Can I stay in Canada if I have a criminal record?

Occasionally, applicants wishing to be sponsored have had criminal convictions, but have come into Canada undetected by the border authorities. They may either have lived with a Canadian common law partner or even be married and are now considering a permanent application.

The criminal conviction must be dealt with first, by what is called a Rehabilitation application.

Criminal rehabilitation applications should be sent directly to the local Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office ( As well, the individual must also apply for a special waiver to remain in Canada called a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), issued in cases of an inadmissibility. Although the Case processing Case Processing Centre in Vegreville processes (TRP) applications, they do not process rehabilitations. Therefore, the applicant may choose to send both applications to the local office, or send them separately.

All spousal sponsorship applications are filed through he Mississauga Case Processing center, but in a situation where there is an unresolved rehabilitation issue, Mississauga will not deal with the Rehabilitation. Do not include the Rehabilitation with the spousal application and work permit. You will need to apply to extend the TRP independently, which is submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta, in accordance with instructions on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s at:

You can include an application for an open work permit with the spousal application which is submitted to Mississauga. In order to obtain an open WP under this pilot, an applicant must meet specific conditions, namely:

• they have submitted an application for permanent residence, sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse;

• they reside at the same address as their sponsor;

• they have valid temporary resident status (as a visitor, student, or worker); and,

• there is no information indicating they are inadmissible to Canada

As you can see, you would not be eligible for an open WP because you would not meet the third requirement above (highlighted), in that someone who holds a TRP is not considered to have valid temporary resident status.