As one border services officer puts it: "Admissibility of all travelers seeking to enter Canada is considered on a case-by-case basis based on the specific facts presented to the border services officer, by the applicant, at the time of entry. If you have any concerns about your admissibility, you may be interested in these common reasons why people are denied entry at the Canada border.
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- Traveling the World with a Criminal Record - DUI Canada Entry;
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A current passport is required for entry into Canada no matter your nationality. You may also use a Trusted Traveler program card, like NEXUS , or an enhanced drivers license, but you are still required to have a passport.
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If you are traveling with a birth certificate and drivers license, do so at your own risk. You could be denied entry. If you are traveling to Canada with your dog or cat, make sure you have a signed veterinary document that indicates the animal's breed and physical description as well as proof it is up to date with their rabies shots. Because border officials are always keeping an eye out for abducted children, if you are traveling with a minor under the age of 18 , ensure that he or she has proper identification, such as a birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, permanent resident card or Certificate of Indian Status as well as a note a letter of permission to travel.
If not, you could technically be denied entry to or at least held up at the border.
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Having a criminal record is one of the main reasons people are refused entry into Canada. If you have a DUI drinking under the influence or an assault conviction lurking in your past, don't think it will go unnoticed. People are turned away every day for past convictions. Denial to Canada is not automatic if you have a conviction.
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Be honest about your criminal history. In some cases, the laws may be very clear on Canadians with a criminal record traveling, but the actual application of the law is inconsistent, which can make for some confusion. If you are actually planning to travel to another country, and you have a Canadian criminal record, the first thing you should do is look up travel guidelines for that specific country to see what their policies are, and then make a judgment based on what your own situation is.
Here are a few examples of how the travel restrictions can differ for some popular destination areas.
In theory, the USA is a country you cannot travel to with a Canadian criminal record. In reality, this happens quite often, though the risks are higher these days than they were 20 years ago. USA travel law has a straight forward policy. If you have a criminal conviction, then the customs and border patrol has every right to refuse you entry into the USA. However, the border patrol only exercises this right if they actually decide to do a criminal background check.
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That background check is not something that happens for every single Canadian wishing to enter the US either by air, or at the border by car. This means that there are some Canadians with criminal records who have been freely entering and leaving the USA for decades, right up until even now.
However, if that check should be conducted, and a conviction is found. Entry privileges can be forever revoked, unless a US entry waiver is secured to present to the Americans the next time entry is sought. A US Entry Waiver is a complicated application and can take some time to obtain. It is also called an I or I form. Once you are denied entry to the US due to having a criminal record, the US border person will likely fingerprint you and give you papers that will begin the US Waiver application process.
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You may choose to hire a lawyer to help you complete the application but this can be very costly. At Pardons Canada we have been helping people to obtain US Entry Waivers for over twenty five years and we know exactly what the Americans are looking for in order to approve the application. Once a US Entry Waiver is approved, it will be good for one to five years.
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During that timefram you will be safe to travel back and forth as many times as you wish. Once the US Waiver is expired, you will need to renew the application. Traveling to England or Ireland is a bit more complex if you have a criminal record. On the other hand, there are different amounts of time for what is considered spent, and this is entirely dependent on the nature of the conviction. You will need to look up your specific conviction and see how that aligns with UK travel policy to see whether your criminal record is now considered spent or not.
In general, travel throughout Europe is very easy, especially if your trip is less than 90 days.