Last Updated on April 22, 2011 by Steven Meurrens
Are you an American citizen who was recently denied entry to Canada while attempting to cross the border? Were you told that you were “inadmissible for criminality” and that you were “not allowed to enter Canada for 2, 3, 4, or even up to ten years?”
Many Americans are often stunned to discover that they are inadmissible to Canada for offenses that are just misdemeanors in the United States. Examples that our office has recently dealt with include:
- Negligent driving in Washington State (easily the most common reason that an individual is denied entry);
- Fishing off limits in Alaska;
- Trespassing in Nevada;
- Reckless driving in Wisconsin;
- Possession of cocaine in Oregon;
- and the list goes on and on.
You Have Options
If you have been denied entry into Canada because of a criminal record, or if you are wary of even attempting to cross because you believe that you will be denied entry, then it is important to know that you always have options.
Our offices regularly assists individuals who have been told that they are inadmissible to Canada.
Amongst the services that we can help you with include:
- Determining whether you were actually “convicted”. Many people mistakenly think that if they were sentenced for an offense, then they must have also convicted. This, however, is not always the case. It is important to note that Canadian border officials often do not have your full criminal record. They know you were charged with an offense. They may even know that you were convicted. But they probably do not have much additional information, if any. It is not uncommon for an individual to come to our office having been told that they are inadmissible to later discover that they were never actually convicted, and that they in fact free to enter Canada.
- Determining what the actual equivalent offense is. Even if you were convicted of an offense in the United States it may not be an offense that renders you inadmissible to Canada. It is rare for border officials to apply the wrong equivilancy test, but it does happen.
- If you are inadmissible, then assisting with a rehabilitation application to permanently resolve your criminality issue.
- If you are inadmissible, and are ineligible to apply for rehabilitation, or need to urgently enter Canada, assisting with a temporary resident application. Any border officer has the discretion to admit an individual to Canada even if they are inadmissible. We can help ensure that your application presents as compelling a reason as possible so as to strengthen your chances of overcoming your inadmissibility.
- Assisting with an application on humanitarian & compassionate grounds. Any inadmissibility can be overcome if there are sufficient humanitarian & compassionate grounds. We can assist you with ensuring that your application is as compelling as possible.
The Point Is
If you have been denied entry to Canada do not give up. Contact someone to explore your options.