If it has been less than five years since the end of your sentence, and/or if you have exceptional circumstances, you may be eligible to be issued a temporary resident permit allowing you to enter or remain in Canada if inadmissible on A36(2) criminality grounds.
A decision on your admissibility can only be made when you apply to come to Canada or at a port of entry.
If you are inadmissible but have a compelling reason to travel to Canada, in some cases you may be issued a Temporary Resident Permit.
To be eligible for a Temporary Resident Permit, your need to enter or remain in Canada must outweigh the health or safety risks to Canadian society. Even if the reason you are inadmissible seems minor, you must prove your need is valid.
Note: A Temporary Resident Permit is a document that is only issued in exceptional cases. It is not the same as a Temporary Resident Visa.
There is no guarantee that you will be issued a Temporary Resident Permit. If you apply for this permit, you may have to pay a fee which is not refundable, however, a public policy was recently approved with respect to the entry of foreign nationals into Canada who are inadmissible on A36(2) criminality grounds. Specifically, the policy allows the grant of a one-time fee exemption for a Temporary Resident Permit for certain offenses, including offenses such as driving while under the influence. This permit may be cancelled at any time, and you may be subject to an admissibility hearing or a removal order.
A permit is issued for a specified period. This period is often short, for example, for a week to attend a conference. You must leave Canada or apply for a new permit before your current one expires. It may be cancelled by an officer at any time. The permit is no longer valid if you leave Canada, unless you have specifically been authorized to leave and re-enter, which is rare.
If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country, the visa office responsible for your country or region may have their own application form for Temporary Resident Permits. You should verify with the visa office to find out about their specific application procedures.
Otherwise, if you are inadmissible to Canada but wish to visit, you should submit an application for a temporary resident visa, along wth supporting documentation to explain why it may be justified for you to enter Canada.
You may have to attend an interview so that an officer can assess your application.
For more information, refer to Canada's Citizen and Immigration website at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/visa.asp.
The Law Office of Craig W. Penrod has been involved in criminal and DUI defense for more than 25 years. Craig is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist , is AV® rated, the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell®, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and has been selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers™ Editions 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing criminal or DUI charges.