Traveling to Canada

ysr50

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#1
The job I have now may require travel to Canada for business and/or training. I got a DUI in 1999, it's no longer on my record and I haven't gotten another ticket (except 1 parking ticket) since. From what I've heard sometimes people have trouble entering Canada with a deuce. I didn't tell my current employer about my previous conviction when they hired me because it doesn't show up on my DMV record anymore. If I have to travel to Canada what are the chances I'll get turned away? I'm also aware that it might depend on what I'm going there for, don't think training would be a problem but going to actually work and make money (viewed as taking work from their citizens) could be a problem. Any advice from people who have experience traveling to Canada would be appreciated.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#2
You should be fine... I would try to pick a border crossing that isn't too busy as they tend to get grumpy.... you will prob have more of a hassle coming back.

First few times I crossed at Fort Erie... got through fine once... second time they stripped my car. From then on I crossed at Gananoque with not issues... well except for my chick forgot to bring her passport... luckily she had her Fed badge and credentials and got across with no issues.
 

ysr50

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#3
Steve, Thanks for the reply. More than likely I'd be flying in, so the checkpoint would be an airport. Is there a way to check before I leave? If it helps I had to have a complete FBI background check to get this job as well as all the other background checks that employers require these days. My job requires access to secure portions of international airports (Corporate/Business aircraft).
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#4
Reasons for inadmissibility To Canada eh....

Well perhaps get a Visa... then you will know for sure...

Overcome criminal convictions

Note: This information is for guidance and reference only. A decision on your admissibility can only be made when you apply to come to Canada or at a port of entry.

Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. In other words, you may be "criminally inadmissible."

This includes both minor and serious crimes, such as theft, assault, manslaughter, dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For a list of criminal offences in Canada, consult the Canadian Criminal Code.

Note: there are other Acts of Parliament that a person can be convicted under, such as the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

If you were convicted of a crime when you were under the age of 18, you may still be able to enter Canada.

They do have a checklist thing to figure out what you have to do here...

http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/cometocanada.asp
 

Creasy Bear

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#5
When you're in Canada, only drink bottled water, because Canadian tap water is filthy and disease-ridden. And if you go to downtown Canada, watch out for the pickpockets.
 

Buster H

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#6
I travel there a lot for work. We have had guys get turned around at the border for DUI, but it's if you had one in the last 10 years. You should be fine if it was in 1999.

In the last 3 years, I have been up there at least 10-15 times. All but 3 of them were driving across. Never had a problem in the airport, but I get sent in to immigration about 50% of the time when driving across. It seems to be less and less now that I know their routine though.

1. Have your drivers license and passport ready to go.
2. As soon as you stop, put all windows in the vehicle down. if it is at night, interior lights on.
3. Have a letter from your company on company letterhead detailing what you are going to be doing in Canada. If you are there to honor any sort of contract, have a copy of the contract with you as well.
4. Have your hotel reservation printed out.
5. If you have any boxes in the car, be prepared to discuss the contents of the boxes.
6. If at all possible, don't bring anything that could be misconstrued as something you plan to leave in Canada


Here's the general conversation:

Border Guard: Hello. Citizenship?
Me: United States citizen sir/ma'am (as I hand my passport and DL to them)
BG: What are you coming to Canada for? OR Are you traveling for business or pleasure?
Me: I am coming up for business (as I hand over the service contract and letter from my employer)
BG: What type of business?
Me: I am a field engineer for (my company). We are currently short handed in the Montreal area and we have been rotating guys in to maintain the proper manpower until we can find a permanent employee
BG: Do you have a work visa/permit?
Me: No sir/ma'am. I am only going to be here for a week
BG: Where are you staying and when do you plan on leaving?
Me: I am staying at the Holiday Inn, midtown Montreal (hand them the reservation) and I am planning to leave on Saturday Feb 23'
BG: are you carrying more than 10K in cash?
Me: no
BG: do you have any alcohol or tobacco?
Me: I have this six pack of beer for when I get to the hotel and these two packs of cigarettes here on the seat.
BG: I see you have some big yellow boxes in the back there. What are they for?
Me: those are the tools required to do my job. They have screwdrivers, wrenches and test equipment.
BG: Will any of that remain in Canada?
Me: No sir/ma'am. All of them will be returning with me.
BG: Have a safe trip (as they hand me all of my shit back)


If you get called in to immigration, they will ask the same questions and take all of your paperwork into the back and that's when they run a quick records check on you. I have been in and out of there in 5 minutes sometimes. Other times, it has taken me 20-30.


If you'd like a copy of the letter I usually carry with me, PM me your email address and I can email it to you.
 

Buster H

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#7
If you like your booze.... check the prices at your home liquor store and hit the duty free on your way home. Depending on the border crossing, they have some good deals. You just gotta watch the prices. On my way home from Montreal, the duty free there is really good. I can grab a bottle of Glenlivet 12 year for $34CAD for a 1000ML bottle. The same stuff costs me $40 for a 750ml here in PA. However, the duty free at the border coming back from Toronto (Niagra Falls) has outrageous pricing because it's a fucking tourist trap. Shit is cheaper here in PA than at that one
 

ysr50

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#8
Thanks again, I think I'll just take my chances. If they deny me entry I'll just spread the word that Canada sucks and do my best to treat any Canadian with the same level of civility. I don't prejudge anyone but I will react accordingly. Hopefully it won't ever be a problem. We've built this great american cesspool where we accept everyone who want to come and work, yet our closest neighbors make it difficult for us. If they knew how to fix it they wouldn't need our help. Perhaps I'll just not help at all.:action-sm
 

Mother Shucker

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#10
Wow how things have changed in 25 years.

I went to Montreal 3 times back around 1988, and had ZERO issues going in or out. DUI gets you a refusal to enter Canada? Wow.
 

Buster H

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#11
Wow how things have changed in 25 years.

I went to Montreal 3 times back around 1988, and had ZERO issues going in or out. DUI gets you a refusal to enter Canada? Wow.
It's not as bad if you are traveling for personal reasons. They get really weird about going there for work.
 

ysr50

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#12
I've already made a personal decision to not travel to Mexico for work or pleasure, unfortunate because Cabo, Mazatlan are fun. I wonder how much fun Canada is with these restrictions. I know for sure I'm not gonna waste any of my vacation days (=$) up there. Hawaii is wonderful, as is the Bahamas, perhaps I'll give my money to the good people in the Florida keys. Or I can book a cruise on Carnival.:confused:
 

lajikal

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#13
When you're in Canada, only drink bottled water, because Canadian tap water is filthy and disease-ridden. And if you go to downtown Canada, watch out for the pickpockets.
Yep. Pickpocketing has become the #1 most common form of criminal activity ever.
 

Mags

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#14
When you're in Canada, only drink bottled water, because Canadian tap water is filthy and disease-ridden. And if you go to downtown Canada, watch out for the pickpockets.
We don't call it "Mexico of the North" for nothing.
 

Creasy Bear

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#15
And don't forget to bring a Canadian-to-English dictionary.
 
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#16
Voice of experience here... when passing through customs, and they ask "do you have any illegal drugs, firearms, explosives, or weapons? "... DO NOT be a smart ass and reply "what do you need?"... YOU WILL GET SEARCHED, thoroughly.
 

NotSoFast

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#17
If they don't let people in who have a criminal record, do they deport their own citizens for the same crimes?
 
Nov 29, 2006
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#18
If they don't let people in who have a criminal record, do they deport their own citizens for the same crimes?
Deport their own citizens? Let that soak in for a minute.....
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#20
It's not as bad if you are traveling for personal reasons. They get really weird about going there for work.
Both ways... the time I got detained for like 4 hours and the car was stripped searched. Was because they asked me what I was doing... I said I was going to help my wife move house (note I wasn't a permanent resident)... and I got the response "so taking away work from US citizens"... eeesh...

So had to drive back to my buddies... and pick up my car... that trip took 22 hours instead of 10... fun fun fun.

Oh bonus points for my buddies wife leaving her passport in the console of the truck I borrowed.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#23
So Canadia doesn't let in the riff-raff along their southern border and we here in the U.S. do what along ours?!?!
Again it really depends on how busy the crossing is... as the busier they are... the more chances of the border guy being a dick. Note going either way...