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My Husband is American and I am Canadian. We would like to move to Canada. Will his past Criminality impact my ability to sponsor him?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Inadmissibility Issues and Waivers and Criminal Inadmissibility

My Husband is American and I am Canadian.  We would like to move to Canada.   Will his past Criminality impact my ability to sponsor him?

Depending on your husband’s charge, conviction or sentence and how long ago the offence(s) occurred, he may be found to be inadmissible to Canada and not eligible to be sponsored for permanent residence in Canada.

The first step to determine inadmissibility is to compare the U.S. offence to the equivalent Canadian offence. For example, if the conviction was a DUI, or reckless driving, the Canadian equivalent may be found under Section 253 or Section 249 of the Canadian Criminal Code. The maximum punishment for such an offence if it was committed in Canada would be a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, however, if someone was injured during the incident it could be significantly longer. Where the maximum sentence for a crime would be more than ten years, it is considered to be “serious criminality” . Your husband can still apply for rehabilitation at the Canadian Consulate for this.

If your husband only has one conviction, the crime he committed is punishable by a jail sentence of less than 10 years in Canada and more than ten years has passed since the completion of the sentence (including all probation) he may be eligible to apply for deemed rehabilitation at the POE.

If your husband only has one conviction and the crime he committed is punishable by a jail sentence of less than 10 years in Canada, but only five years have passed since the completion of the sentence (including probation) or the offence he committed is punishable by a jail sentence of longer than 10 years your husband will need to apply for rehabilitation at a Canadian Consulate. This process can take a year or more to complete, so you should apply for rehabilitation as soon as possible, even before beginning the sponsorship process. If you don’t, you may find that your application is delayed, or worse –your application to sponsor him for permanent residence could be denied.

It’s not always easy to tell what may be considered an offence that leads to inadmissibility. Our team at Ackah Business Immigration Law has over 25 years of combined experience in making these types of applications and we are ready to assist you with your rehabilitation application today.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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I used the service of Ackah/ Business immigration Law for a TN work visa in the U.S. Both Sacha and Evelyn were professional and helpful in obtaining the visa and the border was smooth and not stressful. I would recommend their service to anyone requiring any help with Visa’s and cross border issues. Thanks.

– Warren Sharp

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