We offer assistance in drafting Temporary Residence Permits and Applications for Rehabilitations to restore the right of individuals to go travel to Canada. Unlike the Canadian pardon services, we are experts at showing the required rehabilitation.
Under Article 36 of the Canadian Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act or “IRPA,” an individual is barred from entering Canada if he/she has committed an offense outside of Canada which would be a indictable offense if committed in Canada or has committed two or more summary offenses. An American would think of an indictable offense as a “felony,” an offense which could carry more than one year incarceration. A summary offense would be considered a “misdemeanor” by most Americans and carries less than one year.
Many Canadian offenses are deemed “dual election” or hybrid offenses which can be charged as either a summary or indictable offense. If the offense took place outside of Canada, these offenses are converted as indictable offenses. The two most common hybrid offenses are DWI and assault offenses. These are both treated as indictable offenses.(A different rule applies for individuals who committed the offenses inside Canada)
Under Canadian law, an individual who commits one and only indictable offense (which would carry less than ten years if committed in Canada) is eligible for a process called “automatic rehabilitation.” Automatic rehabilitation takes place ten years from the person’s release from the last aspect of their criminal sentence. Thus if an offender was convicted in a Michigan court of DWI on January 1, 2005 and released from probation on January 1, 2006, the individual would be eligible for being “deemed rehabilitated” on January 1, 2016.
We are also expert at rehabilitating criminal convictions on the US side so that they will no longer be deemed criminality under the IRPA. As Canadian immigration policies have grown stricter, it is risky to invest in a cheap “pardon service” that misses many of the issues. With a cross-border team, we are capable of seeing issues that others miss. For example, Canada looks to the core facts to see how an offense would charged if the US offense had occurred in Canada. Whether the US offense would equate to a Canadian offense carrying less than ten years (“ordinary criminality”) or one that carries more than ten years (“serious criminality”) is often a judgment call where a skilled knowledge of both systems can assist the prisoner. In one case, we were able to enter a US court order clarifying the nature of the conviction which allowed the person to take advantage of the “deemed rehabilitative” status and undergo the costly cycles of temporary resident permits and ultimately rehabilitation. Additionally, under Canadian rules individuals with serious criminality require supervisory level approval for TRPs and are subject to more intensive background review by the Canadian Consulate.
Further, as Michigan Department of Corrections and police agencies have tightened their policies on access to information, we are able to assemble documents quickly. Also, the meetings are conducted in Michigan and Canadian counsel meets you at the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel to guide you through the interview process.
Through our collaborative process with Canadian counsel, we are expert at arguing for the best conversion of criminal offenses. We are also adapt at navigating the conflicting statements in various administrative documents about whether a compelling reason needs to be shown to obtain a TRP under Section 24 of IRPA.