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      Some things I've learned about crossing the border into Canada with a DUI     
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JJ47
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01/26/2015 05:14PM
FWIW…
Unfortunately, I have a criminal record because of an indiscretion that occurred 15 years ago when I was involved in a car accident after having a few drinks with a friend. Besides a few bumps and bruises nobody was seriously hurt, and in fact both cars could be driven away under their own power and repaired. I know, I know, I was completely in the wrong by simply getting behind the wheel that night. I understand that and have learned from my mistakes. I was charged with, and convicted of, Criminal Vehicular Operation, or what is sometimes called an “aggravated DWI”, a gross misdemeanor. Which is the “normal” charge for any DUI that involves a two vehicle accident no matter who is “at fault”. And, herein is the reason for my lengthy post.

I've read other threads on BWCA.com about crossing the Canadian border with a DUI and there is some kernels of truth to them, but there are misconceptions, if not incomplete information, contained in them, as well. I've recently been dealing with this very issue pending an upcoming trip across the international border of our friendly neighbor to the North. I thought there may be some useful information in here for anybody considering a trip to The Q. I’m not sure how accurate this information is where RABC permits are concerned, but the following does apply to most all other land and sea border crossings to Canada so I assume they apply everywhere. This is what I've learned and how it applies to US citizens crossing the border as of today.

First of all, criminal inadmissibility, as the Canadians call it, is not limited to DUI, or DWI, or impaired driving. There are a multitude of things that can render you criminally inadmissible to Canada. Far too many to list here. DUI likely being one of the most common, but, crimes of moral turpitude, assault, any conviction involving weapons, controlled substances, fraud, and even other non-alcohol related driving infractions if you were required to appear in court, disorderly conduct, obstruction, disturbing the peace and interfering with officers of the law are just a few that can find you turned away at the border.

For most causes of criminal inadmissibility there are generally three ways you can try to overcome it and be admitted to Canada. Each one having different purposes and criteria for any given set of circumstances. They are Deemed Rehabilitation, Proven Rehabilitation, and receiving a Temporary Resident Permit. EDIT (Don't confuse A Temporary Resident Permit with a Temporary Resident Visa. They are two different things and US Citizens cannot apply for the visa)

Deemed Rehabilitation is the easiest and least painful to get and will probably apply to most one-time misdemeanor DUI offenses that are older than 10 years old. The basic criteria is: if you only have one “non-serious” offense that is more than 10 years old you’re likely eligible to be granted Deemed Rehabilitation at the border. The key to this being the words “non-serious”. The Canadian definition of non-serious does not take into account what you were sentenced for here in the US, but how the same conviction would be sentenced under Canadian Code. (This is where things get mucky) They compare your US conviction to the equivalent conviction in the Canadian Code to determine what a serious and non-serious offense is. Deemed Rehabilitation is what you may be granted, for a fee, at the border crossing by the Canadian Border Patrol (CBP) providing your crime fits the above criteria. Also, this is what most of the threads on this forum that I've read are referring to. However, a gross misdemeanor DUI, punishable in Canada by a maximum 10 year sentence, is a “serious” offense and will render you ineligible for Deemed Rehabilitation no matter how old the conviction is. You will be turned away at the border if you’re checked. As will multiple “non-serious” DUI’s, or other multiple “non-serious” offenses. “Forgetting” about a conviction when you’re asked by the CBP – “have you've ever been convicted of a crime?” - can get you barred from Canada for many years and possibly even for life. So don’t lie, and make sure you know exactly what is on your record no matter how trivial it seems. The current price on the CIC web page for Deemed Rehabilitation is $90 USD. To overcome scenarios when ineligible for Deemed Rehab you’ll need to apply for Proven Rehabilitation.

Proven Rehabilitation must be applied for, and approved by, the Canadian Immigration Minister. It cannot be granted at the border by the CBP. In order to even apply the following criteria must be met. Five years must have passed since the full sentence or sentences were completed, including jail time, fines, and probation. Some of the required documentation needed to apply is all court paperwork including sentencing documents and documentation that the sentence or sentences have been completed for each conviction, an original certified police record from the FBI, and proof that you are rehabilitated. All of which takes a lot of time and leg work to accumulate. The current time to process the application is 12-15 months and generally requires retaining an immigration attorney. The application fee is $160 USD and the total cost will be around $3500 including legal fees. If approved however, it will literally wipe that conviction off your record permanently for all future border crossing purposes’ and is considered by the Canadian Government and the CBP to be the “permanent” solution to the problem.

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) can be applied for through Canadian immigration ahead of time, or applied for and granted by the CBP at the time of the border crossing, as well. There are some stringent criteria to obtain one however and CBP has the authority to deny border crossing at their discretion even if you possess a valid permit. To be granted entry with a TRP you must prove to the CBP that your reason to enter Canada outweighs the risk to Canadian society. This is determined at the CBP’s discretion. Most often applied for by individuals who are ineligible for either of the above and are usually “one time use” permits expiring when you leave Canada. There are multiple use TRP’s, and long term TRP’s, as well, depending circumstances and reasons for issuance. Inadmissible entertainers and athletes use these regularly to enter Canada for events. TRP’s are often applied for, and used to enter Canada, while awaiting approval for Proven Rehabilitation and most attorney’s will recommend applying for both a TRP and Proven Rehab at the same time. The Immigration office heavily frowns on continued use of TRP’s and may deny a second application or extension directing you to apply for Proven Rehab. The current cost to apply is $200 non-refundable even if your application is denied. Currently processing times are 3-4 months for approval from the CIC, which may possibly be expedited with the use of an attorney. I've read in multiple places that suggest first time applications for a TRP are rarely granted and the paperwork is very confusing suggesting the need to retain an immigration attorney.

In short, just because one of your buddy’s friends made it across the border two summers ago with a DUI on his record doesn't mean you or the next guy will. Each case is different, with different circumstances. My suggestion would be that if you question your admissibility to Canada at all that you go to Canadian Immigration and check out your specific circumstances before you plan and invest in a trip across the border.

Maybe this will save someone a little aggravation in the future.
 
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tumblehome
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01/26/2015 08:30PM
Well you must really want to go to Canada because you have definitely done your homework.

Based on the research you've done on getting into Canada after a criminal offense, I would deem you rehabilitated!

in all seriousness, all I can say is thanks, that's good info and I hope it helps down the road. I will link this thread as spring turns to summer and the questions about DWI arise. I hope that's OK.

Tom

JJ47
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01/26/2015 10:29PM
Feel free to link wherever the need arises.

It was my intention to try to help anyone who needs this information. the Lord knows that sifting through it on government web sites is very time consuming.
01/27/2015 04:26AM
All this info makes me wonder if the U.S. applies any similar restrictions to Canadians coming to the states. And if so, why is someone like Justin Bieber still here?
JJ47
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01/27/2015 08:45AM
quote deerfoot: "All this info makes me wonder if the U.S. applies any similar restrictions to Canadians coming to the states. And if so, why is someone like Justin Bieber still here?
"


Very good question about Justin Bieber!

To answer your question, though. Yes, the US applies this same restriction on Canadians. Even worse in some ways. The US doesn't offer a "permanent" fix of Proven Rehab for them. And, with the exchange rate our fees are nearly $600 every time they need a permit.
bojibob
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01/27/2015 11:36AM
Thanks for sharing you story and providing the information.
OldGreyGoose
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01/28/2015 10:30AM
Good info...could be "pinned" to the top. --Goose
schweady
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01/28/2015 12:00PM
Thanks for sharing. This comes up every year when guys are signing up for our fall trips. Yes, the men's group at my church!
ParkerMag
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02/05/2015 01:54PM
Crushing piece of mail arrived yesterday...RABC denied for criminal inadmissibility! DUI from 59 months ago had a weird (favorable, I thought) outcome, and the judge said it "wouldn't show up" on my record. True enough, it's nowhere to found on my driving record. Apparently that's not the same as a criminal background record though. I'm absolutely distraught over this, its impact on my planned May trip, and unsure how to proceed.
JJ47
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02/05/2015 03:45PM
quote ParkerMag: "Crushing piece of mail arrived yesterday...RABC denied for criminal inadmissibility! DUI from 59 months ago had a weird (favorable, I thought) outcome, and the judge said it "wouldn't show up" on my record. True enough, it's nowhere to found on my driving record. Apparently that's not the same as a criminal background record though. I'm absolutely distraught over this, its impact on my planned May trip, and unsure how to proceed."
I feel your pain.

I had to cancel an Alaskan cruise my whole family will be going on in June to celebrate my parents 60th wedding anniversary because the ship boards in Vancouver. I'm inadmissible. I'm crushed! My parents are 80 and 85 years old and I'll likely never have another opportunity to go on a trip with my whole family ever again.

I would have been on Canadian soil for no more than 4 hours but CBP said no.
SaganagaJoe
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02/05/2015 06:55PM
Seeing as you have done your research, what advantages would being a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada have in this matter, assuming you were already one at the time of the incident?
JJ47
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02/06/2015 08:39AM
quote SaganagaJoe: "Seeing as you have done your research, what advantages would being a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada have in this matter, assuming you were already one at the time of the incident?"

That's a good question that I can't answer. Mostly because circumstances vary greatly from incident to incident.

I do know that what I was convicted of here in Minnesota is equivalent to a felony in Canada. Despite what you might read otherwise, Canadian laws really aren't much more strict on impaired driving than they are here in Minnesota. However, their sentence guidelines for like convictions are much more harsh and longer lasting. From that standpoint it would appear that they're much more serious about trying to deter repeat offenders.

In the case of dual citizenship I can only assume a lot would depend on where the violation and conviction occurred and prior criminal convictions. I suppose it's possible that your "second" country of citizenship might be revoked.

My biggest complaint about this whole thing is that the US is the only country in the world that allows Canada access our state and local criminal records. So, if you're from any other country they have no way to check you out unless Interpol has a file on you.

People make mistakes. I made a mistake. I've done my time. I've paid my dues. I've done my due diligence. I tried to do the right thing by taking care of this in advance of my planned trip. The Canadian government and Canadian immigration lawyers shut me down. Why should it take a year or more to process this? I had my federal criminal "rap sheet" straight from the FBI in 20 minutes, (Which was totally clean BTW), and a cop stopping you for speeding can have your record in front of him in 5.

Personally I think this is a revenue generating scam for the Canadians and in my opinion someone needs to reexamine this policy and start worrying about real criminals with real bad intentions who don't care about the rules.
bojibob
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02/06/2015 01:16PM
I would suggest you try a little pressure.

Contact your local Congressional Liaison Office and ask if they would intervene on you behalf and have the Congressman or Senator write a letter on your behalf.

Having been an Army Officer for 24 years, I can attest to the amount of attention a Congressional Inquiry gets on this side of the Border and it may not carry much weight in Canada but it's worth a shot. They represent you, put them to work!

Another place to inquire would be the U.S. State Department.

U.S. State Department Contact Info

Contact the U.S. Embassy in Canada, maybe they have a "Buddy"

U.S. Embassy - Ottawa
ParkerMag
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02/06/2015 01:24PM
quote bojibob: "I would suggest you try a little pressure.

Contact your local Congressional Liaison Office and ask if they would intervene on you behalf and have the Congressman or Senator write a letter on your behalf.


Having been an Army Officer for 24 years, I can attest to the amount of attention a Congressional Inquiry gets on this side of the Border and it may not carry much weight in Canada but it's worth a shot. They represent you, put them to work!"

I like the idea...I'll give it a shot. Thanks very much.
GraniteCliffs
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02/06/2015 03:37PM
Fifteen years is a long time ago in most people's eyes. It certainly is in my eyes. Hard to believe you represent a danger to Canada.
On the other hand your situation might be a little more complicated than a run of the mill DWI. You described "criminal vehicular operation" which is not the same as a DWI. It has to involve in an injury, which a DWI does not. It is usually but not always charged as a felony, at least in Minnesota. It may be that the Canadians are more leery of your conviction than the typical DWI.
Regardless, if 15 years have gone by and you don't have any new offenses one would think they could look at this quickly and determine you should be allowed in.
JJ47
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02/06/2015 03:49PM
quote GraniteCliffs:
On the other hand your situation might be a little more complicated than a run of the mill DWI. You described "criminal vehicular operation" which is not the same as a DWI. It has to involve in an injury, which a DWI does not. It is usually but not always charged as a felony, at least in Minnesota. It may be that the Canadians are more leery of your conviction than the typical DWI.
Regardless, if 15 years have gone by and you don't have any new offenses one would think they could look at this quickly and determine you should be allowed in."


You are correct in saying That criminal vehicular operation is not a typical DUI and that it does have to involve an injury. But what is an injury? In this case the one and only injured party was me. I twisted my knee on ice getting out of my truck after the accident. This all happened on January 21 2000 in the great white north. Officers immediately stuck me in an ambulance and sent me to the hospital because I was limping. I had no say in the matter. In fact, I was never asked to do a field sobriety test, or blow in the box. They took blood at the hospital. Hell, The airbags in neither vehicle deployed. I say this to illustrate that even though it was an accident, and yes my BAC was over the legal limit which instantly puts me at fault, it wasn't a horrific crash. In the prosecutors eyes it resulted in a trip to the hospital therefore I was charged with CVO even though the injury was not a direct result of the accident itself. Trust me, I fought this point like crazy for a year and a half and lost.

My CVO was charged and sentenced as a gross misdemeanor, which is considered a felony in Canada and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Again you are correct that it was not a typical DUI.

Because it's 15 years old, and the rest of my record is clean, I'm very confident I will be approved for proven rehab when my application goes through. It's getting it through that is the hard part. 12 to 15 months is a long time to wait for a trip to Canada. It shouldn't take that long. There is no reason it should.

In my opinion there are outside influences working here to stage these applications to delay them. Lawyers, are making lots of money off of situations like this. By delaying an application they'll be happy to apply for a TRP to get you in while you wait for the permanent clearance. A TRP will cost you about the same as proven rehab so they're doubling their money unless you're willing wait. The Canadian government facilitates this by rejecting nearly all TRP applications that don't have a proven rehab application already in process.
Guest Paddler
 
02/07/2015 08:24PM
Each year our trip heads out of Crane Lake MN through a US outfitter headed to Quetico. The stop and check in with the Canadians on an island in the middle of a lake amounts to looking at our passport and asking what city we are from, any tobacco alcohol or drugs, where are you headed, and for how long. That's it. Never been asked anything else or criminal history. No cell phone service and they don't have computers on the dock on this remote island.

Maybe forgiveness, for trying to get in, is easier than getting prior permission....

GraniteCliffs
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02/07/2015 10:06PM
I wonder if it would help if you got a copy of the complaint that was filed that provides details of what took place and simply send it in with your RABC applications, without mentioning you had already applied. It would seem that they might make a quicker decision if they had the complaint and a clear record check the past fifteen years. It might be worth a try.
JJ47
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02/09/2015 08:21AM
quote GraniteCliffs: "I wonder if it would help if you got a copy of the complaint that was filed that provides details of what took place and simply send it in with your RABC applications, without mentioning you had already applied. It would seem that they might make a quicker decision if they had the complaint and a clear record check the past fifteen years. It might be worth a try."

The above crossing mentioned by the guest paddler is likely. RABC permits are just what they imply. Remote crossings where checking is nearly, if not completely, impossible. I wasn't applying for an RABC permit, I was planning to cross at Canada's highest volume border crossing in Vancouver.

And to answer your question about getting a copy of the complaint. Yes, if you send all the paperwork for a Temporary Resident Permit, including the completed application, the complaint and sentence along with your application fee you would be far more likely to receive the RABC.
TeamTuna06
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02/16/2015 11:01AM
quote : "Each year our trip heads out of Crane Lake MN through a US outfitter headed to Quetico. The stop and check in with the Canadians on an island in the middle of a lake amounts to looking at our passport and asking what city we are from, any tobacco alcohol or drugs, where are you headed, and for how long. That's it. Never been asked anything else or criminal history. No cell phone service and they don't have computers on the dock on this remote island.


Maybe forgiveness, for trying to get in, is easier than getting prior permission....


"


This is usually a pretty quick stop...done it many times. Sand Point Lake...have always deplaned, and chatted in the end of the dock. There used to be a little store up the hill but I don't think it's open anymore. I've been asked:

- Purpose of visit?
- Where are you from?
- How do you all know each other?
- Length of stay?
- Alcohol, tobacco...how much?
- Firearms?
- Bringing any fish back?
- Live bait?

Pretty standard issue stuff. I actually did 6 of these trips with no issue before trying to register for a RABC. Got a letter that they had found an underage drinking charge (that was dropped as a result of a pretrial diversion) from college over 10 years before. Had to get a police report, pretrial diversion receipt, etc...worked out ok, but still worried me a bit. Especially after seeing that I had had an Ontario fishing license for the last 6 yrs!

Good luck...if it were me, I'd do the fly in route and plead ignorance on the <1% chance they bring it up. My $0.02...

PS - also, in my experiences, the women officers are the more direct, less small-talky. Almost accusatory in their questioning...obviously not every one is, but that's my experience.


schweady
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02/17/2015 02:11PM
quote TeamTuna06: "Good luck...if it were me, I'd do the fly in route and plead ignorance on the <1% chance they bring it up. My $0.02..."
They don't have to 'bring it up.' A quick scan of the data stored electronically on your passport will tell them everything they need to know. Sure, it's not scanned every entry... we've had the casual chat on the dock at Crane Lake many times. I just wouldn't be one to count on 'luck' and then realize they've begun to employ some new equipment...
TeamTuna06
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02/20/2015 08:35PM
Every time I've flown from Crane its a 2 min conversation at the end of the dock on Sand Point with the Canadians. If its between luck or not going, I'll try luck.
JJ47
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02/21/2015 08:32AM
quote TeamTuna06: "Every time I've flown from Crane its a 2 min conversation at the end of the dock on Sand Point with the Canadians. If its between luck or not going, I'll try luck."

It's two different worlds crossing at Crane lake than Vancouver.
TeamTuna06
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02/21/2015 04:54PM
quote JJ47: "quote TeamTuna06: "Every time I've flown from Crane its a 2 min conversation at the end of the dock on Sand Point with the Canadians. If its between luck or not going, I'll try luck."


It's two different worlds crossing at Crane lake than Vancouver."


Obviously...my comment was more directed at Parkermag on his upcoming trip. Either way, solid info presented...thanks for compiling it JJ47.
tumblehome
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02/22/2015 08:14AM
quote JJ47: "quote TeamTuna06: ""

It's two different worlds crossing at Crane lake than Vancouver."


agree.
On my last visit to Sand Point I was greeted by two young females with holstered guns and wearing flip flops. God Bless America!
JJ47
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02/22/2015 12:17PM
quote tumblehome:

agree.
On my last visit to Sand Point I was greeted by two young females with holstered guns and wearing flip flops. God Bless America!"


LOL! Amen!
Laketrout58
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03/01/2015 07:49PM
People sometimes make a mistake. Then they pay their dues,learn from their mistake and do not repeat it. That should be the end of it! I believe in second chances. I hope you guys get justice . Good luck!
Doughboy12
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03/02/2015 11:17AM
quote JJ47: "quote ParkerMag: "Crushing piece of mail arrived yesterday...RABC denied for criminal inadmissibility! DUI from 59 months ago had a weird (favorable, I thought) outcome, and the judge said it "wouldn't show up" on my record. True enough, it's nowhere to found on my driving record. Apparently that's not the same as a criminal background record though. I'm absolutely distraught over this, its impact on my planned May trip, and unsure how to proceed."
I feel your pain.

I had to cancel an Alaskan cruise my whole family will be going on in June to celebrate my parents 60th wedding anniversary because the ship boards in Vancouver. I'm inadmissible. I'm crushed! My parents are 80 and 85 years old and I'll likely never have another opportunity to go on a trip with my whole family ever again.

I would have been on Canadian soil for no more than 4 hours but CBP said no."


You have options... first is to board at the first stop outside of Canada.
Second, when we took our cruse out of Vancover we didn't go through customs. We arranged for air with the cruse line and the bus to the port was some special deal where you don't actually "enter" Canada even though the bus goes through downtown...
I would dig as hard as you did on the DUI issue for a solution to the cruse problem...just my 2 cents.
JJ47
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03/03/2015 11:15AM
quote Doughboy12:You have options... first is to board at the first stop outside of Canada.
Second, when we took our cruse out of Vancover we didn't go through customs. We arranged for air with the cruse line and the bus to the port was some special deal where you don't actually "enter" Canada even though the bus goes through downtown...
I would dig as hard as you did on the DUI issue for a solution to the cruse problem...just my 2 cents."


The bus system you're referring to was called US Direct. It was a service provided by a joint effort between US customs, Canadian Customs and the city of Vancouver's public transportation department for US cruise travelers. It was a system where cruise passengers were allowed to board a "sealed" bus that traveled directly from the international terminal of the airport directly to the international cruise pier without letting anyone on or off in between. So, you are correct in saying that technically you never entered Canada. US Direct was discontinued in 2013 and is no longer an option. Since being discontinued all international visitors crossing the border into Canada must pass through Canadian Customs and immigration.

Secondly, your first comment refers to what the cruise industry calls "Downlining". I am not allowed to downline on this cruise and board at the first port, Ketchikan. No Americans are. There is a US law called the "Jones Act". It's complicated and hard to explain but I'll give it a shot. In essence, the Jones Act prohibits non-US flagged ships from transporting US passengers from one US port to another without at least stopping in an international port in between. It was enacted in the early 1900's and was designed to protect US flagged passenger cruise business from being undercut by foreign cruise lines. The law is still in effect even though there are very few, if any, American commercial cruise lines in operation. Nearly all commercial cruise lines are foreign flagged today and don't want the law changed because if allowed to operate solely in US waters they'd have to comply with American labor laws. They don't want to do that. I checked into downlining with the cruise line we had booked. They informed me I was not allowed to embark this particular cruise in the first American port, Ketchikan, because it would not be stopping in any other international port and would be in violation of the Jones Act if I were allowed to. Take a look, every single Alaskan cruise has at least one stop in a Canadian port because of the Jones Act. The only ones that don't are the small American cruise lines, which are double or nearly triple the cost.

If I were to have booked a cruise that embarked in Seattle with the mandatory stop in Victoria I would have been fine. I just wouldn't have been able to disembark and visit Victoria.
03/03/2015 04:59PM
quote ParkerMag: "Crushing piece of mail arrived yesterday...RABC denied for criminal inadmissibility! DUI from 59 months ago had a weird (favorable, I thought) outcome, and the judge said it "wouldn't show up" on my record. True enough, it's nowhere to found on my driving record. Apparently that's not the same as a criminal background record though. I'm absolutely distraught over this, its impact on my planned May trip, and unsure how to proceed."
Speak to an attorney about an expungement.
That may fix the issue.
Doughboy12
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03/04/2015 11:08AM
JJ47,

Well that sucks...thanks for the update.

I know a little of the Jones Act and didn't realize it was germane.

A side note: Glen Campbell got on our ship with his wife (and others) in Ketchikan. He was doing a performance later in the cruse. I did not go see it. I was on the dock as the van showed up to drop them off. So there must be a way around it wink wink.
joewildlife
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03/12/2015 04:05PM
Very good info and thanks for sharing.

A few years ago we were crossing at International Falls and were delayed for a couple hours, then released. Turns out one of our group was arrested and charged with DUI several years earlier, but was proved innoccent by a jury of his peers!

What ever happened to "Presumed innocent until proven guilty", when OUR OWN GOVERNMENT is sharing what amounts to no more than ARREST RECORDS with a foreign government!

I am still troubled by that experience.

Joe


djmn4
 
03/12/2015 07:17PM
Question for you guys -

I have 2 DWIs from about 15 years ago - Nothing at all since.

I started the process to apply for criminal rehabilitation. I obtained the state criminal records for where I've lived since that time, as well as obtained my FBI fingerprint background check, as required for rehabilitation.

All three states, plus the FBI record, came back 100% clean - No record of any of it.

I called both Fort Francis and the crossing west of there, and both said it will not be a problem crossing, just apply for the TRP (which per the Canadian website, is only good for one violation) - Again, I was very clear I had two from 15 years ago.

I plan on bringing the paperwork, but why not go? I know it's not a guarantee, but they say it's fine over the phone, and if nothing is on any of my criminal records, how would they have any data (No idea why there isn't anything on at least the FBI background check...)

Any thoughts? Thanks!
JJ47
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03/13/2015 01:01PM
quote djmn4: "Question for you guys -


I have 2 DWIs from about 15 years ago - Nothing at all since.


I started the process to apply for criminal rehabilitation. I obtained the state criminal records for where I've lived since that time, as well as obtained my FBI fingerprint background check, as required for rehabilitation.


All three states, plus the FBI record, came back 100% clean - No record of any of it.


I called both Fort Francis and the crossing west of there, and both said it will not be a problem crossing, just apply for the TRP (which per the Canadian website, is only good for one violation) - Again, I was very clear I had two from 15 years ago.


I plan on bringing the paperwork, but why not go? I know it's not a guarantee, but they say it's fine over the phone, and if nothing is on any of my criminal records, how would they have any data (No idea why there isn't anything on at least the FBI background check...)


Any thoughts? Thanks!"


If I were going to cross in a more remote crossing, even Winnipeg, I would have gone. You may not even get checked at the border. My biggest concern was that I would have had about $8K invested in my trip and would have been crossing the border at Canada's busiest, highest volume, crossing. I've read statistics that an average of 12 commuters per day are turned away at the Vancouver ferry terminal alone. I couldn't risk that kind of cash if I wasn't allowed to cross.

In your case, if the DUI's were both misdemeanors, and both at least ten years after your sentence was completed, I'd say go. Take the paperwork with you, plan on spending the $100 at the border for the pass and go. I wouldn't offer anything unless asked, though.

EDIT: My FBI criminal background check came back clean as well. The certified state one came back with the conviction on it but the public state record was clean. (In Minnesota public records are removed from the system after a certain time period, depending on when they shred the physical paperwork. But the permanent record is still viewable to law enforcement at the BCA) Make sure you have certified copies, they include both public and private records. The Canadians have access to both.
AlfalfaMale
distinguished member (205)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2015 01:33PM
quote ParkerMag: "Crushing piece of mail arrived yesterday...RABC denied for criminal inadmissibility! DUI from 59 months ago had a weird (favorable, I thought) outcome, and the judge said it "wouldn't show up" on my record. True enough, it's nowhere to found on my driving record. Apparently that's not the same as a criminal background record though. I'm absolutely distraught over this, its impact on my planned May trip, and unsure how to proceed."
There are lawyers who specialize in helping folks with legal issues get into Canada. Try The Satveer Chaudhary Law Office. I use to live a few houses away from him when he was a state representative in Minnesota.
djmn4
 
03/13/2015 02:24PM
quote JJ47: "quote djmn4: "Question for you guys -



I have 2 DWIs from about 15 years ago - Nothing at all since.



I started the process to apply for criminal rehabilitation. I obtained the state criminal records for where I've lived since that time, as well as obtained my FBI fingerprint background check, as required for rehabilitation.



All three states, plus the FBI record, came back 100% clean - No record of any of it.



I called both Fort Francis and the crossing west of there, and both said it will not be a problem crossing, just apply for the TRP (which per the Canadian website, is only good for one violation) - Again, I was very clear I had two from 15 years ago.



I plan on bringing the paperwork, but why not go? I know it's not a guarantee, but they say it's fine over the phone, and if nothing is on any of my criminal records, how would they have any data (No idea why there isn't anything on at least the FBI background check...)



Any thoughts? Thanks!"



If I were going to cross in a more remote crossing, even Winnipeg, I would have gone. You may not even get checked at the border. My biggest concern was that I would have had about $8K invested in my trip and would have been crossing the border at Canada's busiest, highest volume, crossing. I've read statistics that an average of 12 commuters per day are turned away at the Vancouver ferry terminal alone. I couldn't risk that kind of cash if I wasn't allowed to cross.


In your case, if the DUI's were both misdemeanors, and both at least ten years after your sentence was completed, I'd say go. Take the paperwork with you, plan on spending the $100 at the border for the pass and go. I wouldn't offer anything unless asked, though.

EDIT: My FBI criminal background check came back clean as well. The certified state one came back with the conviction on it but the public state record was clean. (In Minnesota public records are removed from the system after a certain time period, depending on when they shred the physical paperwork. But the permanent record is still viewable to law enforcement at the BCA) Make sure you have certified copies, they include both public and private records. The Canadians have access to both."


jj47 - that's interesting - so even though it's on your state background, it's not on the fbi? So it seems like they just never submitted it to the FBI? I wouldn't think the FBI would purge their criminal records. Interesting.

In my case, it would have to be that the state never reported (so not on the fbi check), and then also purged their records....so there is at least a chance canada does have my records...SIGH.

Thanks for aggregating this info BTW - I agree it's a giant cluster trying to navigate their website.
JJ47
distinguished member(636)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/13/2015 02:30PM
quote djmn4: "quote JJ47: "quote djmn4: "Question for you guys -



I have 2 DWIs from about 15 years ago - Nothing at all since.



I started the process to apply for criminal rehabilitation. I obtained the state criminal records for where I've lived since that time, as well as obtained my FBI fingerprint background check, as required for rehabilitation.



All three states, plus the FBI record, came back 100% clean - No record of any of it.



I called both Fort Francis and the crossing west of there, and both said it will not be a problem crossing, just apply for the TRP (which per the Canadian website, is only good for one violation) - Again, I was very clear I had two from 15 years ago.



I plan on bringing the paperwork, but why not go? I know it's not a guarantee, but they say it's fine over the phone, and if nothing is on any of my criminal records, how would they have any data (No idea why there isn't anything on at least the FBI background check...)



Any thoughts? Thanks!"




If I were going to cross in a more remote crossing, even Winnipeg, I would have gone. You may not even get checked at the border. My biggest concern was that I would have had about $8K invested in my trip and would have been crossing the border at Canada's busiest, highest volume, crossing. I've read statistics that an average of 12 commuters per day are turned away at the Vancouver ferry terminal alone. I couldn't risk that kind of cash if I wasn't allowed to cross.



In your case, if the DUI's were both misdemeanors, and both at least ten years after your sentence was completed, I'd say go. Take the paperwork with you, plan on spending the $100 at the border for the pass and go. I wouldn't offer anything unless asked, though.


EDIT: My FBI criminal background check came back clean as well. The certified state one came back with the conviction on it but the public state record was clean. (In Minnesota public records are removed from the system after a certain time period, depending on when they shred the physical paperwork. But the permanent record is still viewable to law enforcement at the BCA) Make sure you have certified copies, they include both public and private records. The Canadians have access to both."



jj47 - that's interesting - so even though it's on your state background, it's not on the fbi? So it seems like they just never submitted it to the FBI? I wouldn't think the FBI would purge their criminal records. Interesting.


In my case, it would have to be that the state never reported (so not on the fbi check), and then also purged their records....so there is at least a chance canada does have my records...SIGH.


Thanks for aggregating this info BTW - I agree it's a giant cluster trying to navigate their website. "


I agree, it's a cluster. I don't understand the conflicting records either. My searches to understand exactly what information is available at the border have been fruitless. I gave up and will wait for a reply to my application the the Canadian Immigration Service.

Good luck to you on your crossing!
I cross allot
Guest Paddler
 
04/21/2015 02:10PM
I have quite a bit of experience traveling into Canada for both work and recreation. This includes flying for work and driving for both hunting and fishing and at several different ports of entry. Your number one issue with crossing is ALWAYS going to be the agent you speak to first. The border guard determines whether or not you visit with the immigration agent. The border guards have the blue uniforms and the immigration agents, I believe, have the white ones. FTR I do not have any DWIs or anything other than a couple of speeding tickets. I do have a valid Canadian PAL (its a weapons/ammunition possession and acquisition license) Whenever I show the immigration agent this card, I have been permitted to enter with no further examination. it stops the process of looking into my history immediately. However it does not stop the process for my buddies that are entering with me. When you end up being referred to immigration by the border guards, you are trying to be KICKED OUT OF CANADA! Remember that. My only rule when going to Canada with buddies. Before we leave, if you have an issue with entry, its YOUR issue and not mine or ours. Arrange for transport home or wait at a hotel. We have had hunting buddies that have not been admitted into Canada. There is really no way around it. It is their country. Good luck
 
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