My parents were nice enough to bring me and my boyfriend along with them on an Alaskan cruise (on their dime!). My boyfriend had a DUI a number of years ago. I'm aware that Canada denies access for those with a DUI conviction, but here is my question:
We fly into Alaska for a week of land excursions. Our cruise then leaves the second week out of Whittier, Alaska. All of the stops along the cruise are in Alaska with one exception - the final stop is in Vancouver, where we need to fly out of.
I'm extremely nervous that my boyfriend will be detained when going through customs in Vancouver in our efforts to fly back to the U.S. (also afraid that they won't even allow him to disembark to GO to the airport). We've tried to go through the very complicated process of getting "rehabilitation" as per Canada's procedures, but no luck. The various agencies couldn't supply us with the paperwork we requested.
Can we use the US Direct program to disembark the cruise ship and successfully go to the airport and fly back to US? I've read that they put a seal on the bus and everything, so you officially don't touch canadian soil. I've tried calling canadian consulate (all I get is a recording), and various other cruise "experts" , customs "experts, etc. No one seems to be able to definitively answer my questions.
All we want to do is leave canada as soon as we dock. I'm desparate to find a solution here, otherwise my boyfriend won't be able to go, and we'll owe my parents thousands of dollars for the cruise.
I can't give you a definite answer since I am not a lawyer! But, on my Alaska cruises, we booked the ship's transfers from ship to airport and did exactly what you are saying....piled onto a bus and carted to a special area in the Vancouver airport that is purely for US citizen's returning to US. I was actually a tad disappointed, since I had a lot of time to kill on one trip and couldn't browse the Canadian gift shops! But, talk to the cruise line and make sure you book their shuttle service to the airport.
Have you tried to get police security clearance that will allow him to come into Canada. Also, the port is Canadian territory and the airport is Canadian territory too. My brother was stupid and did something idiotic when he was 19, so he needed to go to a border crossing and get a special security clearance to cross over the border.
I suggest calling the local police in a large city and find out what enhaced secuity clearances they can provide for anyone with a record to cross over the border into Canada. The DUI might be a problem, but if it was more than 3 years ago and the judge was lenient, there might not be a problem.....Have you tried calling the RCMP (royal Canadian Mounted Police) to see what forms they suggest....
The likelihood that there will be a problem is low, but who knows with security these days...
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This is an immigration question and you need to find the best way to contact the Canadian immigration department which is an agency of the Canadian federal government. Try to look up the government website and see if there are any contact numbers for Canada immigration.
If he has a passport, use that for ID rather than driver's license. If he does not have one, get one asap. Just my suggestion for this. I think it is less likely that they would even check that far if he uses a passport.
Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law, see http://www.cbsa.gc.ca for details. Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada must carry both proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. If U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under sixteen need only present proof of U.S. citizenship.
U.S. citizens entering Canada from a third country must have a valid U.S. passport. A visa is not required for U.S. citizens to visit Canada for up to 180 days. Anyone seeking to enter Canada for any purpose besides a visit (e.g. to work, study or immigrate) must qualify for the appropriate entry status, and should contact the Canadian Embassy or nearest consulate and see the Canadian immigration web site at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp.
Anyone with a criminal record (including even misdemeanors or Driving While Impaired (DWI)) charges may be barred from entering Canada and must qualify for a special waiver well in advance of any planned travel for further processing, which may take some time.