- you do not meet the conditions in Canada’s immigration law, or
- one of your family members is not allowed into Canada.