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Old 11-11-2008, 05:29 PM
 
13 posts, read 145,823 times
Reputation: 27

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If you have anything on your police record from anytime, US OR CA - even a minor misdemeaner charge. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE CANADIAN BORDER. Believe me, I know from experience. You will be detained, searched and sent home.

These days nazi border guards have full access to US and CA criminal data bases and will bust you in a second. Don't think you can say no when they ask you if you have ever been arrested because they will check. I used to travel in CA without problems, but those days are over.

So if you have any doubts about any prior offense - STAY AWAY. Don't think your situation can be resolved rationally either. Obtaining a temporary residency permit or pardon is a long, expensive, frustrating process that is often denied and is usually not worth it unless you absolutely have to get into the country. The border agents and immigration officers are not helpful at all and treat you like ****. Trying to get help from the Canadian Consulate is a joke - try calling them, they do not even pick up the phone.

I am struggling with the process to obtain a pardon because I need to get into CA for work related consultation with CA clients. If not for this reason, I would never visit CA again. It's not worth the BS.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:20 AM
 
175 posts, read 1,489,755 times
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Sounds fair to me. Will you be alert if someone with a record knocks on your door and wants to mingle with your children?
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,336 posts, read 15,298,585 times
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I'm going to disagree with the initial post here. In my experiences the "Nazis" (for lack of a better term) have been on the US side and even then, it hasn't been bad. My most recent crossing was in Jackman, Maine with 3 other people, one of whom had a criminal record. Entering Canada was a pleasant process (the offense on the young lady's record was not even mentioned) as well as an easy one.

On the way back, the guard looked through the trunk of my car, asked some questions (including one about my friend's criminal offense) and when he felt content, proceeded to chat with us about this and that for 15 minutes (got his life story). It was a pleasant experience on both ends.

My one negative experience was in Minnesota when we were crossing back with meat from a hunting trip that wasn't preserved and labeled properly. The meat was seized. The most disappointing thing about it was that the meat was going to just be discarded which felt like a waste. It was seized because WE made a mistake by not following procedure properly. I felt the guard let her power get to her head a bit, but we made the mistake so I really can't complain.

I guess what I'm saying is, it really depends on the guard to determine how pleasant your crossing will be. If your offense was SERIOUS, no matter how long ago, you're going to have to fill out that application and get it to the consulate. It's standard protocol and not something enacted just to **** you off. If you had a bad experience, I appreciate you sharing, but sitting here and telling no one to try to go to Canada is pointless. If you've committed a serious enough crime, no matter when, to have to go through this process, deal with it. Your bad experience isn't reflective of everyone's and is only representative of your failing to fill out the necessary paperwork.

Last edited by lrfox; 11-12-2008 at 09:56 AM..
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
7,827 posts, read 10,349,004 times
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Why is it suddenly unfair when other countries extend the same courtesies that the US DHS extends to their visitors?

Canada is an independent soverign country. If you care to visit, meet the requirements for admission. If you choose not to do that, then they are within their rights to deny you entry.

Seems pretty straight forward.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:33 AM
 
13 posts, read 145,823 times
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I'm not talking about serious crimes here folks. I'm taking about the most trivial minor misdemeaner charges that they can drag up off a data base up to 30-40 years back.

Sure it is reasonable to deny access to violent offenders, sex predators, theives, etc., but how about people with 20 year old misdemeaner charges like tresspassing, passing a bad check, marijuana possession, etc.

One comment was made here that a group of travelers made the crossing with a young lady with a criminal record. You were lucky and chances are next time this individual will be in for a very unpleasant experience.

The other comment implying that anyone denied entry with a criminal record must be a child molester is just idiotic. There are tens of millions of people with a minor misdemeaner charges that are affected by these new nazi border regulations that are upstanding, good and honest people.

So I repeat - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VISIT CANADA IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SHOW UP ON A CRIMINAL DATABASE NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL OR LONG AGO.

Lots of other places to go to have fun and spend money without being harrassed. With policies like this affecting so many people in the US, no wonder US to Canada border crossing and tourism is down 30%+ over the last few years.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:58 AM
 
170 posts, read 825,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikezx View Post

So I repeat - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VISIT CANADA IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SHOW UP ON A CRIMINAL DATABASE NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL OR LONG AGO.
It works the other way too. The boarder guards on the Canadian side are not unique.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:41 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,084 posts, read 33,129,150 times
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I have lived close to the Canadian border for most of my life. Even been Deported out of Canada once for being young and stupid to a border guard in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. The deportation is on my record in Canada, and I have crossed literally thousands of times since then. Sorry you have had such crappy luck, but that isn't at all like crossing the border in 99.99% of the places I have been across, and back. The poster that said US customs gives you a harder time is 100% correct. I have been with friends who have been refused admittance due to an OUI on their US record. They like drunk drivers or drug convictions over there less than we do over here. Most times the conversation for me going across is something like this:
Border Guard: Any convictions Mr. G? (while looking at his computer screen)
Me: Yep, been deported out of your fine Country once in 1979 or 80, can't really remember the exact year.
BG: Deported? For what offense?
Me: Other than being 17, mouthy and stupid? I think she put down no ID papers of any kind.
BG: Yep, anything else?
Me: Nope, just young and dumb.
BG: Have a fine day, enjoy your visit. (I would pay to see how that is written on my record over there )

I like Canadian Border Guards better than ours personally. Less likely to have a stick up their behinds, or on a power trip. Like I said, OUI, DWI, or drug conviction will haunt you horrible in crossing.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,336 posts, read 15,298,585 times
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^I feel the same way. The young lady I referred to in my post has traveled in and out of Canada nearly a dozen times since the offense (the offense was 5 years ago) and had no problems so we weren't just lucky in getting across. I think the initial creator of this thread is the one who had the experience that was more of an exception and not the rule.

I'd also say, be polite, give short, thorough answers, and make sure you have the appropriate paperwork filled out that will be necessary to cross the border. If you're not sure about a prior offense, call the consolate and see if you need to apply for an exception. Most of my experiences, and it seems many of the posters here have had similar ones, are that the majority of the Canadian border crossing guards are open-minded and welcoming. Again, they are worse on the US side ( who are still not terrible).

So, to the initial poster, I don't think it's fair to come onto an international forum and go off on a rant about how no one with any minor infraction from a while ago on their record should try to go to Canada. Your experience, however bad it may have been, doesn't happen every time anyone attempts to cross the border and for you to assume it is after one bad experience is pretty ignorant (heck, you even said you've crossed sucessfully in the past many times prior to this stop). I bet it's frustrating, but it's not the norm. If your "rational resolution" was anything like your two rants here-- abrasive and without much supporting evidence-- I can see why it didn't work.

I appreciate you sharing your experience, but don't assume that your one experience is the norm for everyone else.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:18 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,489,755 times
Reputation: 185
[quote=Mikezx;6128562]

The other comment implying that anyone denied entry with a criminal record must be a child molester is just idiotic. There are tens of millions of people with a minor misdemeaner charges that are affected by these new nazi border regulations that are upstanding, good and honest people.

quote]

Dude, it was meant to be a metaphor.
Average Americans tend it take it for granted that their country can assume everyone to be a terrist on the border but should be waved in politely as long as they show their US passport because they will spend money in other countries.
Guess what, the world is different now.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:37 PM
 
13 posts, read 145,823 times
Reputation: 27
My experience is hardly an isolated incident. US entrants being turned back for minor charges is becoming the new norm. We are talking about millions of people being affected by this new enforcement.

Yes, I did travel frequently to CA before being identified at a crossing as 'criminally inadmissible' because of a 10 year old misdemeanor charge. (had no idea I had anything on my record that would bar me from CA) Your friend sould not travel to CA because she is 'criminally inadmissable' without an approval of rehabilitation, pardon, or temporary residency permit. It is not worth the frustration to deal with the hassels of this and she will eventuallly get caught. There is nothing ambiguous about her status - if she has a criminal record of any kind - she is officially inadmissable.

As other posters point out - it's the same situation for Canadians crossing into the US so congratulations to both goverments for making it difficult/impossible/not worth it for millions of good people to travel across the border without being harassed.

I have nothing against the Canadian people. Been to some great places and worked with some nice people. Canada is very similar to the US. My problem is with the ridiculous admission regulations and idiotic immigration officers who will make your life hell, demand large sums of money, and burdon you with administrative processes that are almost impossible to comply with or take months/years to process.

If you are 100% you have a spotless record - go ahead and visit CA. Otherwise, heed my prudent advice. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO VISIT CANADA IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING THAT MIGHT SHOW UP ON A CRIMINAL DATABASE NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL OR LONG AGO. I have been through the process and I know what I am talking about.
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