Did you know that there are a number of crimes which can get you deported from Canada? If you are convicted of any of these offences and sentenced to deportation, you will be removed from Canada and may not be able to return.

Some of the most serious crimes which can result in deportation include murder, rape, and other serious criminal offences. However, there are also a number of immigration-related crimes which can lead to deportation, such as document fraud.

If you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to deportation, it is important to know what your rights are and what steps you can take to appeal the decision.

Table of contents

What crimes can get you deported from Canada

Unlike born Canadian citizens, foreign nationals, protected persons, permanent residents and naturalized citizens can be deported from Canada for various reasons. For example, for committing offenses such as immigration violations, being a security concern, or for political reasons. Deportation is when individuals are forced to leave a specific country by immigration authorities. People who are deported usually have to return back to their home country.

The Canadian Constitution designates the federal government as having jurisdiction over enacting immigration laws and deporting non-citizens from Canada. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) was enacted in Canada in 2001.

Permanent residents of Canada are entitled to enter and stay in Canada under the IRPA, which states that they have a restricted right to do so. A permanent residents do not have the same rights as a Canadian citizen when it comes to staying in the country. See section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter).

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada determines who is admissible to the country. A removal order may be imposed on an individual who is inadmissible and subsequently deported from Canada.

Serious crimes for deporation

34 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on security grounds for

(a) engaging in an act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests;

(b) engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government;

(b.1) engaging in an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;

(c) engaging in terrorism;

(d) being a danger to the security of Canada;

(e) engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada; or

(f) being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (b.1) or (c).

35 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of violating human or international rights for

(a) committing an act outside Canada that constitutes an offence referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act;

(b) being a prescribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the Minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act;

(c) being a person, other than a permanent resident, whose entry into or stay in Canada is restricted pursuant to a decision, resolution or measure of an international organization of states or association of states, of which Canada is a member, that imposes sanctions on a country against which Canada has imposed or has agreed to impose sanctions in concert with that organization or association;

(d) being a person, other than a permanent resident, who is currently the subject of an order or regulation made under section 4 of the Special Economic Measures Act on the grounds that any of the circumstances described in paragraph 4(1.1)(c) or (d) of that Act has occurred; or

(e) being a person, other than a permanent resident, who is currently the subject of an order or regulation made under section 4 of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law).

36 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality for

(a) having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or of an offence under an Act of Parliament for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed;

(b) having been convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years; or

(c) committing an act outside Canada that is an offence in the place where it was committed and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years.

37 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of organized criminality for

(a) being a member of an organization that is believed on reasonable grounds to be or to have been engaged in activity that is part of a pattern of criminal activity planned and organized by a number of persons acting in concert in furtherance of the commission of an offence punishable under an Act of Parliament by way of indictment, or in furtherance of the commission of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute such an offence, or engaging in activity that is part of such a pattern; or

(b) engaging, in the context of transnational crime, in activities such as people smuggling, trafficking in persons or laundering of money or other proceeds of crime.

Application

(2) Paragraph (1)(a) does not lead to a determination of inadmissibility by reason only of the fact that the permanent resident or foreign national entered Canada with the assistance of a person who is involved in organized criminal activity.

How to appeal a deportation order

If a permanent resident or protected person receives a sentence of six months or more, they lose their right to appeal. On the other hand, foreign nationals generally have no right to appeal their deportation orders. You are usually banned from returning to Canada after being deported, regardless of how long you lived in the country previously.

If the police find you guilty of a serious criminal offence, they will send your information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA will then take action to have you deported after your permanent resident or protected person status is revoked.

If you have been ordered to leave the country and are in danger of being deported, there are probably many reasons why you want to stay in Canada. If you have the right to appeal, you may appeal your removal order to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). You have 30 days to appeal a removal order from Canada, and this is your opportunity to explain to the IAD why you should be allowed to stay.

The IAD has the authority to take humanitarian and compassionate factors into account during an appeal hearing. In addition, the IAD must also evaluate what is best for any child who could experience negative impacts from the deportation.

The IAD also considers:

  • Nature and seriousness of the crime leading to the issuance of the removal order
  • The likelihood of an offender repeating their crime or committing a new one
  • Remorse shown by the individual
  • Possibility of rehabilitation
  • The length of time the appellant has spent in Canada, as well as his or her degree of integration into Canada
  • What effect would the appellant's removal from Canada have on his or her family in Canada and the difficulties or dislocation might the appellant's family face if he or she is deported from Canada
  • Support available from both family and their community for the individual
  • The level of hardship the appellant would experience if they had to return to their home country
  • The best interests of any child who would be affected by the decision

What are the consequences of deportation

Deportation is a devastating outcome, both emotionally and financially, especially when the affected individual has resided in Canada for many years. A person who is deported from Canada will likely be separated from their family members for a long period of time. Not only does the deportee suffer, but their close family members often feel psychological stress and may experience financial difficulties.

Furthermore, many deported persons are returning to a country or region where they have no residency, poor job prospects, dangerous circumstances due to the political climate in their home country, along with a criminal record which will only make it more difficult.

Conclusion

If you are convicted of a serious crime and sentenced to deportation, you will be removed from Canada and may not be able to return.

It’s important to understand the immigration consequences of being charged with a crime, since a guilty plea or criminal conviction may result in the loss of permanent residency and even citizenship for naturalized citizens. Even if a judge is sympathetic to your case, you cannot appeal a removal order if convicted of a crime with a minimum prison sentence of six months or more, as stated in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), under section 68.

If you’re facing deportation, get in contact with an immigration lawyer or consultant to understand the Canadian criminal code, your rights and how to appeal the potential loss of your immigration status.