My husband went to prison over 25 years ago for a federal felony. We went on a cruise about 6 years ago and had no problem entering Vancouver to leave on a cruise, however, when my husband and I went to Victoria, last summer, from Seattle he was almost denied entry because his record is in the system ( due to 911) when running is DL. Since we were only going in for the day, they let him come in but warned him he better be leaving on the last boat out and if he ever wanted to come back to Canada, he would have to file somethign for $1000 and maybe they would let him back in.
We then decided that if we wee to go back to Alaska, we better use Seattle as our port for coming nd going. Since the cruise we are looking at stops in Prince Rupert, BC, will we have any problems or will it be that just I will be the only one allowed to go?
It's hard to say how strict they might be - sometimes they are lenient - sometimes they are just having a bad day and will take it out on anyone they feeling like attacking. Before 911 we were taking our handicapped daughter on a "make a wish foundation" trip to Disneyland. My dh was born in Scotland but has lived in Canada since he was about four years old - and, of course, he is a Canadian Citizen, in his 50's. We cross the border every week into Washington state, for cheap cheese - and he was never asked to produce anything other than his drivers license. But at the airport it was a different story. They U.S. customs guy said he wouldn't allow us to board without his birth certificate. Now again - this was a trip for our daughter who was in a wheel chair and not expected to live through the year. It was over an hour back home so we could not have gone back for it. Luckily for us a supervisor stepped in and basically told the guy to get off his high horse and let us through. Guy #1 still insisted he could make it tough for us if he wanted - and forced us to take our daughter out of her wheelchair so he could take it apart and examine it. A real sweet guy. They didn't even give us a chair so my dh had to carry her (at over 100 pounds) because she could not stand on her own. I think some of these people are just so power hungry. That being said - get him to go for the pardon - they can make it really bad for him if they want to. Have a great trip and good luck. TTFN Jennifer
I guess my question is this, if we pay for a cruise that starts and ends in Seattle, will we have any problems getting aboard the ship in Seattle since it is going into Canada on one of the days? Do they run a background check the day we depart & could they deny my husband the trip?
I have to say that there is no clear cut answer to your question and no guarantee one way or the other that your d/h won't run into problems. I doubt that you'll run into issues boarding in Seattle, but you may run into issues trying to leave the ship in Prince Rupert.
I am married to a Canadian citizen and went to great lengths to have all of my paperwork in order with Immigration before and after we married. I worked closely with an assistant to my US Congressman to be sure my paperwork was in order before we left the U.S. for our honeymoon. We drove from our home to Canada, spent a few days with d/h's family and then flew from Toronto to the Dominican Republic for a week. We then flew back to Toronto and we had no problems entering Canada at all. We then spent a few more days with d/h's family and then attempted to come back into the U.S. No dice! They would not allow my Husband to enter the United States and I had to leave my newlywed husband in Canada while I drove all night back home to find the documents that I had sent to the INS weeks before by registered mail , returned to me unopened (which explained why the INS had no record of the documents) and I showed up on my Congressman'doorstep at 8:00 a.m. begging for assistance. Luckily his assistant Helen was on her way out the door to drive to a meeting in Chicago and she offered to hand deliver the documents to the INS and do whatever she could to get my husband back into the United States. Well had any of this happened after Sept. 11, 2001, I likely would be living in Canada with my husband or still in the U.S. without him.
I have heart palpatations everytime we cross the border from Canada to re-enter the US. Its been 8 years but I still worry. My experience has been that Canadian immigration is always more lenient than the United States and imagine that it is even more so since 9-11. I would email the cruiseline and ask them the same question, print it out and take it with you to the pier. Also buy trip insurance just in case. Bear in mind that Immigration in Prince Rupert will probably have the final say if your hubby can enter their country or not. But I don't think that would prevent your d/h from boarding the ship in Seattle. I'm no expert, but thats my opinion.
The best thing to do is get in touch with Canadian Immigration or the Canadian Consulate in Washington. Give them the details and then do whatever they recommend. Get in touch with the cruiseline as well and inquire about their procedures. I'm sure they have dealt with this situation in the past.
I agree with Beenie Weenie, you never know what will happen from one day to the next when crossing the border. I find the Canadian authorities generally more strict, but they are consistent. US border agents can make life difficult for no reason other than the fact that they are having a bad hair day. I was pulled out of line once in Toronto, on my way to Houston, and was the only person I witnessed that was permitted to continue my journey. Everyone else that came in before me or while I was in there was turned away.
I think it is possible to have a criminal record expunged after many years without getting into trouble. With the US soon to require all citizens to have a passport to re-enter the US, it will be enough tougher on your husband in the future. You might look into this option.
OK, for whatever it's worth, here's my 2 cents--I think if I were in your situation, I'd simply opt to stay on the ship in the Canadian port, board in Seattle, and enjoy Alaska! This whole thing sounds like it has the potential to turn into a beaurocratic nightmare, or at the very least, a hassle you really don't need or want associated with a vacation. For one lousy port, I'd just pass on getting off the ship in Prince Rupert.
The problem is once the ship is in the port you are in the country. Staying on the ship doesn't matter to Immigration. You are within their borders and must still be cleared. The same thing applies in all countries and not just Canada.
Thomas is right. Even if you don't get off the ship, you are still in that country's waters.
I don't think the travel insurance would be of any help with this situation also. I would do as others have said and check this out with the Candian Immigration.
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My friend had a DUI conviction from 13 yrs ago. She did the paperwork and got a Pardon this last year when deciding to travel to Hawaii. . Basically it means she can now travel without worry. Just do it, and over here it did not cost 1000 dollars, I think you should actually check that out, don't just accept someones word on it.
PG, that is the one thing that people are getting nailed for when they try to enter Canada lately. I don't know why Canada is so uptight about DUI records but there it is and it has been reported quite a bit lately. Apparently being a muslem terrorist is okay but you better not have a DUI on your record! <G>
Jim , she was a Canadian trying to enter the States with the DUI, but it seems they see crimminal conviction and they don't make a distinction between what sort of crime.
I too think that for certain sorts of crimes, that after say 5 yrs , one should just get an automatic dispenstion.
I understand wanting to keep out crimminals, but the guy who smoked a joint in college 15 yrs ago, shouldn't have to jump through too many hoops. I mean especially if many years have passed and no other convictions. People do make mistakes.
I do understand the need for security, but hey, after 25 yrs I figure someone is reformed!
Of course our prime minister ( who was convicted of a DUI while on vacation in Hawaii just a year or so ago ) doesn't have any problem flying into to any foreign country. Fair huh?
It is a sad state of affairs but governments find it easier to extort fines and punishments from "regular" people as they usually will pay them, or jump through whatever hoops are set up, while real criminals get off scot-free and never worry about it.
I'm curious, how did your PM get a DUI in Hawaii last year? Don't other people drive him around? Aren't there body guards everywhere? Aren't foreign dignitaries exempt from being detained by police? Didn't any security jump in when the Hawaiian police tried to arrest him?