REHABILITATION Increase your odds
across the border

Canadian Rehabilitation
The Process
Entering Without Rehabilitation
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The rehabilitation process divides individuals into two categories: those who are deemed rehabilitated and those who must apply. Each process involves a number of complex factors.


Any individual convicted of a crime in the United States must receive the Minister's Approval of Rehabilitation before entering Canada. Rehabilitation permanently removes the inadmissible status.

Rehabilitation means that an individual leads a stable lifestyle and is unlikely to be involved with further criminal activity.

Three factors control the outcome: the type of crime, the passage of time, and a subsequently clean record.


In general, only individuals convicted of a felony punishable by a maximum term less than ten years are eligible for rehabilitation.

Before it considers a foreign crime for rehabilitation, Canada must evaluate the offense in the context of its own criminal categories.

Canada divides its crimes into three major categories:
indictable, summary, and hybrid.

Indictable Offenses

Indictable offenses include the most serious crimes like murder, rape, and kidnapping.

Summary Offenses

Summary offenses are reserved for very minor misdemeanors like disturbing the peace or public noise nuisance. Because it is a minor crime, it takes two or more summary offenses to make an individual inadmissible.

Hybrid Offenses

A large category of crimes fall into the hybrid category. Here, the government has the choice to let the Crown proceed against the individual as an indictable offense or allow each province to prosecute the act.

One problem for U.S. citizens is that this category embraces most American misdemeanors. The second problem is that Canada considers any hybrid offense an indictable offense for the purpose of rehabilitation and the attendant waiting period.


Under most scenarios, an individual must wait a specific period of time before their application will be considered. This period depends upon the rehabilitation category.

The Consulate makes further distinctions depending on the type of offense and whether or not the matter was formerly charged.


The formal application and waiting period calculation involves a number of factors. Click here to review the procedure.

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2005. Clear Your Record Law Firm, LLC.