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Thread: Denied Admission to Canada

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  1. #1
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    Default Denied Admission to Canada

    Planning a trip to Canada? Beware -- if you have any misdemeanors or youthful indiscretions on your record (like that time you got busted for smoking pot in the 1960's), you could be denied entry -- even if you've been traveling to Canada with no problem for years. Get the full story.

    Got questions? Think the laws are unfair? Been turned away at the border yourself? Share your thoughts here!
    Sarah Schlichter
    Senior Editor
    Independent Traveler
    www.independenttraveler.com


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Boy, that does seem awfully draconian. But on the flip side -- does anyone know if the U.S. has similar regulations for Canadians? I wouldn't be surprised...
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Just read the article. Very interesting. I found the bit about travel insurance exclusions especially valuable.

    I do however think we need some legal clarification (unfortunately, I'm not the man for the job). If you ran into the strong arm of the U.S. law for something as petty as smoking a joint in 1965, and you've had no other run- ins in the proceeding 40 years, are there U.S. procedures for expunging your record (of course you can apply for "a Minister's Approval of Rehabilitation" with a Canadian consulate)? Is it on a state by state basis? And if you succeed in clearing your U.S. criminal record, does this "international" record differ? Any legal minds available to help clear this up?

    Cheers,

    Wacky
    Last edited by WackyHeathen; 03-07-2007 at 11:08 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Sorry, Wacky, I'm not a lawyer. Although I do play one on tv...
    --TinFins

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Actually it does work both ways. A friend of mine was denied entry into the USA a few years back. He was ultimately allowed to enter after applying for a special visa. Here's his blog which discusses it (http://uswaiver.blogspot.com/).

    Also, in some states in the USA, they are now going way over board on detaining and confirming even those with lawful entry (see this article: 'Terrified' Carleton student spent 11 hours in Georgia jail for minor traffic violation.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Hi there!!! I have a qyestion, what are the percentages of people getting into Canada with a dui in 1997 and a dui in 1998, both of which were convicted in 1999? My future employer is going to do all the leg work for me( fingerprinting, fbi background, court documentation etc) since I will be traveling a ton, and will need to get into Canada at some point. My employer tells me that after we send all the paper work in, it will take about three months to come back to me( oh yeah it will also cost me 200 bucks). My employer said Canada has been consistent with there turn around time(three months) with there decesion on granting a criminal rehabilitation, is this right...three months? I hope she is right , because I am set to start working for them Jan 7th.
    SOMEONE PLEASE HELP WITH SOME INFO
    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Hi it work's both way's. Someone i know was taking his family to the U.S.A. And denied admission to the U.S.A. For a joint in the 70's. But here in Canada you can apply for a pardon. Does take some time thought.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Australia will give you a hard time if you try to enter under these circumstances.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Canada is turning down people who have infractions like smoking pot on their record? We're talking about Canada right?

  10. #10
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    Cool Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Just came back from a cruise to Canada and New England. There were 38 folks on the cruise (my husband was one of them) that were denied entry into Canada. They had to stay on the ship when docked in Halifax and New Bruswick. Some of the "incidents" were over 20 years old. Seems like the travel agents should be saying something about this when you book a trip. Ours did not know anything about the matter when we called she after returning, or at least that is what she said. Does anyone know if this same situation would happen with a cruise to Mexico or the Carribean ??? Thanks

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    GetUpAndGo,

    Ugh, I'm sorry that happened! What a shame. I agree that your TA should have known and warned you ahead of time.

    I don't know the answer re: Mexico and the Caribbean, but it might be worth a call to the embassies of any countries you're planning on visiting to see if they know anything. Good luck, and please do let us know what you find out!
    "I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    No, the US does NOT have such an absurd and draconian policy. Hopefully, the travel resort and other industries in Canada will put a stop to it. There's something shocking about this because it's so unfriendly and - well - un-Canadian!

    If enough Americans who are NOT in this situation publicly declare their intentions to boycott Canada, this could have a major impact.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by uptowndowntown View Post
    Hi it work's both way's. Someone i know was taking his family to the U.S.A. And denied admission to the U.S.A. For a joint in the 70's. But here in Canada you can apply for a pardon. Does take some time thought.
    Im from ireland and am planing to move to canada next year! But ive a conviction for assault (which im not guilty of because a guy beat me up and i tried 2 protect my self!!!) do you know were i can get information? it would be unfair if i couldnt get in! please help if you can

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    If your conviction was in Ireland, you may not be affected. The Canadians have signed in to the entire American FBI computer system, and are now being very rigid about admitting people. They were not like that before, but since right wing Stephen Harper took over the office of prime minister, much has changed, and not for the better.

    I doubt they are doing the same thing with Ireland, but who knows. You can apply for a pardon in any Anglo-Saxon country - it's an element of English common law probably going back a thousand years. I had a marijuana misdemeanor in 1972 in Maine and applied for and got a pardon in 1977 because I was planning to run for public office.

    Canada has a much smaller population than the US and hence a smaller economy, and I suspect that the people who own and run the countless business there that depend on American tourism will force a change. personally, I don't understand why Canada and the US can't do what was done in Europe and simply open the border and remove all the barriers. You don't have people from one of those two countries wanting to flee to the other because of a worse ecnomy and/or political persecution!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    I just reread the original quote about the cruise to eastern Canada (unbelievable and outrageous!) OK, it is extremely doubtful that this would be a problem in any other country at this time because (1) Most other countries don't subscribe to the entire FBI database (2) Poorer countries, such as Mexico and the islands, need our money more than they need to show how anal-retentive they can be, and (3) I doubt there are any countries in Europe and most other places that would give a rat's u-no-what if a visitor had been busted 10 years ago for smoking a joint or shoplifting a CD.

    To the cruise lady - I suggest you write to the Canadian Embassy and tell them that their country will never see another dime of yours or your family's holiday money! And if they "offer" you the option of paying hundreds of dollars to apply for a special permit, I suggest you tell them what they can do with it!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardNika View Post
    I just reread the original quote about the cruise to eastern Canada (unbelievable and outrageous!) OK, it is extremely doubtful that this would be a problem in any other country at this time because (1) Most other countries don't subscribe to the entire FBI database (2) Poorer countries, such as Mexico and the islands, need our money more than they need to show how anal-retentive they can be, and (3) I doubt there are any countries in Europe and most other places that would give a rat's u-no-what if a visitor had been busted 10 years ago for smoking a joint or shoplifting a CD.

    To the cruise lady - I suggest you write to the Canadian Embassy and tell them that their country will never see another dime of yours or your family's holiday money! And if they "offer" you the option of paying hundreds of dollars to apply for a special permit, I suggest you tell them what they can do with it!
    you are right about it being easier to get into europe espeically ireland and england. one married couple i know of were the wife is canadian and the other Irish, the wife was aloud to just walk into ireland no questions asked! when the wanted to move to canada they had a legal battle still going for 2 years!!!!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    thank you very much! im going to try and to that from here! so hopefuly next year i will be living permently in canada! i can do that??? thanks again!!!

  18. #18
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    Talking Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardNika View Post
    If your conviction was in Ireland, you may not be affected. The Canadians have signed in to the entire American FBI computer system, and are now being very rigid about admitting people. They were not like that before, but since right wing Stephen Harper took over the office of prime minister, much has changed, and not for the better.

    I doubt they are doing the same thing with Ireland, but who knows. You can apply for a pardon in any Anglo-Saxon country - it's an element of English common law probably going back a thousand years. I had a marijuana misdemeanor in 1972 in Maine and applied for and got a pardon in 1977 because I was planning to run for public office.

    Canada has a much smaller population than the US and hence a smaller economy, and I suspect that the people who own and run the countless business there that depend on American tourism will force a change. personally, I don't understand why Canada and the US can't do what was done in Europe and simply open the border and remove all the barriers. You don't have people from one of those two countries wanting to flee to the other because of a worse ecnomy and/or political persecution!
    thank you so very much! can i become a pernament resident? i might call the canada embassy and see what they can do and in the meantime ill try to get my conviction lifted! thank you again!!!!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    The thing is that some things, such as DWI in certain states are not considered a criminal offence. Where in Canada the crime is viewed as much more serious.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Well, DWI is no minor matter here in Florida! But my opinion is that people should not be barred from crossing borders, obtaining employment, getting professional or drivers licenses, taking airplane trips or pretty much anything else because of a misdemeanor that may have been committed 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. And we're talking about smoking pot (which is de facto legal in Vancouver, BC!) , minor shoplifting charges (people get busted at my neighborhood CVS store for taking a candy or drink costing less than a dollar!), and probably other such nonsense as trespassing (which can involve, say, short-cutting across a lawn or a golf course), disturbing the peace and being arrested in cities like NYC or Miami for exercising one's constitutional right to demonstrate.

    The fact that Canadians are having problems entering the U.S. for similar "criminal records" doesn't make it right. Moreover, Canada has institutionalized the process - it now applies to ANYONE who has ever been convicted of anything beyond a traffic violation at age 18 or over. It's sad to see such a progressive country behaving in such a mean-spirited fashion!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    "The fact that Canadians are having problems entering the U.S. for similar "criminal records" doesn't make it right. Moreover, Canada has institutionalized the process - it now applies to ANYONE who has ever been convicted of anything beyond a traffic violation at age 18 or over. It's sad to see such a progressive country behaving in such a mean-spirited fashion!"

    Ever since the 911 thing, both countries have been uber careful about who they're letting across the border.

    I think being more careful with who let let come visit our country is still being progressive. I don't think we're trying to be mean-spirited, we just don't want the sort of people to drive recklessly coming here and accidently killing our residents cause they don't know when not to drive. DUI's may not be a big deal to some of the neighboring states, but in Canada we're taking it pretty serious.

    Just trying to be careful.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    If you have a criminal record you can apply for a pardon after a few years. It's not the end of the world.

    The problem is who is to judge which offences and offenders we're willing to allow into the country. There are those that drink and drive frequently that think smoking pot is akin to grand theft auto.

    So who would be the judge to say...
    "You stole a candy last week? Get lost!"
    "Oh you robbed a liquor store with a shotgun but that was a few years back? Welcome to Canada, eh!"

    The record is there for a reason. If it's a minor thing then get it wiped via a pardon. Otherwise suffer the consequences, but do so in your own country.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    I don't know about the U.S. having a reciprocal draconian policy as Canada. I had no problem returning from Canada to the US but did have a nightmare experience in April 2000 on a Banff trip regarding an expunged conviction from 20 years ago. I was able to enter but I had to pay a $200 shakedown fee to Canadian immigration.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    I spoke with an agency in Winnipeg that handles such cases. In my own case, I had a marijuana misdemenor conviction in 1972 and received a full pardon in 1977. I was told that even if I hadn't been pardoned, I'd be OK because it was my only case AND was more than 5 years ago.

    In the case of my daughter, who was arrested for harboring a fugitive a few years ago, I was told that if she had been convicted less than 5 years ago she'd be out of luck even though her record was expunged. Fortunately, it turns out that she was never convicted - the case never came to trial and then was simply dropped.

    I have already ordered a certified copy of my pardon record, and she is getting the paperwork on her case together.

    I've always loved Canada, but unfortunately their progressivism goes hand in hand with frequent and major anal retentiveness. Perhaps it's time for a boycott on the part of people who CAN go there.
    Last edited by Host Bonjour; 03-05-2008 at 04:18 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Denied Admission to Canada

    Sorry to break it to you guys, but America has been doing the same thing to Canadians since 911.

    Canadians turned away at U.S. borders
    By CP

    MONTREAL -- Tighter security at U.S. border crossings turned back more Canadians in the first half of 2007 than in the same period last year.

    Since January, more than 30,000 Canadians were refused entry at American borders, a Montreal newspaper reported yesterday. That's 5,000 more than in the first six months of 2006.

    The report said the primary victims are citizens who were pardoned for crimes.

    Montreal businessman Pierre Sevigny was pardoned for a criminal record he gained by being part of a pyramid scheme in the 1980s.

    Sevigny said he was turned back by customs officials at the U.S. border in March, despite crossing into New York without incident several times over the years.

    "They interrogated me for an hour-and-a-half before telling me that I could not go through," he said.

    Immigration lawyer Patrice Brunet said that shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, American customs officers plugged into an information system that traces Canadian criminals.

    He said people convicted of crimes as far back as 1970 are listed in the system, even if they were granted a pardon.

    Pardoned Canadians must now obtain a temporary entry waiver for each visit. Since Aug. 1, the cost of a permit is $545 US.
    Source: Edmonton Sun

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