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Immigration Law

Canadian Immigration Law: Solutions to Inadmissibility Challenges

October 27, 2023 by Pius Omene

Overcoming Inadmissibility to Canada

Canada maintains stringent standards to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents. As part of the immigration process, applicants are vetted for any reasons they might be deemed "inadmissible" to Canada. However, inadmissibility isn't always the end of the road. There are mechanisms that might help an Applicant overcome this obstacle and we will review some of them in this post but first we will discuss what “inadmissibility” means.

Inadmissibility in Canadian immigration refers to reasons an individual might be barred from entering or residing in Canada. There are several reasons for inadmissibility, and they include:

  1. Security issues: Involvement in espionage, subversion, violence, or terrorism.
  2. Human or International Rights Violations: Involvement in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or being a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions.
  1. Serious Criminality: Committing a crime punished in Canada by a maximum prison term of at least 10 years or receiving a sentence in Canada of more than six months.
  1. Criminality: Committing a crime outside of Canada that, if committed inside Canada, would be punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment or committing two or more crimes outside of Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offense.
  1. Organized Criminality: Involvement in organized crime, including people smuggling, human trafficking, or money laundering.
  1. Health Grounds: Medical conditions that might pose a risk to public health, public safety, or cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada.
  1. Financial Reasons: Not demonstrating sufficient financial resources to support oneself or dependents after arriving in Canada.
  1. Misrepresentation: Providing false information or withholding material information related to a relevant matter that could induce an error in the decision-making process.
  1. Non-compliance with IRPA (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act): Not complying with the provisions of the Act, like overstaying a visa.
  1. Inadmissible Family Member: Having a family member who is inadmissible can also render the principal applicant inadmissible, even if the family member isn't accompanying.

Steps to Address Inadmissibility

  1. Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): This permit allows an individual who is inadmissible, or who does not meet the general requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), to temporarily reside in Canada. It's evaluated case-by-case, balancing the need for the individual to come to Canada against any potential health or safety risks.
  2. Criminal Rehabilitation: Individuals with criminal inadmissibility can apply for this after a certain period (usually 5 or 10 years) following the completion of their sentence. If approved, their inadmissibility is permanently resolved.
  3. Deemed Rehabilitation: Depending on the crime and time passed since completion of the sentence, an individual might automatically be considered rehabilitated. This typically applies for non-serious crimes and if at least ten years have passed since the sentence was fully served.
  4. Record Suspension or Pardon: If a crime was committed in Canada, individuals can seek a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) which may remove criminal inadmissibility.
  5. Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC): Those deported from Canada may need an ARC to return, depending on the type of deportation order they received.
  6. Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Consideration: In some cases, individuals can appeal for consideration based on humanitarian and compassionate reasons if they believe the enforcement of regular immigration stipulations might result in undue hardship.
  7. Sponsorship: Some inadmissible individuals might be sponsored by a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident under certain categories.
  8. Medical Inadmissibility Solutions: For medical inadmissibility, presenting a mitigation plan or evidence that demonstrates the condition won't overly burden Canadian health or social services can help.


Navigating inadmissibility can be extremely difficult. While Canada has rigorous standards, it also provides pathways to overcome these barriers, emphasizing fairness and consideration. If faced with inadmissibility challenges, consulting with a Canadian immigration lawyer can provide clarity, direction, and enhanced chances of success.