spousal sponsorship Canada

Spousal Sponsorship Canada Help?

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sponsor spouse to Canada

Canadian immigration lawyer helping with spousal sponsorship inside Canada as well as spousal sponsorship outside Canada. We offer free consultations!

How to Sponsor a Partner That Has a Criminal Record

Foreign nationals with a criminal record, including for non-violent offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), may be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada. This can cause a person to be denied entry at the Canadian border or refused a Canada eTA when attempting to fly to the country. Criminal inadmissibility can also impede eligibility across all immigration programs including spousal sponsorship. Even a criminal offence from 15 or 20 years ago can render a foreign national ineligible for Canadian immigration.

Consequently, if your spouse or partner has a criminal record, your application to sponsor him or her to Canada may be refused on grounds of criminal inadmissibility. Outland spousal sponsorship, as well as inland spousal sponsorship, can be impacted by criminal inadmissibility. Even with a valid immigration visa, such as a Canada Spouse Visa, foreign nationals may have trouble entering Canada with a criminal record.

Resolving Criminal Inadmissibility

In general, Canada does not allow inadmissible people with criminal records to enter the country even if they are partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Canadian criminal inadmissibility can be overcome, however, allowing a person to be successfully sponsored to Canada by their spouse or partner despite having a criminal history. Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation can allow a foreign national that is criminally inadmissible to Canada to petition government authorities to declare them "rehabilitated" or safe. Criminal Rehabilitation typically takes 6 to 12 months to obtain and is a permanent solution that only needs to be done once provided the individual is never arrested again.

A Temporary Resident Permit can also enable a person to overcome Canadian criminal inadmissibility, but is only a temporary fix valid for a limited time-period and does not help with spousal sponsorship. Only Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation can make a criminally inadmissible foreign national eligible for spousal sponsorship. To be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation Canada, at least five years must have passed since full completion of all sentencing (including probation and payment of fines).

Questions about Canadian sponsorship of a partner with a criminal record? Phone our legal team today for a free consultation.

Deemed Rehabilitation

Foreign nationals who have been convicted of a single non-serious crime outside of Canada may be considered "deemed rehabilitated" if at least ten years have passed since he or she finished all sentencing. To be eligible for Canada Deemed Rehabilitation, the Canadian equivalent of the offence must carry a maximum sentence of less than ten years in prison and the person should have no other criminal history. Many misdemeanor and felony convictions that involved a weapon, major property damage, drugs, or physical harm to others, may be excluded due to the severity of the equivalent offence in Canada. If your partner has an arrest in his or her past, it is advisable to consulate a Canadian immigration lawyer regarding eligibility as the onus is always on an applicant to prove their admissibility. Once a foreigner is considered deemed rehabilitated by Canadian immigration officials, he or she may be eligible for spousal sponsorship in Canada or overseas.

Sponsoring a Spouse That Has a DUI

As of December 18, 2018, the maximum penalty for drunk driving offences in Canada has increased to ten years of imprisonment. Consequently, any foreign national with a DUI or DWI conviction after this date will no longer be eligible for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation after ten years and must get approved for Criminal Rehabilitation in order to overcome their inadmissibility before being eligible for a Canadian Spouse Visa. Reckless driving convictions can also now render a person criminally inadmissible to Canada forever, and even a low range or mid range drink driving violation can be problematic. This is a direct result of Canada's Bill C-46, which increased the maximum jail time for a DUI from five years to ten years, meaning it is now considered a very serious crime in Canada.

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