Cross Canada with a criminal record?

Watch out for all cruisers! Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra recently said the country will soon open up to boat travelers.

As of November 1, 2021, cruise ships and their passengers can enter Canada, if they comply with Canadian government public health guidelines.

Contact a crime expert at the law firm Campbell Cohen

Canada, on the west and east coasts, is a convenient and popular cruise stopover. Boats to or from Alaska typically dock in Vancouver or Victoria, while ships from the east coast visit ports in Montreal or Halifax. Canada welcomes and values ​​the cruise industry. The news of the reopening should attract many tourists to come and discover what the country has to offer.

By lifting the restrictions in November, the government aims to give the country’s tourism industry a boost until the 2022 cruise season. Canadian government himself notes that the cruise ship industry contributes $ 4 billion per year to the Canadian economy and supports approximately 30,000 jobs.

If you are one of the many tourists considering entering Canada with a criminal history, it is important to know that you may be refused entry at the border.

Canada has strict rules for people with a criminal record. They are designed to ensure the security of the country and its people. Canada will take the foreign criminal offense and translate it into Canadian law. Factors such as the nature of the offense, how long the sentence has been served and the number of convictions a person has all taken into account. Since the end of 2018, a driving under the influence conviction means that a person is inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality. In theory, such a person is banned from Canada forever. However, there are ways to overcome inadmissibility.

The refusal can take place at any time. This can happen at an airport, for example, if you are traveling from another country to Canada to take a cruise from Vancouver. It can also occur in your port outside of Canada. This is because Canada receives the passenger lists before the ship leaves for Canada. Finally, it can take place in a port in Canada even if you only plan to visit for a few hours.

How to go on a cruise with a criminal record?

The Canadian government offers short and long term solutions to tourists with criminal records. Generally, there are three ways to resolve the inadmissibility:

Temporary residence permit (TRP): This document grants temporary access to Canada to a person otherwise inadmissible for criminality. If the traveler is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they can request a TRP at a Canadian consulate or border. A TRP can be valid for one day or up to three years. This may be good for a single entry into Canada, or it may allow multiple entries. These elements will depend on the purpose of the visit to Canada. Review officers use discretion when determining the length of time a TRP is valid. The purpose of entering Canada is usually the most important factor. It is often suggested that cruise travelers seek criminal pardon.

Penal rehabilitation: Criminal pardon gives permanent eligibility to a person who was previously inadmissible. Eligibility for penal rehabilitation depends on several factors. These include:

  • the crime committed,
  • the sentence, and;
  • how much time has passed since the end of the sentence.

If you have been convicted of a felony or crimes committed in a foreign country and more than five years have passed since you served your sentence, you are probably eligible to apply for penal rehabilitation in Canada. Penal rehabilitation is a one-off solution which, unlike a PST, never requires renewal.

Applying for a TRP can often be risky when attempting to enter for recreational purposes. This is because Canadian immigration officials may conclude that the importance of a person with a criminal record stopping in Canada for a cruise does not outweigh the risks of allowing that person to enter. in the country.

Legal advice letter: Another remedy with a potential inadmissibility for a misdemeanor problem is a legal opinion letter. This is a document that a Canadian immigration lawyer prepares. The letter deals with a past charge or conviction, as well as the attorney’s legal conclusions. The lawyer will identify the relevant Canadian law and explain why the person should be found admissible to Canada. A legal opinion letter can also be beneficial for people in pre-sentencing before making a final plea. He can explain the different consequences of various pleas on a person’s ability to enter Canada.

It is important to know Canada’s rules regarding tourists with a criminal record. This can help people with cases understand the barriers they can help, as well as the solutions available.

Contact a crime expert at the law firm Campbell Cohen

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