What does inadmissibility mean, and how does it impact Canadian immigration?
This blog post examines the different reasons why a person may be found inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Inadmissible to Canada
Inadmissibility means a person has been found to be inadmissible - they are barred from entering Canada. If a person is already in Canada and something happens that makes them inadmissible, they can be removed from the country. In the case of permanent residents, they can lose their permanent resident status.
Inadmissibility issues often arise in the context of other immigration applications. For example, a previous criminal conviction may impact the ability of a Canadian citizen to sponsor their spouse for permanent residence, or it may impact the ability of a foreign worker to receive a work permit.
A person may be found inadmissible for the following reasons under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act:
Security Risk - s. 34
A person may be found inadmissible to Canada because they pose a security risk to the country. This would include involvement with espionage, attempts to overthrow a government, violence or terrorism, or membership in an organization involved in any of these security threats.
Human or International Rights Violations - s. 35(1)(b)
Under section 35(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a person may be found inadmissible due to human or international rights violations. This may include war crimes, crimes against humanity, or being a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions.
Committing a Crime (Criminal Inadmissibility) - s. 36
A person who is criminally inadmissible is not allowed to enter or stay in Canada because they have committed or been convicted of a crime for which they have not received a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon) or they have not been rehabilitated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Criminal inadmissibility encompasses both crimes committed inside or outside of Canada and is detailed in sections 36(1), (2), and (3) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
If you are criminally inadmissible, you may have options - visit Sisu Legal’s Criminal Inadmissibility page to learn more.
Organized Crime - s. 37
Under section 37 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, involvement in organized crime will result in inadmissibility. This includes membership in an organization that takes part in organized transnational criminal activity such as people smuggling, trafficking in persons, or money laundering.
Medical Reasons - s. 38
Medically inadmissibility might happen for three reasons, as detailed in section 38 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act:
- If they are likely to be a danger to public health. This considers the communicability of the disease, or the impact it could have on persons living in Canada.
- If they are likely to be a danger to public safety. This assessment would look at whether the medical condition that a foreign national has would likely result in sudden incapacity or unpredictable or violent behaviour.
- If they might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on Canada’s health or social services. Excessive demand means that the need for health services to treat the condition would negatively affect medical wait times in Canada, or the required treatment would more than likely cost more than the Canadian average cost per person for health and social services.
Financial Reasons - s. 39
Financial concerns may result in inadmissibility when the person does not have the income necessary to support themselves and the government thinks it’s likely they will need to rely on social welfare programs. Financial inadmissibility is usually determined by an immigration officer after reviewing evidence that supports the foreign national’s current financial situation. The burden of proof is on the applicant to prove that they are willing and able to support themselves, and that there are adequate arrangements for their support in Canada that doesn’t rely on receipt of social assistance.
Misrepresentation - s. 40
Misrepresentation occurs when an individual is found to have provided false or misleading information on an immigration application, or if they withheld important information. Under section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, an individual who is found to have committed misrepresentation may be barred from entering Canada for a period of up to 5 years. If they are already in Canada, they may be removed from the country for misrepresentation.
Failure to Comply with IRPA - s. 41
Another reason for inadmissibility is failing to comply with any provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This is the kind of thing that might occur, for example, if temporary residents work in Canada without the proper permits.
Having an inadmissible family member - s. 42
A person may be found inadmissible if they have a family member who is inadmissible. Except in a few limited situations, an inadmissible family member, inside or outside of Canada, makes the principal applicant inadmissible.