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  #1  
Old 05-01-2017, 07:04 PM
ttexrbomb ttexrbomb is offline
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Default Travel to Canada

This is more for informational purposes only. While I was incarcerated, there were many stories of how one with a criminal record could not get into Canada. Since I've been out, I have been able to enter Canada twice (I live about 30 miles from the border). So I took it a step further and applied for a travel visa from the CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) website.

Without getting into an ethical debate, criminal thinking, etc..., I don't think that the prohibition is as black and white as some may report it to be. At no time did I provide any false info to the Canadian authorities. I even answered affirmatively that I did have a criminal record on the ETA visa application.

So if you desire to travel to Canada long after your debt to society is repaid, there may be hope.

Here is the response I got from the more formal visa application. Note I am a US German dual national so that may or may not be a factor.

-----

Citizenship and Immigration Canada | Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada

Status : eTA APPROVED
Name : ####
Passport number : ####
eTA number : J#####
Expiration : 2022/04/26


Your application for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) has been approved. You are now authorized to travel to Canada by air.

When you travel to Canada, you will need to bring the passport you used to apply for your eTA, as the eTA is electronically linked to it. Should you obtain a new passport, you will need to apply for a new eTA.

Airline check-in staff and the Canada Border Services Agency will have electronic access to your eTA status using your passport.

In the future, you can verify the status and expiration of your eTA by using the eTA Check Status Tool. To do this, you will need the eTA number noted above and details from the passport you used to apply for your eTA.

For information on what to see and do in Canada, visit www.Canada.travel. See you in Canada!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:42 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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As I recall, it was not that it was impossible but rather that they had 'rehabilitation fees' that had to be paid. Certainly there are some offenses that they actively try to keep out, including even misdemeanor DWI's. Cannot say I blame them there...I don't like foreigners driving drunk on my roads either...
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:55 PM
Jelly_Belly Jelly_Belly is offline
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I am also a dual national (Ireland & US citizenships). I am assuming that you applied for the eTA using your German passport. I say that because US citizens don't need an eTA in order to fly into or otherwise enter Canada. I'm not even sure if a US citizen could obtain an eTA using a US passport. I mention this for a reason. When deciding whether to issue the eTA to you, Canada probably only consulted Germany to see if you had a criminal record. If your record in Germany was clean, you were probably issued the eTA automatically, your criminal record in the United States notwithstanding.

That said, two points warrant mention: (1) An eTA does NOT guarantee that you will be admitted into Canada when you arrive. Only a Canadian customs and passport control officer can make that decision after you actually arrive in Canada. (2) The person that does decide whether you enter Canada will have instant access to US criminal and motor vehicle records. If you speak with an American accent; if your German passport indicates that you were born in the US; then it is a safe bet that that Canadian official will also consult US criminal & motor vehicle databases when deciding whether to let you into Canada.

Last edited by Jelly_Belly; 05-01-2017 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:55 PM
ttexrbomb ttexrbomb is offline
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Default Travel to Canada

Since I posted this I've crossed a number of times on my US Passport and Passport Card. Canada doesn't question it and I get back into the USA with very minimal delay (questioning on both sides takes less than a minute). That is I enter Canada via a land border crossing using my US credentials.

I have on good information that a full criminal background check doesn't occur going into Canada unless you are called into secondary. And no, they do not ask if you have a criminal history during primary inspection.

Last edited by ttexrbomb; 06-20-2017 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:02 PM
ttexrbomb ttexrbomb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jelly_Belly View Post
I am also a dual national (Ireland & US citizenships). I am assuming that you applied for the eTA using your German passport. I say that because US citizens don't need an eTA in order to fly into or otherwise enter Canada. I'm not even sure if a US citizen could obtain an eTA using a US passport. I mention this for a reason. When deciding whether to issue the eTA to you, Canada probably only consulted Germany to see if you had a criminal record. If your record in Germany was clean, you were probably issued the eTA automatically, your criminal record in the United States notwithstanding.

That said, two points warrant mention: (1) An eTA does NOT guarantee that you will be admitted into Canada when you arrive. Only a Canadian customs and passport control officer can make that decision after you actually arrive in Canada. (2) The person that does decide whether you enter Canada will have instant access to US criminal and motor vehicle records. If you speak with an American accent; if your German passport indicates that you were born in the US; then it is a safe bet that that Canadian official will also consult US criminal & motor vehicle databases when deciding whether to let you into Canada.


On my ETA application I used my German passport but gave my current US address and employment information, so the authorities had the information that I lived in the United States and had personal and employment ties.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:01 AM
gvalliant gvalliant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttexrbomb View Post
I have on good information that a full criminal background check doesn't occur going into Canada unless you are called into secondary. And no, they do not ask if you have a criminal history during primary inspection.
If they don't ask about things like criminal history at Canadian border that is good to know and I appreciate that insight. I wonder if that's the case traveling to most other countries. If pulled into secondary going into Canada, they can find just about anything they want about you.

I am also dual. Canada and US. When I travel into Canada for vacation I use my Canadian passport. The Canadian passport tells them I live in the US and that often leads to extra questions. If I use my American passport I'd probably get less questions and less hassle. That tells me things are screwed up; it should be the other way around.

Canada and US share too much information about their own citizens. I suppose it makes law enforcement officials happy. I for one don't like it.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:05 PM
Gagajm Gagajm is offline
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Just because you've been approved an eta does not guarantee you entry into canada. You can very well be denied at the border due to past convictions. Usually they want 10 years to pass between the crime and entrance into canada. If you are * recently * released from prison or on parole one should apply for rehabilitation to enter Canada. I've had many friends denied at the border for a dui here in the states many years ago. It all depends on the crime and the officer you get on arrival. Good Luck!!
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