Temporary Resident Permit

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TRP Canada

Canada immigration lawyer focused on helping Americans apply for a Temporary Resident Permit so they can travel to Canada with a criminal record. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike many businesses who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Can I Go to Canada If I Have a Juvenile Record?

An adult criminal record, including for DUI or reckless driving, can render an American inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality and result in him or her getting denied entry at the border. Juvenile offenses for young offenders under age 18 may be treated differently, however, and a juvenile conviction in the United States typically does not render a person inadmissible under Canadian law. This being said, a juvenile record is often visible at the Canadian border because of information sharing between the RCMP and FBI, and may need to be properly addressed.

Juvenile records are typically wiped from state-level databases, and consequently do not appear on background checks run by most employers. Even though a juvenile record is normally sealed or "hidden" when a person turns 18, they are often still recorded on the FBI's NCIC criminal database. The Canadian border has access to this FBI database, and consequently CBSA agents may ask a visitor about their juvenile criminal history.

If a person requires access to Canada for work or business purposes, but has a juvenile conviction, it may be advisable to obtain a Legal Opinion Letter from a Canadian immigration lawyer showing that the offense does not equate to an adult conviction north of the border. In Canada, a youth offender is between age 12 and 18 according to the country's Youth Criminal Justice Act. If a child was convicted as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime, the offense will generally equate to an adult offense in Canada and may be extremely problematic at the border. If a job requires you to be able to enter Canada, and the employer knows you have a juvenile arrest record, they may expect you to prove you have the ability to travel to Canada before they will hire you! For example, if you receive a conditional job offer (CJO) for a flight attendant position from an airline with routes to Canada, the airline may not allow you to begin training unless you can provide evidence your juvenile record will not be a potential issue when flying into a Canadian airport.

Need access to Canada but have an arrest or conviction as a juvenile? Contact our legal team today for a FREE consultation!

I Made a Mistake Before I Was Legally an Adult, Why Does Canada Care?

As we said earlier, most juvenile convictions from the USA do not render a person criminally inadmissible to Canada. This being said, when traveling internationally the onus is always on a visitor to prove their admissibility to a foreign country if challenged by border authorities. For this reason, if you have a juvenile record you should always arrive at Canada's border well-prepared. Depending on how an arrest or conviction appears on the FBI database, it may not be obvious to border agents it was a juvenile offense. Consequently, juvenile charges related to theft, fraud, assault or battery, vandalism, mischief, burglary, destruction of property, shoplifting, DUI, DWI, OVI, OWI, reckless driving, dangerous driving, and illegal drug possession can draw attention from border security.

Denied Entry Due to Juvenile Record

In rare cases, Canadian border agents may consider a US citizen to be criminally inadmissible because of a juvenile record. If agents believe the offense may equate to an adult conviction in Canada, they can deny admittance regardless of how young the person was when the incident transpired. In such a case, the individual might need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation Canada in order to gain access to the country unless they can prove their admissibility.

How Can We Help?

If you have any arrests or convictions on your record and need to visit Canada, call us today or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!