We all make mistakes. Occasionally, for some of us, a mistake leads to some sort of “conviction.” A conviction could be the consequences of parking too long in a one hour parking zone, exceeding a highway speed limit, getting in a bar fight, shoplifting some sunglasses, up through more serious offences.
I’ve had clients enter Canada dozens of time, only to be told by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the 57th arrival after landing at a Canadian airport, or crossing at a land border, that they’re inadmissible due to criminality. They’re put back on the next return flight from where they just arrived, or told to head their vehicles back in the opposite direction and not return. These are clients who might mostly earn their livelihoods in Canada as sales reps, or have close family in Canada. They’re understandably shocked at being refused entry, especially because some of them have been previously welcomed to Canada so many time with open arms.
The thing they all share in common is one or more “convictions” somewhere in their pasts, sometimes decades previously, and sometimes for acts that aren’t even considered “criminal” where they come from. Section 36 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act governs criminal inadmissibility, explaining rather cryptically:
A foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of criminality for