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For Travellers From Ontario Pardons May Not Be Enough for US

For many Ontarians, crossing the border at Niagara Falls for shopping or tourism represents a pleasant excursion. But such trips can turn into a nightmare if the traveller happens to have obtained a criminal conviction at some point in their life. Theoretically, “moral turpitude” is the standard that American border agents are to apply when assessing the admissibility of a foreigner: according to American law, it is illegal for a foreigner to enter the United States if they have been convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude”, which is defined as conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals. This is a vague standard that can be applied to any crime, and in fact border agents routinely do so. While formally, a minor assault or driving under the influence are not crimes involving moral turpitude, in actual practice, any person with even a minor past conviction can expect to be turned back at the border.

10 to 15% of Canadians have a criminal conviction; many Ontarians have been crossing the border for a long time without having been discovered. In the past, a traveller was rarely checked for criminal inadmissibility, or to judge inadmissibility on a case-by-case basis, since the terrorist attacks of 9-11, this has permanently changed. Now, many people who were not caught in the past are being discovered when their name is checked against the database of criminal records provided to the US Department of Homeland Security by the RCMP. And being discovered results in being arrested, questioned and turned away, sometimes also in a person’s vehicle being confiscated.

There are two ways to get around this disability, obtaining a pardon or a US entry waiver. The surest way of overcoming criminal inadmissibility to the United States is for a person to apply to the US Customs and Border Protection Agency for a waiver of inadmissibility. This process will involve a financial investment and gathering some paperwork, but once granted, an entry waiver will allow a person with a criminal conviction to travel to the US hassle-free. A disadvantage of the waiver is that it is not permanent, but is issued for one, two or, at maximum, five years. Another solution is to apply for a pardon from the Parole Board of Canada; once granted, the conviction will be erased from the criminal record database. For this to work at the border, however, it is necessary that a person not have travelled to the United States from the time when they were convicted to when they obtained the pardon. The reason for this is that while a person’s name disappears from the electronic Canadian criminal record database (which is also the database accessed at the border) once they have a pardon, if the US has accessed their file before they got the pardon, it remains on record with them even after the pardon, which, by the way, is not recognized by the US.

Whether a person chooses to get a pardon (a good idea in any situation) or a waiver, an Ontario pardons agency can assist the individual with either procedure, in both cases a complex and time-consuming process.

Ned Lecic works for an Ontario pardons agency.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ned_Lecic

Infinity Crew

Question by : Can you adopt a child in Ontario if you were charged with theft under 00 and were granted a pardon?
I want to adopt a child when I’m older, I always have but I was arrested for theft under $ 5000 right after my 18th birthday. I was granted a pardon. Will I have any difficulties adopting a child because of this?

Best answer:

Answer by Jillian
I am not saying people can’t change.

But I am saying that these kids need seriously stable homes with adults who do not have criminal records. You clearly have poor judgment, very very poor.

This is not personal, it is just how adoption should functions.

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One Response to “For Travellers From Ontario Pardons May Not Be Enough for US”

  • Ferbs:

    The Ministry approved Social Worker would be the best to answer that. You obviously don’t have a record anymore but you should divulge everything in advance.

    It also depends on the kind of adoption you are looking into. Public adoption is up to the Ministry to approve. Private adoption is up to the natural parents.

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