Canada’s criminal justice and immigration systems are inextricably bound together. Moreover, the strong enforcement provisions within the IRPA allow for the refusal of entry or banishment and exile for those already here based on offences committed inside, upon entry, or outside Canada. There are numerous immigration consequences for Foreign Nationals, Refugees (and Claimants), Permanent Residents and even Canadian citizens for criminality; even a single pebble of criminality has far-reaching effects. Immigration jeopardy can flow from convictions in Canada and offences committed outside Canada.
Criminal inadmissibility usually means a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada, or foreign offences that are equivalent to a threshold offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. However, criminal inadmissibility can also result from convictions in Canada or foreign offences that are equivalent to a threshold offence under other Parliamentary legislation, including the wide ranging offence provisions of the IRPA.
Criminality has always had repercussions for non-citizens. Over the years, the scope to address criminality has decreased. The IRPA, now approaching it’s twentieth year, prioritized security. The Supreme Court of Canada considered the objectives of the IRPA Medovarski in sum, the legislation indicates an intent to prioritize security and the IRPA objectives and provisions communicate a “strong desire to treat criminals … less leniently under the former act.” The most fundamental principle, as reaffirmed in Medovarski, is that noncitizens do not have an unqualified right to enter or remain in Canada.
The Federal Court of Appeal has also been clear as to the powers of the executive in removing and denying entry and status to non-citizens that have committed threshold offences:
Contact one of the experienced lawyers at Stewart Sharma Harsanyi for assistance navigating the challenges posed by criminality or allegations of criminality.