Inadmissible Legal Opinion Letter
Anyone that has been charged with an offence but has not yet been convicted can take steps to avoid becoming inadmissible to Canada.
A legal opinion letter can be drafted by a Canadian immigration lawyer with details concerning the person's charge and the lawyer’s legal conclusions and/or analysis on the situation. The purpose of the letter is to explain the legal matter, identify risks and relevant Canadian law, and explain why the person should be deemed admissible to Canada.
However, individuals that have been convicted of a crime that renders them inadmissible to Canada can still apply for either a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), for Criminal Rehabilitation to address their criminal inadmissibility.
The Campbell Cohen Immigration Law Firm can assist in your efforts to enter Canada. Simply complete our contact form and one of our experts will reach out to schedule a free consultation with you.
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Is there anything an individual can do to preemptively avoid being convicted of a crime that renders one inadmissible?
The answer is yes. One manner through which this may be accomplished is with a legal opinion letter addressed to the judicial authority hearing the case.
This is a legal opinion that is drafted by a Canadian immigration lawyer in which they refer to the relevant sections of Canadian law to explain the consequences a guilty verdict would carry with regard to an individual’s ability to enter Canada.
Depending on the circumstances, the effects of a conviction and the resulting inadmissibility can be severe. For example, someone whose employment requires a recurring need to enter Canada can see their livelihood threatened by a determination of inadmissibility to Canada. Similarly, an individual with family in Canada can be prevented from seeing these family members as a consequence of being found inadmissible.
In addition to appealing to the judge’s compassion by outlining the effects of a conviction, a lawyer can also suggest alternate infractions that would not render the individual criminally inadmissible should they be convicted. This switch is not always possible for more serious charges, but offences, such as impaired driving or reckless driving, can sometimes be pleaded down in such a way that the conviction does not result in inadmissibility.
For example, the charges above can be reduced to a traffic violation that does not render one inadmissible to Canada, or the charge can even be dropped altogether in certain cases. A legal opinion letter can help by laying out options allowing this to take place and explaining any mitigating circumstances that could warrant a less severe punishment.
When appropriate, the judge might attribute significant weight to the legal opinion letter and take it into consideration when imposing the sentence. In this manner, individuals who had the foresight to procure a legal opinion letter from an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer have been convicted of a lesser offence. Consequently, they have avoided being found inadmissible.
There are a few ways in which a convicted individual can be classified as admissible to Canada:
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
A temporary resident permit is a solution that can grant temporary access to Canada for those currently considered criminally inadmissible. A TRP should only be applied for significant reasons, which can include business travel, reuniting with family or emergency situations. The TRP can be granted to individuals for the duration of their stay up to a period of three years, depending on the reason for entering Canada.
Criminal Rehabilitation is an application offered by the Canadian government to those that are eligible for permanent clearance of past criminal history for the purposes of entering Canada. If an individual receives an approval for Criminal Rehabilitation, they are no longer considered inadmissible, and would not require a temporary resident permit for entry.
A person is “deemed rehabilitated” when they are no longer considered criminally inadmissible to Canada by immigration authorities. This is possible when they meet certain criteria.
However, individuals who are deemed rehabilitated still encounter issues at the Canadian border, or points of entry (POE), such as Canadian customs at an American airport. Canadian immigration border officers can turn people away at their discretion. This means that if an individual is deemed to pose a security risk by those officials, even based on a non-serious charge on their criminal record, they may still be denied entry.
This is why a legal opinion letter drafted by a lawyer is so important. It can help an individual who may be denied entry access into Canada. By explaining the circumstances surrounding the conviction to an immigration officer, the letter can save travellers a lot of trouble.
Campbell Cohen is one of Canada's leading immigration law firms. We have over 45 years of experience and feature a team of over 60 Canadian immigration attorneys, paralegals, and other dedicated professionals.
Campbell Cohen uses its expertise to help clients overcome inadmissibility issues. Our team of inadmissibility lawyers and professionals will work to understand your situation and then submit the strongest possible application to Canadian immigration authorities.
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