Can I Go to Canada with a Felony?
Most people never even think about not being able to enter Canada. They probably just assume that they can enter it without problems. After all, Canada is right next door to the United States, but Can you go to Canada with a Felony?
The reality is that not everyone is permitted to enter Canada. Applicants for admission, the technical term for non-Canadians trying to visit, are subject to immigration rules and regulations.
Individuals that are not citizens of Canada do not have the right to enter Canada without first being checked out by the country’s immigration officials. Checking out an applicant for admission includes checking for criminal convictions. Having a criminal conviction is a reason to be denied entry to Canada.
In entering Canada, the applicant for admission first confronts the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA have the authority to determine if a person can enter Canada. No one besides Canadians has the automatic right to enter Canada, however most people are permitted to enter the country if they have no criminal record. Assuming nothing adverse, CBSA will admit the applicant, sometimes in a few minutes.
What if the applicant knows there will be a problem?
Perhaps the applicant has applied to enter Canada before and has been denied entry. Alternatively, he or she might have entered successfully before, but has recently been convicted of a crime. In such cases, you might have questions that an experienced immigration lawyer can answer.
The attorney can make the process easier, helping you with a realistic plan for your entry into Canada. When considering an immigration attorney to assist you, you should know that one that is located in a state next to Canada is more likely to have experience with the entry process into Canada. This can be a deciding factor for your success in entering Canada.
Who is Not Permitted to Enter Canada?
Having discussed the potential difficulties in entering Canada, let us review some specific cases where the applicant will be denied admission by CBSA.
In denying you entry, the CBSA officer will be relying on his or her knowledge of the Immigration Act. This act denies entry to those convicted on driving while under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). This offense, DUI or DWI is a felony in Canada. In Canadian terms, it is an indictable offense that may be punished by a term of imprisonment for up to five years.
The Immigration Act specifically bars felons from entry to Canada. Other offenses that can keep a person from being able to enter Canada include reckless driving, misdemeanor drug possession, any type of felony, domestic violence and shoplifting.
If you are now thinking that all sounds very cruel and unusual, consider this: United States immigration officials, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on our side of the border apply similar rules to Canadians seeking entry to the United States.
If you know that you will be denied entry to Canada based on you having a serious, felony-type criminal conviction, you do not need the services of an experienced immigration attorney to help you determine whether you can enter Canada. In such a case you need help coming up with a workable plan so that you can enter.
Articles on our website CanadianRehabilitation.com will help you understand that having a criminal conviction does not mean you cannot enter. It means that you have to work on preparing your application for entry, seeing if you can fit into any of the exceptions or are eligible for entry taking advantage of the Canadian Rehabilitation process. We can help by preparing these applications and advising you on entry.