Inadmissibility

What it means to be inadmissible

Some people aren’t allowed to come to Canada. They’re “inadmissible” under Canada’s immigration law.

A Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter Canada when you:

  • apply for a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or
  • when you arrive at a port of entry.

There are different reasons we may not let you into Canada, such as security, criminal or medical reasons.

If you’re inadmissible to Canada

Normally, if you’re inadmissible to Canada, you won’t be allowed to enter the country. If you have a valid reason to travel to Canada that is justified in the circumstances, we may issue you a temporary resident permit.

If you’ve committed or been convicted of a crime, you have a few options to overcome your criminal inadmissibility.

Penalties for driving while impaired

If you drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, including cannabis, you may be inadmissible for serious criminality. This means:

  • you won’t be able to enter or stay in Canada unless we issue you a temporary resident permit
  • you’ll have to pay the CAN$200 processing fee for the permit and there’s no guarantee you’ll be allowed to enter or stay in the country

Why you could be found inadmissible

A Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter Canada when you apply for a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), or when you arrive at a port of entry.

If you’re found inadmissible, you’ll be denied a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), refused entry to, or removed from Canada.

You could be found inadmissible for a number of reasons, such as:

  • security reasons, including
    • espionage
    • subversion (attempts to overthrow a government, etc.)
    • violence or terrorism
    • membership in an organization involved in any of these
  • human or international rights violations, including
    • war crimes
    • crimes against humanity
    • being a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions
  • committing a crime, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • organized crime, including membership in an organization that takes part in organized criminal activity, people smuggling or money laundering
  • medical reasons – this includes medical conditions that:
    • endanger public health
    • endanger public safety or
    • causes excessive demand on health or social services (some applicants are exempt)
  • financial reasons – if you’re unable or unwilling to support yourself and your family members
  • misrepresentation, which includes providing false information or withholding information directly related to decisions made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
  • failure to comply with any provision of IRPA or
  • having an inadmissible family member.
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