Learn when permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada

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Learn when permanent residents can be forced to leave Canada

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.

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

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