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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.
Because of your criminal record at first you were considered to be inadmissible to Canada on the basis of criminality.But, after 5 years has passed since your sentence as been completed it is sometimes possible to be deemed to have been rehabilitated when you reach the border. However, there's no guarantee as it's up to the discretion of the immigration office.If you don't want to take a chance at the border the most prudent thing to do is to apply for individual rehabilitation. If this application is successful you will no longer have to be concerned about being turned away at the border.But, it takes over a year to get this processed.So, if you want to come up before then it's sometimes possible to get what is called a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). This is sometimes granted in cases like yours.Here is a link to the information about the TRP application:http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/inadmissibility/permits.aspHere is the link to the webpage that explains how rehabilitation works:http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/5312ETOC.asp
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One more point.
You can also apply for a TRP at the border but then there is the risk you will be turned away.
If you are turned away I assume you sleep in the airport but they will not release you so you would wait in a holding area until the next flight.
To apply ahead of time you have to contact the Canada visa office closest to where you live. You cannot get the forms online. The IMM1444 is not for a TRP. It is for the rehabilitation process only.
Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?