Being allowed to enter another country, such as Canada, must be seen as a privilege rather than a right. It is never guaranteed whether an individual can in fact cross the border. Immigration officials will make use of rigorous background checks. Especially after 9/11, immigration officials are more stringent in their criteria whom to allow entry into Canada. Past criminal offenses are often reasons that individuals are being denied entry.
If a person has a background of crimes and offenses, it might well cause problems the next time they plan to go to Canada. Naturally, not all type of offenses will cause a problem. If someone merely got tickets for false parking, those will not be a reason for concern. On the other hand, a record of reckless driving can indeed bring on troubles with immigration officials.
One error in judgment would be to assume that an offense will likely not pose a problem, based on own subjective judgment. But doing so could result in a big surprise at the border if the person is denied entry unexpectedly. What might have seemed only a minor offense could well turn out a reason that custom officials deny admission to Canada.
The types of offenses that could cause exclusion to enter Canada include:
- DUI or DWI – Driving under the influence and driving while under the influence. It should be worth to note that it will not a play a role whether the vehicle was involved in an accident.
- Misdemeanor drug possession.
- Negligent driving.
- Domestic violence.
- Theft or shoplifting.
Some of these crimes might be thought of little at first, but when a person wants to enter another country, such as Canada, there is a chance for denial of entry.
If you are dealing with custom officials at the border to Canada, do not make the mistake to hide a criminal record. This could quickly backfire. If you have concerns about your criminal record, the best way to go about this would be to seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer. The reason for this is that the procedure to gain entry to Canada with a certain criminal background can be anything but easy and straight-forward. It requires a thorough understanding of immigration law, the obtaining of important legal documents and their correct submission.
The Canadian Immigration Act states that “No immigrant, no visitor shall be granted admission if the immigrant or visitor is a member of any of the following classes:”
“A person that has been convicted in Canada of an indictable offense, one that they may be prosecuted by indictment, or one in which is punishable under any Act of Parliament by a maximum imprisonment of 10 years or less. This is other than an offense that is designated a contravention under the Contraventions Act; (a.) anyone who there could be reasonable grounds to believe they were convicted of an offense outside of Canada. Offenses that might be punishable, if by indictment under any Act of Parliament, by a maximum term of imprisonment that is less than ten years. An act or omission that occurred outside of Canada, but that would constitute an offense punishable by indictment, under any Act of Parliament, with a maximum sentence of imprisonment for less than ten years.”
To increase your chances for a successful admission to Canada, even if there is a record of criminal offenses, the help of a skilled immigration lawyer is strongly suggested. The entire application process to gain entry can be very complex, lengthy and confusing. With their expertise and knowledge, the immigration lawyer can be a great help.