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What does it mean to be rehabilitated in respect to entering Canada?

A rehabilitated person is someone who satisfies an immigration officer that they are not likely to become involved in any new criminal activity. If you have committed or been convicted of a crime outside Canada, you may be eligible for individual or deemed rehabilitation to enter Canada.

For individual rehabilitation, you will most likely be asked to show that:

  • it has been at least five years since your sentence ended, including any period of parole or probation; and
  • you have
    • a stable lifestyle,
    • a permanent home,
    • employment, and
    • letters of reference about your good character, which would show that new crimes are not likely to be committed.

If you are outside Canada, send your application for rehabilitation to the nearest visa office. If you are in Canada, send your application to the nearest Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada office. You can use the same application in or outside Canada.

For deemed rehabilitation, at least 10 years must have passed since completing all imposed sentences for a conviction. This includes probation, fines, and any other conditions that were imposed. You do not need to submit an application to be deemed rehabilitated and there are no costs involved. If all the requirements are met, you would be admissible to Canada.

For more information, see Overcoming criminal inadmissibility.

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