How to Get a Canadian eTA with a Criminal Record

Canadian eTA


Canada is a popular destination for tourists worldwide, thanks to its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage. Many travelers from visa-exempt countries can visit Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). However, having a criminal record can complicate the process. This article guides you through obtaining a how to get a canadian eta with a criminal record.

Understanding the eTA

What is an eTA?

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. It is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for up to five years or until your passport expires.

Eligibility for eTA

  • You must be a citizen of a visa-exempt country.
  • You need a valid passport.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.

Impact of a Criminal Record

Criminal Inadmissibility

A criminal record can render you inadmissible to Canada. This includes both minor and serious offenses, and the decision on admissibility is at the discretion of Canadian immigration authorities.

Types of Offenses

  • Minor Offenses: These may include traffic violations, minor theft, or public intoxication.
  • Serious Offenses: These include drug offenses, assault, and other crimes resulting in significant sentences.

Steps to Obtain an eTA with a Criminal Record

1. Evaluate Your Situation

Determine the nature and severity of your criminal record. Minor offenses may not result in inadmissibility, whereas serious offenses are more likely to pose challenges.

2. Obtain Legal Advice

Consult an immigration lawyer or consultant experienced in Canadian immigration law. They can provide advice on your specific situation and assist with the application process.

3. Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation

If your offense is considered serious, you may need to apply for criminal rehabilitation. This is a process that allows you to demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated and are no longer inadmissible to Canada.

Criminal Rehabilitation Application Requirements:

  • A completed application form (IMM 1444).
  • Detailed information about your criminal history.
  • Proof of rehabilitation (e.g., character references, evidence of positive community involvement).
  • A processing fee.

4. Apply for an eTA

Once you have addressed your criminal inadmissibility, you can apply for an eTA.

eTA Application Process:

  • Visit the official Canadian government website for eTA applications.
  • Complete the online application form, providing accurate and honest information.
  • Pay the application fee (CAD 7).
  • Submit the application and wait for a response.

5. Provide Additional Documentation

If requested, provide additional documentation to support your application. This may include police certificates, court documents, or evidence of criminal rehabilitation.

6. Await Decision

The processing time for an eTA can vary. If your application is straightforward, you may receive a response within minutes. However, if further review is required, it may take several days or longer.

Tips for Success

1. Be Honest

Provide truthful and accurate information in your application. Any discrepancies or omissions can lead to delays or denial.

2. Prepare Thoroughly

Gather all necessary documentation in advance to support your application and demonstrate your rehabilitation.

3. Seek Professional Help

An immigration lawyer or consultant can help navigate the complexities of the application process and improve your chances of success.


Obtaining a canada advance cbsa declaration is challenging but not impossible. By understanding the impact of your criminal history, seeking legal advice, and preparing a thorough application, you can increase your chances of approval. With the right approach, you can enjoy all that Canada has to offer as a tourist.