For many people, having a criminal record goes far beyond just the shame of knowing you’ve been convicted of a criminal offence and the fear of someone finding out. The repercussions can extend into the workplace, your ability to be a volunteer, and your ability to travel. Whether it is for work or for pleasure, getting out of the country with a criminal record may prove challenging, if you don’t take the necessary steps to make it right.
A Potentially Embarrassing Scenario
One of the biggest mistakes you can make if you have been convicted of a criminal offence is to just serve your sentence and forget about it. That’s not to say you should hold onto the negative feelings associated with your arrest and conviction, but you shouldn’t just forget it happened and carry on like normal, either.
If you just let things slide, you may end up being refused entry into the United States the next time you try to cross the border. Just because you have served your time doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed in.
Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver
If you have ever tried to enter the US with a criminal record and were refused entry, you will need a US Entry Waiver to get back into the states. Getting a waiver will allow travel between the US and Canada for one year, two years or five years depending on certain factors, which include the severity of the crimes committed.
When you want to apply for a US Entry Waiver, it makes sense to enlist the help of professionals like Pardons Canada. If you try to complete your entry waiver application on your own, it’s possible to make a mistake and end up being denied. The process can take up to a year, even if professionals are in control, so making a mistake could lead to endless frustration.
What About Traveling Abroad?
Traveling to the US may be most common for Canadians, but it isn’t the only way to leave the country. If you are planning to travel abroad and have a criminal record, the rules can vary depending on where you want to go. It is possible to obtain a Canadian passport if you have a record, but you may need to contact the Embassy of the country you wish to travel to. Not every country will refuse you based on a criminal record, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, just in case.
If you are flying abroad and your flight stops in the United States for any reason, you may need the US Entry Waiver mentioned above to be allowed into the country to switch flights. If possible, booking a direct flight to the country you want to go after contacting the Embassy is likely the best idea.
Getting the Help You Need from the Experts
Traveling out of Canada and back again is commonplace for thousands of Canadians, and for people with a criminal record, getting help to ensure smooth travel is key. Whether you need a Record Suspension or US Entry Waiver, we can help you get the process started and see it through to its conclusion.
The reality is, the sooner you begin the process, the sooner you will be able to travel freely, so don’t delay any longer than necessary. Contact Pardons Canada today and let one of our experts point you in the right direction and get you the documentation you need.