You can apply for rehabilitation if:
- you committed a crime outside Canada (for which you were not charged) over five years ago; or
- you were convicted of a crime outside Canada and your sentence ended at least five years ago.
Here are some examples.
In 1989, I was convicted of driving under the influence in the United States. I did not serve any time in prison and I have had no other convictions. Will I be allowed to enter Canada?
An immigration officer or border services officer may find you rehabilitated under a system called deemed rehabilitation. This system applies to people who, in most cases, have one previous conviction over 10 years ago. If an immigration officer deems you rehabilitated, you will likely be allowed to enter Canada, as long as you meet all other requirements.
On June 3, 2003, I was convicted of driving under the influence and had my driver's licence taken away for three years. When can I apply for rehabilitation?
Your sentence—which included the period your licence was suspended—ended on June 3, 2006. Count five years from the end date of the suspension or the date your driver's licence was reinstated. That shows you can apply for rehabilitation on June 3, 2011.
I was convicted of a crime on December 13, 2002. I received a jail sentence of three months. When can I apply for rehabilitation?
You can apply for individual rehabilitation five years after the end of your sentence. If your three-month jail sentence ended on March 13, 2003, you have been eligible to apply for rehabilitation since March 13, 2008, unless other terms—such as parole or probation—were imposed on your sentence. On March 13, 2013, you may be eligible for deemed rehabilitation.
I have one conviction, for which I am serving three years of probation. Can I apply for rehabilitation after my probation ends?
Yes, but you must wait five years after your sentence ends. Since your sentence includes probation, you can apply for individual rehabilitation five years after you complete your probation.
For more information, see Overcoming criminal inadmissibility.