Canada has made cannabis legally available to adults under a strict framework. Tough new penalties will be imposed on those who commit cannabis-related crimes or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including cannabis.
These offences are now considered serious crimes in Canada, which means they will have a serious impact on immigration and a person’s permanent or temporary resident status in Canada.
If you commit an impaired driving or a cannabis-related crime, you could face a fine, criminal charges or jail. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may also find you inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality. It doesn’t matter if the crime happened inside or outside Canada.
- permanent residents may lose their status and have to leave the country
- temporary residents (including visitors, international students and foreign workers) may not be able to enter or stay in Canada
- refugee claimants may not be eligible to have their claim referred for a refugee hearing
Appeal rights for permanent residents and foreign nationals, including sponsored members of the family class, could also be affected.
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