Top Reasons You Could Be Inadmissible to Canada in 2021

No matter your reason for traveling to Canada, it is a time-consuming and costly undertaking. The last thing you want when arriving at border control is to be turned away. Imagine making the trip, spending thousands of dollars on your travel ticket, not to mention the cost of plans you made for your arrival, and being put on a plane back to your country of origin would not be an ideal situation for anyone. We would recommend going through our comprehensive list of the top reasons you could be inadmissible to Canada in 2021, if only to give you peace of mind for your journey. 

This list is especially relevant to travelers who intend to apply for their Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) upon arriving in Canada. Keep in mind that only travelers from specific countries may apply for this visa upon arrival in Canada, travellers from all other countries must apply for and receive the appropriate visa before making the journey to Canada.    

Why You Could be Inadmissible to Canada

Canada border control-are you inadmissible

Security Reasons

If you have ever had any charges of espionage, subversion, violence, or terrorism, your chances won’t be good. Basically, if you have ever been formally charged for attempts to destabilize or overthrow a government, or if you belonged to an organization that carried out those kinds of activities, you may not be allowed to enter Canada.  

Human or International Rights Violations

These include being charged with or convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity or if you were a senior official in a government engaged in gross human rights violations or your government was subject to international sanctions.  

Committed a Crime

If you have ever been formally convicted of a crime, and subsequently have a criminal record. Regardless of the nature of the crime, from petty theft to first-degree murder, you will not be allowed to enter Canada. This includes being convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol. 

For foreign workers with a job offer in Canada who have a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, there are criminal rehabilitation programs available. If you enroll in one of these programs prior to your arrival and present proof to the immigration officer at border control, you will be allowed to enter Canada.

Involved in Organized Crime

This one is a no-brainer, but keep in mind it includes known associations you may have had including membership in an organization that takes part in criminal activity, people smuggling, or money laundering.  

Medical Reasons

If you have a life-threatening medical condition, including conditions that may be considered a danger to public health, public safety or could cause excessive demand on Canada’s public health and safety services, you will not be permitted to enter the country.  

Financial Reasons

If it is evident to the officials at border control that you have no means to support yourself and any family members that are with you, you will be sent back to your country of origin. If the immigration officer feels that you may also not have the intention to support a dependent traveling with you, they may also turn you around.  


If you are caught providing any false information which is directly related to the decisions made by immigration officers under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), or if you are found to be withholding information, you will be declined entry. This includes failure to comply with the provisions of IRPA or having an inadmissible family member with you on arrival.  

Examples of failure to comply with IRPA include:

  • Temporary residents who stay past the expiration date of their work, study, or visitor permits, or who don’t have a permit at all.
  • Permanent residents who have not spent the required amount of time in Canada to maintain their status.
  • People who have been deported from Canada previously, and are trying to re-enter Canada without the proper written authorization.

What to Do if You’re Inadmissible to Canada

Are you admissible to Canada

If you have been deported from Canada for overstaying your permit, you can apply for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC). Before you apply it is important to consider why you were removed from Canada, and whether your current situation will be able to show Canadian Immigration that you will not commit the same offense again.  

If, for example, you were caught working outside of your work permit’s expiration date, you will need to show that you are currently employed in your home country, and show clearly why you will be returning to your home country at the end of your visit to Canada.

It is also important that you apply for the ARC before applying for your visa to travel to Canada. Whether it’s work, travel, or study visa, or you’re intending to submit an application to immigrate to Canada, you must first obtain your ARC, as it will form part of your visa or immigration application. Without the ARC, your application will be rejected.  

It may be helpful to enlist the help of a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or an immigration lawyer to assist you with the ARC process, as the application fee is high, it cannot be refunded and it’s something you want to get right the first time around. 

The Benefits of Choosing to Hire a Professional

By hiring an RCIC, you at the very least give yourself the peace of mind that your application is in the best possible hands. RCIC’s have extensive knowledge of the Canadian immigration system, they know what officials expect and what will give you the best chance of being successful in your ARC and a subsequent application for a work, study, or travel permit. RCIC’s are licensed professionals, who are registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and must remain in good standing with the council in order to legally practice in Canadian Immigration. If you choose to assist you, you will have access to a user-friendly dashboard to which you will upload all your relevant supporting documents, and an RCIC will take care of the rest.   

Make Sure Before You Travel to Canada

If you think any of the above restrictions may apply to you, or you need an ARC, make sure you follow the immigration rules to the book. Canada treats all visitors, temporary residents, and immigrants with the utmost respect, but we also take our national security and our immigration policies very seriously. As you can see there are a number of reasons you could be inadmissible to Canada in 2021, and if you aren’t, we look forward to welcoming you.