I’m a permanent resident charged with a crime. Will I have to leave Canada?

You could lose your status and be forced to leave Canada if all of the following apply:

  • you're found guilty by a criminal court and convicted of the crime,
  • the crime is a ,
  • Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) takes steps to end your permanent resident status and force you to leave Canada,
  • those steps lead to you being ordered , and
  • you don't have a right to appeal or your appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division is not successful.

So if all of the above apply to you, you can be deported and have no right to come back to Canada. It does not matter how long you've lived here.

What’s a serious crime

A crime is serious if:

  • the maximum that the law says you can get is 10 or more years in prison, even if you get a shorter sentence or no time at all in prison, or
  • the sentence that you actually get is more than 6 months in prison or jail.

Time that you spend in jail waiting for your criminal trial can also count as part of your sentence.


There are many crimes that could be serious crimes. Here are some examples:

  • using a false passport
  • driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • threatening to harm someone or damage their property
  • assault
  • using a stolen or forged credit card
  • theft
  • possessing stolen property

Organized crime

It's also possible to lose your permanent resident status and be ordered deported for being involved in organized crime. This applies to people who:

  • belong to a criminal organization, for example, a drug-trafficking gang, or
  • are involved in activities such as people smuggling or money laundering.

You don't have to be convicted to be deported for being involved in organized crime.

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