Acquiring a work permit in Canada is a goal for many foreign nationals who wish to improve their skills and abilities, and further enhance their credentials and work experiences by coming to Canada. Some people wish to become permanent residents after having worked in Canada. However, obtaining a Canadian work permit or other kinds of permits may be difficult for those who have faced criminal charges and convictions due to Canada’s heightened security and restrictions in accordance to immigration laws.

According to the Government of Canada on overcoming criminal convictions, criminal offences that may prohibit a potential applicant from getting a work permit include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Dangerous driving and traffic violations
  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Possession of or trafficking in drugs or controlled substances

So, can I still be issued a Canadian permit despite of these offences on my criminal record?

The answer is yes. However, the process of obtaining a Canadian work or study permit still depends on the crime, and on the date in which the offence has occurred in relation to the date of filing your work permit application.

You may prove to an immigration officer that you:

  • meet the legal terms of being ‘deemed to be rehabilitated’
  • ‘applied for rehabilitation’ and were approved
  • were granted a record suspension
  • have a temporary resident permit

Canada is a welcoming country and recognizes the effort of good people who are looking for a second chance in their lives. Some people have been criminally charged or convicted at a young age or even if they were adults, a certain period of time has gone by and applicants would like to establish in Canada. Don’t get discouraged to immigrate if you made a mistake at some point in your life, if you are eligible for rehabilitation or have been deemed rehabilitated because a long time has passed since the criminal offence, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada.

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