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Can my family travel from Alaska to US through Canada if my husband has a felony from over 11 years ago?

I am stationed in Alaska and I am deploying to Iraq in a few months. My family is going home to Illinois for an extended vacation while I am deployed. We are planning on traveling through Canada to get to the lower 48. Now, we know we don't need passports but will the border patrol deny us because my husband has a felony. The felony is due to stealing less than $200 from a friend's house but he was convicted shortly after turning 18 and the court wanted to make an example out of him. He only got 2 months with probation. He is now 29 and he has not been in any other trouble. Is there a way to figure out how to know before we drive to the border? This is our only option to get home we can't fly because we need a vehicle at home and we can't take the ferry because of timing and money.
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I would think that the fact that I am military and stationed in Alaska, where there is only 2 ways to travel with household goods to the US and 1 is through Canada and the other way is by boat which is outrageously costly, should be considered by the bourder patrol. We don't need a passport until June 1 2009. Does anyone know if it makes a difference if you are traveling through or vacationing? Everything we have read says it is case by case approval so how can we get approval without driving all the way to the bourder to find out.

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You are right. The last thing you want to do is get turned away at customs. You have two customs to go through, Canada, and then the US Customs when you return to the USA. Things are changing all the time, and my best recommendation is that you not listen to anyone's opinion but call both customs and ask them directly. They will also tell you if you need passports, etc. In the past, they wanted various papers for your car (proof of registration and insurance), your pets (health certificate), your kids (birth certificates, passports, permission to travel from birth parents if there was a divorce) and proof that you had enough money to get all the way through Canada. There are also things that you cannot bring across the border, such as certain weapons and items made of ivory and other endangered species.
It's best to check on all this before you pack.
Thank you for your service to our country, and have a great ride down the highway. It's a beautiful trip.

Canadian Customs, Beaver Creek YT,
Phone #: 867-862-7230
Fax #: 867-862-7613

US Customs
Skagway, AK 99840-0437
General Phone: (907) 983-2325
General Fax: (907) 983-3626

You might also try asking the Alaska State Troopers.

Dead Day Afternoon
Seeing as it is a minor offence and it was a long time ago you should spend a few hundred bucks and go see a lawyer and apply for a pardon and have it removed from his record.
It can be done fairly quickly and then he doesn't have to worry about it anymore.

How do you think the US Border Patrol would feel about admitting a Canadian with a felony criminal record?

Even if I was just going through the Untied States to some other country, and couldn't "fly because we need a vehicle at at home and we can't take the ferry because of timing and money", do you think any of them would give a fried fig?

Snowballs in hell come to mind ....

*ajidamoon* the Eh team
Yes, he very well can be denied entry. Sure, you can be sneaky and not tell them when they ask if you have anything to declare, but if they decide to run a check, then you are in trouble. Do what Dead Day suggested. Get the pardon.

^the border control does not need to consider that you are American military. That won't matter one iota. Nor do they care about your monetary issues. They follow the rules set forth, as their job requires. If they make exceptions for you, they must make exceptions for everyone. As for your husband, he did the crime, now he must reap the consequences. Get him the pardon, and its a non issue. Thats how you will solve it, on a case by case issue. Is the Canadian border control just supposed to take your word that you are just driving through? You must have no idea how many Americans are here, living illegally, after a claim of 'just on vacation.' Take up the issue of your husband's felony record with your own country, its really none of our concern. I don't see why you think you deserve special treatment. Why would Canadians want American felons in our country? Even if just passing through......... The US does not allow Canadian felons in either.

Karen L
He could easily be refused entry to Canada, and in these days of instant access to all kinds of records, I'd never want to assume that they won't run a check on someone. If you're refused entry, then they can see that the next time you try to cross and it doesn't look good. If he can get a pardon in time, then that's what I'd do.

No country has to let you in if you don't meet the criteria, and border guards don't care what you say your reason is for travelling into that country. I had an enormous amount of trouble once at a US crossing, for no reason except they thought I had too much stuff in my van. I had camping stuff and my work tools which I hadn't bothered to remove before I left. They let me through, but it took over an hour.

I searched "crossing canada border with felony" and found a site called, a law firm, which says it can do that for you. You might want to check that out. Your husband has an excellent chance of clearing this up once and for all.

If worst comes to worst, maybe hubby can fly to the lower 48 and meet you there. Makes a lot of driving for you on your own but it's one solution.

are you sure you don't need passports? I am almost positive you do.

plus unless your husband was a minor when he committed that felony he can't come into canada.

unfortunately your out of luck. Maybe buy a webcam and encourage your family to buy one too and you can see each other, or go without your husband.

thank goodness at least one person expressed some gratitude to her for her service (I 2nd that)

i was beginning to wonder if we were worthy of it, given some of the mean spirited and petty anwers to her

And to hell with Canada for showing such ingratitude towards our service personell

coffee cup
no, the border patrol will not deny you. It happen over tens years ago and as long as you or your family do not say any thing about it.

How would they know?

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