Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Are You Criminally Inadmissible to Canada?

As you may know, I’m embarking on a month-long ride throughout Canada and Alaska this summer.

I’ve provided some info for those who desire to travel into Canada yet might’ve committed youthful indiscretions. Seemingly minor offenses years ago can lead to heartbreaking and embarrassing situations. As an example, a friend was turned away last year for a public intoxication charge he’d all but forgotten about. Unfortunately for him, Canadian officials — who have access to US criminal history databases — had not forgotten or forgiven; and it promptly it ended my friend's Canadian adventure.

While it’s not impossible to enter Canada when you have minor crimes in your past, it can be disastrous when you’re turned away — or worse, deported — from Canada at the beginning of a scheduled ride. A couple options for avoiding problems at the border:

• Obtaining a visa (AHEAD OF TIME);
• Complete required forms to officially request permission to enter (“proof of rehabilitation”);
• Carry proof that past crimes were adequately resolved (fines paid, probation done, etc.).
Plan ahead, know the rules and enjoy your ride!

Are You Criminally Inadmissible to Canada?

If you have been charged or convicted of any crime, including driving while impaired, you may be prohibited from entering Canada to visit, work, study or immigrate.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Criminality: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/australia-australie/visas/rehabilitation-readaptation.aspx?lang=eng

In general, people are considered to be inadmissible to Canada due to past criminal activity if they were convicted of an offence in Canada or were convicted of an offence outside of Canada that is considered a crime in Canada.

Similar to other countries that prevent the admission of convicted offenders, Canada does make provision to allow people with criminal records into Canada under certain circumstances.

If you are not sure of the steps to follow in your specific circumstances, you may Contact the Immigration Section or send an enquiry by email, fax or mail and we will advise you further.


  1. Canadian borders are tougher to get through than American. When I rode into Canada, the border agents were very thorough in their questioning, and they threw trick questions at me. My friend went through ahead of me. I told the agent I was with him. She asked me, "Can you tell me why your friend is carrying a gun?" (He wasn't really carrying a gun, but she was testing me.). I said, "I didn't know he was carrying a gun." (I guess that was the right answer.) But she also asked me how much cash I was carrying. I told her $800.00 (which was true). She said, "Good, make sure you spend it all here." So, I'm lead to believe that if you carry plenty of cash, they'll let you in anyway.

  2. OK, Steve: Cash - yes, Guns - no. Easy enough!

  3. If it was BC - BC stands for Bring Cash so that makes sense.

    We were just in Victoria and when crossing into Canada were never asked if we had a criminal history or firearms or anything Didn't ask when we went to the motorcycle show in January either.

    Good thing I am so squeaky clean I don't even have a traffic ticket. :-)