Travelling With A Criminal Record
3 Important Questions About Travelling with a Canadian Criminal Record
Travelling outside of Canada with a criminal record can be a risky decision. Regardless of whether you have already received a Canadian Pardon (also known as a “Record Suspension”), leaving the country could represent a challenge to your freedom.
The United States, for example, does not recognize a Canadian Pardon (Record Suspension) as restitution. This means you will require a U.S. Entry Waiver to attempt entrance into the United States. In the case of travelling to another country, you may be subject to the policies of that country. You may also face challenges with flying over U.S. airspace, even if you do not land in the U.S. specifically.
The answers to the following 3 questions will help you better understand the implications of travelling with a criminal record.
1. Can You Travel with a Criminal Record?
It depends. If you are attempting to enter the United States, or fly over U.S. airspace, you will likely require a U.S. Entry Waiver (also known as a “U.S. Waiver” or “Waiver”) to avoid detainment, arrest, or prosecution.
2. Can You Get a Passport with a Criminal Record?
Usually. Having a criminal record does not absolutely prevent you from obtaining a passport. However, there are circumstances that can prevent you from getting a passport, including if you have been charged with an indictable offence, if you are currently in prison or if you are on parole. If the judge who issued your sentence placed a travel restriction under your name, you will likely be denied a Passport.
It is also important to note that having a valid Canadian passport does not mean you will be given entry to any particular country due to the restrictions that country may have on travellers with a criminal record.
3. Does a Record Suspension Give You More Freedom to Travel?
No. Your Canadian Pardon (or “Record Suspension”) is recognized only in Canada. Other countries are not bound to recognize that you’ve taken the step to seal your record. They have their own laws and regulations that are beyond Canadian jurisdiction. You should contact the Canadian government office responsible for the country to which you want to travel to learn more about the requirements for travel to that country.
Making it Easier to Travel With a Criminal Record
Pardon Applications of Canada assists Canadians in taking the necessary travel steps to make it easier to travel with a criminal record.
- Record Suspension Application – Having a record suspension does not guarantee your ability to travel abroad, but some countries may use it to determine whether or not to allow you entry. Even the United States appreciates the fact that you’ve taken an important step toward rehabilitation by acquiring a Record Suspension, even if technically it does not grant you access.
Visit Pardon Applications of Canada for a free Canadian Pardon Qualification email report.
- U.S. Entry Waiver – As our closest neighbour, many Canadians enjoy travel to the U.S. and Pardon Applications of Canada can help those with a criminal record enjoy the same privilege.
A U.S. Entry Waiver secures 100% freedom to the United States.
- Get a Passport with a Criminal Record – Pardon Applications of Canada acquires Canadian Passports for individuals with criminal records.
Your Record Suspension and valid Canadian Passport will only improve your chances of being allowed to travel abroad with a criminal record.
To get started before you travel outside Canada, call Pardon Applications of Canada at 1-866-383-9744 or acquire a free U.S. Entry Waiver Qualification email report.