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Denied Entry to Canada: What's Next?

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Crowded immigration line

Being denied entry into Canada can be a shock. Especially if you thought you had all your documentation in order or you’ve been allowed in before. What are your options? And having been denied once, does that mean you can never enter Canada?

No, it doesn’t. There are steps you can take to be allowed entry in the future.

Reasons for Being Denied Entry

It helps to understand common explanations for why people are denied entry into Canada. There are the obvious reasons for preventing admittance, such as a person who is suspected or guilty of espionage, terrorist activity or human rights violations.

Aside from those serious issues, there are other circumstances that might cause a Canadian immigration officer to refuse people entry. These include:
  • Being convicted of a serious crime and/or being involved in a criminal group.
  • Having a health condition that might be contagious or put too many demands on health care and social services systems.
  • Not having adequate financial resources to support themselves and any family members who are traveling together.
  • Having inadequate or false travel documentation.
  • Having a family member who is inadmissible.

Another common reason people are denied entry is one that surprises many. If you have been convicted of a crime such as driving under the influence or assault, a Canadian immigration officer could turn you away. Even if a few years have passed since the conviction and you’ve served the sentence, the charge could be enough to warrant a refusal of entry.

While being turned away can be frustrating and expensive, remember being allowed into the country is up to the discretion of the Canadian immigration officer processing the request. If the officer believes there is evidence that someone could be a risk in Canada, he or she will deny entry.

What to Do After Being Denied Entry

Once you know the reason you’ve been refused entry into Canada, you can take steps to address the situation. Depending on why you were denied, you could apply for a Temporary Residence Permit, which can allow you to stay in the country for a stated length of time. In addition to providing certain documentation, you must express why your need to visit Canada is greater than any risk you might pose by being here.

If you were denied entry because of a criminal charge, it might be necessary to apply for rehabilitation. This process helps establish that you have served your sentence, are unlikely to reoffend and lead a stable lifestyle.

Canadian approval stampRegardless of why you were denied, you want to put together the strongest, most compelling application to be allowed entry. It might be beneficial to get the assistance of an immigration professional to prepare your application. The Canadian Immigration laws are complex and subject to change, which can make the process difficult for people to figure out. Immigration professionals have knowledge about immigration policies as well as the experience of helping people successfully enter the country.

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.

My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families and businesses from North America and around the globe.

Partnering with an experienced lawyer can greatly increase the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals. Immigration is a complex process that requires strong legal strategy, precise submission of legal documents and perfect attention to detail, reducing the risk of wasted time, money or permanent rejection.

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