Canada announces increase in application fees for inadmissible foreign workers

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Canada has announced an increase in application fees for foreign nationals seeking re-admission to Canada after being inadmissible which will take effect on December 1st, 2023.

According to the Service Fees Act (SFA), the application fees are adjusted for inflation every December 1st and have been adjusted for inflation since 2018.

Under the Service Fee Adjustment (SFA), clients may receive partial refunds, termed remissions, if service standards are not met. For applications received by IRCC on or after December 1st, 2023, remissions will be issued, typically by July 1st of the following fiscal year.

How to overcome inadmissibility
Canada’s admissibility requirements, enforced by the IRCC and CBSA, necessitate foreign nationals to pass a criminal background check before entry. If a foreign national has a history of arrest or conviction, they may be considered criminally inadmissible to Canada. However, there are three main ways to overcome inadmissibility to Canada:

  • A Temporary Resident Permit application
  • A Criminal Rehabilitation application
  • A Legal Opinion letter
  • A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) grants temporary access to Canada for a certain period of time. A TRP is used in situations where a traveler has a valid reason for entering into Canada and the benefits of their entry outweigh any risks to Canadian society.

There is no requirement that the applicant has completed their criminal sentence before applying for a TRP, which can be granted for up to three years, depending on the reason for entry to Canada.

Foreign nationals can submit a criminal rehabilitation application to permanently clear past criminal history for entering Canada. This one-time solution, upon approval, eliminates inadmissibility without the need for renewal or a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for entry.

In order to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have committed an act outside of Canada that would be equivalent to an offence under the Canadian Criminal Code,
  • Must have been convicted of or admitted to committing the act, and
  • Five years must have passed since the sentence has been completed. This includes jail time, fines, community service or probation.
  • Finally, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you can pre-emptively avoid being found inadmissible to Canada by submitting a legal opinion letter addressed to the judicial authority hearing your case.

A legal opinion letter is drafted by a Canadian immigration lawyer and explains the consequences of a conviction for the Canadian immigration purposes. It cites relevant sections of Canadian law to help the official determine the charges and how different outcomes (conviction, sentencing, etc.) would affect the ability to come to Canada.

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