Reasons for inadmissibility

Note: This is only a guide. A Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter Canada when you apply for a visa, or when you arrive at a port of entry. Find out how to submit an application to overcome inadmissibility.

A person may be denied a visa, refused entry to, or removed from Canada on any of these grounds:

  • security reasons, including
    • espionage
    • subversion (attempts to overthrow a government, etc.)
    • violence or terrorism, or
    • membership in an organization involved in any of these
  • human or international rights violations, including
    • war crimes
    • crimes against humanity
    • being a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or subject to international sanctions
  • committing a serious crime that would be punishable by a maximum prison term of at least 10 years in Canada (see note 1)
  • having been convicted of a crime, including driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (see note 1)
  • organized crime, including membership in an organization that takes part in organized criminal activity, people smuggling or money laundering
  • health grounds – if their condition is likely to:
    • endanger public health or public safety, or
    • cause excessive demands on health or social services (some exceptions exist – see notes 2 and 3)
  • financial reasons – if they are unable or unwilling to support themselves and their family members
  • misrepresentation, which includes providing false information or withholding information directly related to decisions made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
  • failure to comply with any provision of IRPA (see note 4) or
  • having an inadmissible family member.


(1) To find out more, see Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility.

(2) Not all temporary residents are required to be medically examined. Generally, if you are coming to Canada for less than six months, you will not need a medical examination. However, there are some exceptions. Find out if you need a medical examination before entering Canada temporarily.

(3) Some groups of permanent resident applicants are exempt from the excessive demands assessment:

  • family class sponsored spouses, common-law partners and dependent children
  • convention refugees or people in similar circumstances and
  • protected persons.

According to the law, a spouse, common-law partner, child or other family members of these permanent resident groups are also exempt.

Find out more about who requires a medical examination and where to find a Designated Medical Practitioner in your area.

(4) Examples of failure to comply with IRPA include:

  • temporary residents who do not respect the conditions of their stay—for example, they stay longer than allowed, or work or study without the proper permits
  • permanent residents who have not lived in Canada for the required amount of time and
  • people who have previously been deported and try to enter Canada without written authorization.

In some cases you may need an Authorization to return to Canada (ARC) in order to be admitted to Canada.

Find out if you are eligible

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