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:
- 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.