IRCC’s Handling of Criminal Rehabilitation Questioned by Federal Court

A person having a previous criminal sentence might be considered prohibited from entering Canada due to an essential crime. Individuals accused of major crimes must apply for criminal rehabilitation in order to enter Canada, regardless of the period after their sentence was completed.

The Federal Court issued its decision for Gosh v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) at the end of March regarding cases concerning serious criminal inadmissibility and rehabilitation. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officer assigned to the case rejected Gosh’s permanent residency application on the theory that he was not properly rehabilitated and hence remained criminally disqualified for Canada PR, despite the fact that he supplied enough evidence to the contrary.

How Canada handle applicants with prior criminal records

Canadian immigration law prohibits people from entering the country if they have committed a crime or been convicted of one. Therefore, if you are “criminally inadmissible,” you will not be allowed to enter Canada on permanent residency.

both minor and serious crimes are included, such as:

  • Theft,
  • Assault,
  • Manslaughter,
  • Dangerous driving,
  • Drunk driving (drugs or alcohol)
  • Possession of or trafficking of drugs.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, there is a list of criminal offences. It may still be possible for you to enter Canada if you were convicted of a crime when you were under 18.

What can be done about previous criminal records?

Depending on the violation, how long ago it occurred, and how you have acted afterwards, you may still be permitted to enter Canada if you:

  • Convince an immigration officer that you meet the legal terms to be deemed rehabilitated, which means, under Canada’s immigration law, means that enough time has passed since you were convicted that your crime may no longer bar you from entering Canada.or
  • Applied for rehabilitation and were approved,
  • Were granted a record suspension
  • Have a temporary permit.

Facts About The Case!

Gosh is an Israeli Palestinian citizen who came to Canada in 2002 and applied for refugee status. In 2004, he was determined to be a Convention refugee and became a permanent resident of Canada.

Gosh was convicted in 2006 on three charges of assault with a weapon and one count of reckless operation of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to two and a half years in jail on the assault counts and two years on the driving conviction. As a result of these convictions, Gosh was judged ineligible to Canada in 2007 and lost his permanent residence status. He was served with a deportation order, but as a protected person, he was allowed to remain in Canada.

Under Article 25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Gosh applied for permanent residence in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds in 2020. He was able to apply for permanent residence in Canada since he was a protected person in Canada.

Court opinion on Gosh’s case

The immigration officer’s evaluation of criminal rehabilitation was found to be unreasonable by the court.

Gosh gave proof of his recovery in a variety of ways in his application. His criminal offences occurred more than 15 years ago, and he expressed tremendous regret for his acts. His life since then has shown that those activities were out of character for him.  When deciding the outcome of an H&C case, the customary rule that severe crime prohibits one from gaining permanent resident status is warranted. Furthermore, considering the importance of this aspect in the H&C decision, the officer’s improper consideration of it is significant enough to make his decision to deny Gosh’s application unreasonable.

Implications of the case

Those who are inadmissible to Canada can apply for criminal rehabilitation through the Canadian government.

As a result, it is critical to ensure that your criminal rehabilitation application is thorough and comprehensive. Application must include:

  • Form for Criminal Rehabilitation Application
  • If applicable, use a Representative form.
  • Copies of applicants’ passport statements addressing the circumstances of their conviction(s), as well as their rehabilitation
  • Reference letters
  • Court documents for any recorded offence
  • The foreign or Canadian legislation that you were accused or convicted under. Foreign laws can be obtained by contacting local police, attorneys, or the courts where the offence occurred.
  • Background checks by the FBI 

It is then possible to submit the application to a Canadian consulate for processing once these documents have been included.

Additionally, you should hire a Canadian immigration lawyer specialising in inadmissibility issues due to criminal offences. With the help of these lawyers, you can make sure your application to Canadian immigration authorities is as strong as possible.

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