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People who apply for permanent residence have to show that they are ‘admissible’ to Canada.   Even though someone has been found to be a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection, they could still be refused permanent residence based on inadmissibility for certain reasons or ‘grounds’:

On grounds of security: An applicant will be inadmissible if:

  • They tried to overthrow a democratic government
  • They took part in an attempt to overthrow any government by force
  • They engaged in terrorism
  • They were a member of an organization that did any of these things
  • They are found to be a danger to the security of Canada
  • They have engaged in acts of violence that might endanger the lives or safety of people in Canada.

For violation of human or international rights: Applicants will be inadmissible if they have committed crimes against humanity or war crimes or they have been a senior officer in a government that engaged in:

  • terrorism
  • genocide
  • a war crime
  • a crime against humanity
  • serious human rights violations.

Based on criminal background: A refugee may be found inadmissible because of involvement in organized crime or because of ‘serious criminality’. Serious criminality means:

  • They have been convicted of a crime in Canada that carries a maximum sentence of at least 10 years or
  • They have been convicted of a crime in Canada for which they got a sentence of more than 6 months in prison or
  • They were convicted of a crime outside Canada that would carry a maximum sentence of at least 10 years if it had been committed in Canada.

Due to a health condition: Refugees who apply for permanent residence must be medically examined to prove that they do not have a health condition that is likely to be a danger to public health or public safety.

What happens if someone is inadmissible?

If a refugee is found to be inadmissible to Canada, they will not be granted permanent resident status. For certain types of inadmissibility, they could also risk losing their protected person status.  A refugee who is concerned that they or any of their family members might be inadmissible should get legal advice before submitting an application for permanent residence.

Last updated: Nov 1, 2017


All taxonomy terms:

All taxonomy terms: Letters

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All taxonomy terms: Inadmissibility

All taxonomy terms: Proof of identity

All taxonomy terms: Applying for OHIP

All taxonomy terms: Special hearings