This post is for people planning a trip to Canada who may have questions regarding crossing the border with some type of incident(s) on their record.
The best way to summarize crossing the border with a past incident(s) is to look at things in 3 different time frames.
Time Frame #1 – (0 – 5 years)
If you have an incident such as a DWI in the last 60 months, chances are very good you will not be allowed into Canada.
Time Frame #2 – (6 – 10 years)
If the incident on your record is more than 60 months and less than 120 month, then you can apply for “rehabilitation”. There is a $200 or so fee associated with the application, but chances are that if you have only one incident on record, you will be allowed to enter.
Time Frame #3 – (11 years or older)
At this point you are deemed “rehabilitated” and should be allowed entry, provided there are not multiple offences in the past. The past being forever… even youthful incidents.
A very important note: If you find yourself in a border crossing situation, and are being told that you or a member of your party can not cross, you have options. First thing to do is keep your cool and never, let me repeat that, NEVER, get upset or confrontational. You will lose. The next thing to do is politely ask for Temporary Residency Permit. This TRP is a onetime pass that can be issued at the desecration of the border crossing agent. Typically this is only issued once an application for rehabilitation has been filed, but it is still is an option. If all else fails, call your outfitter at the border and explain what is happening. They may or may not be able to help you.
At Pasha Lake Cabins, we are a member Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association or NOTO (www.noto.net). NOTO is an organization that serves multiple functions to tourism camps here in Ontario. One of those functions is to deal with the absurd legislation surrounding this border crossing thing.
Within NOTO, there is a gentleman by the name of Doug Reynolds who is hands down the foremost expert on dealing with border crossing issues. Doug is a wealth of information and completely understands the in’s and outs of crossing the border with incidents on your record. Doug’s contact information is :
T: 705-472-5552 ext. 23
E: [email protected]
Doug has helped many of our guests navigate through the process of crossing the border and is a great resource. If you have questions, don’t be shy, give him a call or shoot him an email.
As always, I am here too. I don’t care if your staying here or not, I can serve as a resource for you as well!
Until next time!