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What are the chances of me getting caught trying to enter Canada with a criminal record?

I have a felony on my record from 15 years ago and have been squeaky clean since then. My buddy that wants to go had an assault and battery charge (Misdemeanor A) 10 years ago. We're going to fly to Montreal to see UFC fight in April. What are our chances of getting denied entry into Montreal? And do they check everyone? What can we do to avoid this problem?

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Ling C
They DO allow foreigners with a criminal past but you must apply for rehabilitation or a pardon and the fees can run up to $1000 non refundable. Everyone makes mistakes and Canada understands that people do stupid things when their young. You might have a DUI when you're 21 and single in college but it might be 20 years later and you have a family with kids. Canada will most likely pardon you but that fee is another money maker for them. Kinda sucks but it's the law.

I have family in Toronto and my cousin got a theft charge on him for being part of a fraternity prank scavenger hunt. It was 12 years ago and he is now an executive and married with a young daughter. He had a big problem trying to get into Canada by car but eventually the officer let him in. Not everyone is a murderous criminal trying to get into Canada to unfoil their diabolical scheme to infect Canada but there are some chronic offenders of the law that shouldn't be allowed that privelage.

I have to agree with a lot of people on here though, you probably won't be getting in if you just want to go see a fight if you don't file the proper paper work and do it the legal way. My cousin had to go through hell because of that stupid thing he did when he was 18 but he had extenuating circumstances with our grandmother. A UFC fight really isn't as pressing as a dying loved one. I would find another fight in the United States or watch it on Pay Per View........ You could probably buy a huge 60" plasma to watch it on with the money you'd save by staying at home and not dealing with the hassle of getting denied at the border.

Chris I
If you have both been squeaky clean for 10 years you may well be eligible to be "rehabilitated" but you have to contact the Canadian Embassy to apply. You will also need a valid US passport.

Jim B
Do you now hold a valid US Passport ?

If not, you will NOT be able to even get ON the plane, to fly to Canada. No passport, no flight .

That is a "American rule " as a result of the increased security for ANY flights into, or OUT of the USA. Blame Homeland Security........

Watch it on pay for view, at home.

Jim B. Toronto.

Anyone with a conviction in the United States that is treated as a felony or indictable offense in Canada is excludable from Canada, but even if the offense is not a felony or indictable offense in Canada, Customs and Immigration Officers have ultimate authority to permit and deny entry to Canada.

Almost all convictions (including DUI, DWI, reckless driving, negligent driving, misdemeanor drug possession, all felonies, domestic violence (assault IV), shoplifting, theft, etc) can make a person inadmissible to Canada, regardless of when they occurred. For this reason, it is not recommended that persons with past convictions attempt to enter Canada without first obtaining necessary documents. It is always the final decision of officers at ports of entry to decide whether a person should be allowed into Canada.

There is a permit process that requires prior application and may permit an otherwise excludable person to enter Canada. Information on the permit is on the consulate general?s web-site, permits a visit of up to 30 days, and as I understand it, once it is approved, may be re-approved when application is made within a 3 year period. Link for the application below.

Lieu. Provo William Parry Wallis
They scan everyone's passport so they will find out. Its better to see if you can get a pardon before April.

Very good chance of being denied entry coming in via air when they check your info as they scan your passport.

You would be better off coming in via land, over air, as you can be the lucky contestant who gets the whole shebang at the airport, as well they do tend to be a little more strict on the background checks and all that when you fly in, as well you will get some paperwork to fill out, and on one of those papers it will ask if you have a criminal record. You have to fill that out truthfully. Even coming in via car there is no guarantee you will not be asked if you have a criminal record.

You could apply to get a waiver for future visits, but you do not have enough time to do that this time as it can take up to 6 months to get it back.

Immigration Act States:

"Section 19(2)(a.1) of the Immigration Act of Canada states that persons convicted of an offense outside of Canada, that would be an offense under Canadian law, cannot be admitted to Canada. Criminally inadmissible persons can, however, apply for a special permission to enter Canada. This special permission is expressed by a Minister's Permit."

Any person living in the United States who possesses a criminal record and wishes to travel to Canada will need a Ministers Permit. This is valid up to one year. One may also apply for a Rehabilitation. This document is a permanent approval, and allows hassle free border crossing into Canada.
The Canadian Government will look at each application individually. They will consider the following factors:

1) Nature of conviction
2) Date of last conviction
3) Sentencing
4) Reasons for travel

A Ministers Permit may take up to 6 months for processing. A personal interview may be required at the port of entry nearest the applicant's residence.

Rehabilitation allows lifetime access into Canada. This document never needs to be renewed. A Ministers Permit and Rehabilitation does not permit one to work in Canada. These approvals allow visitation for a period up to 6 months at a time.

Call the Canadian Consul or embassy where you live and clarify things. Crossing the border either way is very different than it was a few years back.better to be safe than sorry. Computers can check people in seconds.

High. Canada is very strict about who they let in their country. From what I understand no one is allowed in that has a felony on their record.

Do a google search and I am sure you will find tons of info on who they do and do not let in the country.

Canada does not allow foreigners with criminal records into the country.

That you would even ask about what your chances are of getting caught suggests that you would easily flout our laws just so you can sneak in and see a fight.

Watch your fight on television home. We have enough criminals without importing any more.

Randy B
Save the money for the plane tickets and watch it on PPV. Its cheaper then coming, getting arrested, detained, denied entry and returned to the US. Everyone will be checked and all you can do to avoid the problem is stay home.

Seeing as the criminal convictions are 10yrs old or more, you are both likely to be classified as "deemed rehabilitated". But to be completely sure, you should contact Canada Immigration through one of our embassies near you and find out if you will need to apply for a special rehabilitation form.

Kevin C
Extremely high. Canada is tough on who they let into their country. We welcome different nationalities and culters with open arms, but we are not kind to criminals. Don't even bother coming because chances are, you won't even get past the border and Canada doesn't need any criminals moving in from other countries.

(assuming you're an American citizen) personally, I think you're setting yourself up for an unpleasant, expensive experience

if you've really reformed yourself, you can tour anywhere in the USA, and incredibly huge country with almost any kind of vacation imaginable (scuba, beach, skiiing, mountain climbing, motorcycling, you name it), no questions asked, no 'papers please', and have a good time. If you are obeying all laws, you can take the entire trip without so much as a single eye contact with someone in uniform - no papers filed with a single government agency of any kind

Canada may have some nice places, but there's an acceptable subsititute for just about any of it somewhere in the USA

vactions are for forgetting your troubles, they're not for having old problems thrown back up in your face

That's what canada will mean to you

Chris below says if you're clean for 10 years, you may be eligable to apply for 'rehabilitation.'

wouldnt it be cheaper just to go visit your old probabtion officer, if your goal is to revisit that past? the only difference is, he'll probably treat you better, he wont charge you an 'unrefundable fee', there will be no 'permanent record' of your visit with him, and you can still continue with your USA vaction plans no matter what he thinks of you or your travel plans

think about it

(for a felony, check with any travel conditions you might have had - there may or may not be any. my comments were more applicable for someone with a dui, which is considered a felony in canada - but no matter what, traveling in the usa will be easier for you than canada)

the best thing to do is not say anything about it, there's not much chance of them finding out...just keep quiet and ull have no probs...just go for it man

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