Normally, if you were convicted of a criminal offence, you can’t enter Canada without a temporary resident permit. This permit has a processing fee of C$200.
However, for some criminal offences (like minor public mischief or theft), you may be able to get a permit for 1 visit without paying the fee if you:
- were convicted of an offence defined under section 36(2) of Canada’s immigration laws
- have served no jail time, and
- have done nothing else that would make you inadmissible.
You can’t get the temporary resident permit fee waiver if you have convictions for:
- child pornography or any sexual offence
- any serious criminal offences, defined under section 36(1) of Canada’s immigration laws, including:
- most offences related to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including cannabis
- most cannabis-related crimes, including illegally producing, selling, importing or exporting
- fraud of C$5,000
- assault causing bodily harm
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Canada is increasing the penalties for most impaired driving crimes. As of December 18, 2018, if you drive while impaired, you may be inadmissible for serious criminality. You won’t be eligible for the fee waiver. Learn more about the penalties for impaired driving.