Learn about when permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada for crimes and security reasons

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Learn about when permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada for crimes and security reasons

Permanent residents can sometimes be forced to leave Canada for crimes or security reasons.

If you're convicted of a crime

If you're a permanent resident and are convicted of a "serious" crime:

  • you could lose your permanent resident status,
  • you could be deported, which means being forced to leave Canada, and
  • you would not have the right to come back.

What are serious crimes

A crime is serious and can lead to you being deported if:

  • the maximum sentence you could get for it is 10 or more years in prison, even if you get a shorter sentence or no time in prison, or
  • you get a sentence of more than 6 months in prison for a crime you commit in Canada.

There are many crimes that have a maximum sentence of 10 or more years in prison. Here are some examples:

  • assault causing “bodily harm”, such as a knife wound caused by stabbing
  • making or using a false document, like a passport or driver's licence
  • stealing a credit card or using a stolen credit card

If you belong to a criminal organization

You can also lose your status as a permanent resident if you belong to a criminal organization, for example, a drug-trafficking gang.

If you're a security risk or you act against human or international rights

You can lose your status as a permanent resident for reasons related to security. These reasons include:

  • trying to overthrow a government,
  • spying for another country against Canada,
  • taking part in terrorist activity, or
  • belonging to an organization if there are reasonable grounds to believe it has or will do any of the things in this list.

You can also lose your status as a permanent resident if you commit war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Rights that Canadian citizens have

A Canadian citizen can't have their citizenship status taken away unless, when they applied for citizenship or permanent resident status, they:

  • said something that was not true, or
  • left out information that they were required to give.

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Reviewed: October 4, 2018

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