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Canadian tourist visa

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Canada.

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Canadian tourist visa

Post Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:12 pm

hi, can anyody help me out here. i've read the canadian embassy website and various immgration web sites, tried to phone the candian embassy in London, UK just to get a pre-recorded message that doesn't answer my question. found other phone nos again pre-recorded messages, again do not answer my questions. rang immigration lawyers cannot answer my question because they only deal with permenant residency - i'm getting no where.

the only option left is to turn up at the candian embassy in london between 8 - 11 which isn't what i really want to do. i want an idea of what i need to do forms i need to fill out before i go to the embassy so i don't go there without knowing anything

My question is this

Do i need a tourist visa to vist canada for a holiday? I have a criminal record which is now 'spent' under the rehabilitation act and is now 10 years old. I can't find anything about this on the canadian website. if i do then can someone tell which application forms i need to fill out

or any links where i can read about this or ant phone numbers where i can actually speak to someone

thanks for any help

 

dale
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Re: Canadian tourist visa

Post Posted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:29 pm

Hi Dale,

Welcome to Expat Focus, and best of luck with your desire to visit Canada for a holiday.

2 parts to answer you...

1. You do not need a Visa to visit Canada for a holiday if you are a citizen of the UK. You will, however, require a valid and up-to-date passport.

2. The short answer about a criminal record is, "It depends."

It depends, both, on the severity/timeframe etc. of your crime, and (here's the kicker) it depends on mood/opinion/attitude of the Customs Officer as you stand to be entered into Canada.

The Customs agent will have some criteria to guide them (ie. guidelines for serious criminal records, or for specific types of crimes etc.), HOWEVER, there is a strong lean towards discretionary decision at point of entry.

SO...it is not entirely possible to guarantee that you will be allowed beyond the Customs agent, even if your crime is relatively minor or moderate in nature.

Quick real-life example to share (but does not guarantee future results):

Recently, somebody I am acquainted with from the UK decided to pack up the family and head to Canada for a vacation. He was worried because he had a prior Drunk Driving conviction from about 6-8 years earlier, and although nobody was hurt or killed during his incident, he was worried that he would not be allowed to enter. (And we could not ensure him either.)

He did end up getting through with nary a hitch, and his family had a life-altering, amazing time on their vacation.

Dale: That's as close to an answer as I can give you. My advice is: if your conviction is relatively minor/moderate in nature, and you do not come across to people as a lunatic or maniac as you stand at Canada Customs, then you stand a more than good chance of being permitted to enter.

Hope that helps...

Regards,
Paul-F


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Paul-F
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Re: Canadian tourist visa

Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:11 am

Hi Paul,

Thanks for replying.

The crime was for Common Assault for which I received a 6 mth conditional discharge, which became 'spent' after 1 year, and that was 10 years ago.

I want to get this right because we are hoping to immigrate to Canada in the near future, and don't want to jepodise my application (i know i have to declare this when filling in the immigration forms etc...)

Will I be required to fill in a landing card when i arrive. Will this have the question 'Do you have any criminal convictions....'

Also, would it be advisable to take with me my memorandom of conviction?


Thanks again

 

dale
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
  
Re: Canadian tourist visa

Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:23 am

Hi Dale,

You do complete a landing card, but I am quite certain there is no question regarding your criminal record on that card.

Even as a Canada-born citizen, I must complete a card when I re-enter from any location abroad, but unless there is a different card for non-citizens, then there is no mention of criminal record on that card.

You will stand in front of a Customs Agent as you land in Canada, and that person will receive your info/id and landing card...and then they will determine how much further to investigate your circumstances. It sounds like the criminal record you have may not even show up on the Custom Agent's screen, because it is 'spent' and you did not receive jail time.

Therefore, the Customs agent will look at everything and make a fast decision whether you require more in-depth questions about your circumstances.

Without being able to be 100% certain, I would say your odds of being absolutely fine at entering Canada is very high, and almost certain. Just be calm, normal and (not overly) friendly with the Customs agent and make sure you speak clearly and calmly about your intent to holiday in Canada...and you should be just fine.

Does that help? Any other questions?

Cheers!

Paul-F


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Toronto Executive Suites - Info: Here

 

Paul-F
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Re: Canadian tourist visa

Post Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:28 am

Many thanks

no more question at the moment

thanks for your help

 

dale
Newbie
Newbie
 
 
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