Criminal charges in Canada and your immigration status

If a Canadian criminal court convicts you of a crime, this can affect your immigration status in Canada. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record.

There are only two ways a court can convict you of a crime:

  1. You plead guilty. This is when you admit to a judge in court that you committed the crime. You should always get legal advice before deciding to plead guilty.
  2. You plead not guilty, but a judge or jury decides that you are guilty after a trial.

If you are convicted, whether this affects your immigration status depends on:

  • the crime you are charged with, and
  • the sentence that you get.

And in some situations, just being charged with a crime can affect status.

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