Understanding Canadian Entry Waivers: What You Need to Know

Canadian entry waivers are essential for individuals deemed inadmissible to Canada, often due to past criminal records or health concerns. This blog provides an overview of the entry waiver process, its significance for those needing to enter Canada, and the implications for affected individuals and their connections. Understanding entry waivers is vital for effectively navigating the complexities of Canadian immigration rules.

Entry Waiver

What is a Canadian Entry Waiver?

A Canadian entry waiver is a document that allows individuals who are otherwise inadmissible to Canada to enter the country. It’s necessary for individuals who have been denied entry due to past criminal offenses or other reasons that make them inadmissible under Canadian immigration laws. The waiver essentially provides a legal means for these individuals to visit or immigrate to Canada, despite their inadmissibility. This is crucial for those who need to enter Canada for various reasons, such as family, business, or tourism, but have factors in their background that prevent standard entry clearance.

Common reasons for becoming inadmissible. 

  • Criminal convictions, either in Canada or abroad.
  • Serious health problems that might pose a public health risk.
  • Financial reasons, such as an inability to support oneself financially.
  • Violations of human or international rights.
  • Security reasons, including espionage, subversion, or terrorism.
Entry Waiver

Application Process for an Entry Waiver

  1. Check Eligibility: Before starting the application, determine if you are eligible for rehabilitation. This involves reviewing the nature of your past offense and how much time has passed since its occurrence or the completion of your sentence.

  2. Fill Out Application Forms: Complete the required forms, which include the Application for Criminal Rehabilitation (IMM 1444) and the Document Checklist (IMM 5507). These forms are critical for providing structured information about your past offenses and current situation.

  3. Provide Detailed Information: In the application, include detailed descriptions of the offenses, including dates, locations, and circumstances. This should be accompanied by a personal statement explaining why you believe you are rehabilitated and how your lifestyle and behavior have changed since then.

  4. Submit the Application: Once all forms are completed and necessary documents are compiled, mail your application package to the designated Canadian visa office. Ensure that all components are included to avoid delays or rejection.

  5. Await Processing: After submission, the processing time can vary. It’s important to patiently wait for a response from Canadian immigration authorities. During this period, they review your application and make a decision based on the provided information​​.

Entry Waiver

How Much Does a Waiver to Canada Cost?

The cost of applying for a Canadian entry waiver, specifically for criminal rehabilitation, involves certain fees. As of the latest information:

  • For an application for criminal rehabilitation, the processing fee is CAD $200 if the inadmissibility is for non-serious criminality.
  • For serious criminality, the fee is CAD $1,000.
  • These fees are non-refundable, regardless of the application’s outcome.

It’s important to ensure that these fees are up-to-date by checking the latest information provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)​​.

Entry Waiver

Processing Time for Entry Waivers


The processing time for Canadian entry waivers, particularly for criminal rehabilitation applications, can vary significantly based on the complexity of the case and the workload of the immigration office. There is no standard processing time, and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should be prepared for this process to take several months or even longer. It’s crucial to submit a complete and well-documented application to avoid any unnecessary delays. Regularly checking for updates on the processing times on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website is recommended.

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Common Reasons for Waiver Denial

Common reasons for the denial of Canadian entry waivers, particularly for criminal rehabilitation, often include:

  1. Incomplete or Inaccurate Applications: Missing information or errors in the application can lead to denial. It’s crucial to fill out all forms correctly and provide all requested details.

  2. Insufficient Rehabilitation Evidence: Applicants must convincingly demonstrate that they have reformed and are unlikely to reoffend. Lack of evidence supporting rehabilitation, such as character references or proof of a stable lifestyle, can result in denial.

  3. Severity and Nature of the Offense: Serious offenses, especially those involving violence or significant harm, may lead to a higher likelihood of denial.

  4. Elapsed Time Since the Offense: There’s a mandatory waiting period after completing a sentence or committing an offense. Applications made before this period has elapsed are likely to be denied.

  5. Lack of Supporting Documentation: Failure to provide necessary documents like court records or legal documents can lead to denial, as these are essential in evaluating the case.

  6. Non-disclosure of Offenses: Failing to disclose all relevant past offenses can be seen as a lack of transparency and lead to denial.

Understanding and meticulously addressing these factors can significantly enhance the chances of a successful waiver application.

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Obtaining a Canadian entry waiver requires understanding eligibility, completing detailed applications, and being aware of processing times and costs. Common reasons for denial include incomplete applications and lack of rehabilitation evidence. At Canada By Choice, we specialize in guiding clients through this process, ensuring applications are comprehensive and accurate, thereby increasing the chances of a successful outcome. If you’re facing challenges with Canadian entry waivers, reach out to us at Canada By Choice for personalized assistance and expert guidance to streamline your application process.

Express Entry
The information in this blog is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Everyone’s immigration goals, objectives and situations are different. Please contact us to speak to a consultant for advice.

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