Rehabilitation Apps | Meurrens law


Article 36(3)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides the legislative basis for rehabilitation applications. He is pointing out that :

36(3)(c), the matters referred to in paragraphs (1)(b) and (c) and (2)(b) and (c) do not constitute inadmissibility to a permanent resident or a foreign national who, after the prescribed period, satisfies the Minister that he has been rehabilitated or that he is a member of a prescribed class who is deemed to have been rehabilitated.

IRCC Rehabilitation Guide

The following PDF is IRCC’s U.S. Crime Assessment Guide.


Additionally, here is an internal memo from IRCC New York that provides context on the number of rehabilitation requests they receive.

IRCC report in New York

Where to submit

IRCC’s preference is for rehabilitation applications to be submitted separately from applications for permanent or temporary residence.


Case law

In Hadad v. Canada (The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism)2011 CF 1503The Federal Court has confirmed several important principles regarding rehabilitation applications, including the following:

  • The Minister should consider the unique facts of each particular case and determine whether the overall situation warrants a conclusion that the person has been rehabilitated;
  • rehabilitation is focused on the future; And
  • an officer commits a reviewable error if he or she places too much weight on whether an applicant has prior criminal activity as opposed to the likelihood that the applicant will be involved in future or illegal activity.

Likewise, in Fazekas v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)2023 CF 666Justice Norris noted that it was unreasonable for a visa officer to declare that an applicant had not established that he or she was unlikely to reoffend without any explanation if the evidence indicated otherwise.

Truong v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration)2022 CF 602 gives an example of a refused rehabilitation request. There, the Global Case Management System notes, which Madam Justice Furlanetto found reasonable, indicated:

….He has 5 convictions which render him criminally inadmissible under paragraph 36(2)(b). In his answer to question 16, he states that as a young adult he made many mistakes, but has since learned the error of his ways. He provided brief descriptions of the events leading up to the charges/convictions, with one of the recurring elements being that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He developed criminal behavior characterized by numerous offenses and negative contacts with the law. He submitted 3 personal references – from his roommate, his sister-in-law and his brother. Unfortunately, none of the references indicate detailed knowledge of his multiple convictions but generally refer to his past mistakes or, as his brother says, “he has made many mistakes in the past” but that his last offense was more than 5 years and he has moved away from people who were not good for him. He submitted a 2017 U.S. tax return showing business income of $49,522 from self-employment. He states on the form that he is a nail technician. He has not submitted any documentation showing he received counseling, treatment or other rehabilitation. After reviewing the application for rehabilitation, there is not enough documentation to be satisfied that the applicant is rehabilitated and will not reoffend.

It should be noted that in accordance with the decision of the Federal Court in Veizaj v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2016 FC 120 an officer does not have to determine whether an applicant is rehabilitated if the applicant does not request rehabilitation and pay the required fee.

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