Canada Continues Criminal Screenings


Published: July - 2003

On the subject of hunts in Canada, continuing subscribers will remember our reports last summer about Canadian immigration authorities using our national crime records (NCIC) to check would-be US visitors for any kind of past criminal violations. There is anecdotal evidence, you recall, that hunters are being given additional scrutiny because they want to enter the country with a firearm. The latest is, hunters and other sportsmen are continuing to be turned away at the border for having things such as old drunk driving convictions on their records. If you have something of this sort on your record, don't pooh-pooh this development. It just might ruin an expensive hunt for you this fall.

The imperative here is not just to think back over any convictions you might have had. Think back over any charges that might have been made against you and later dropped. The NCIC files, we understand, are rife with errors and incomplete records. What you may think of as long-ago dropped charges may have been reported in a way that makes it seem you were convicted. Witness The Hunting Report subscriber we told you about who was discovered on the wrong side of a property line during a long-ago turkey hunt. That minor mistake was described in his NCIC files as "Armed Trespass."

The good news is, Canadian immigration authorities have decided to treat DUI convictions as "rehabilitated" if they took place 10 or more years ago. The same is true of other similar minor infractions. Officials have also come up with a new procedure for getting more recent criminal mistakes forgiven. It involves applying for what's called a Permanent Rehabilitation Permit. You can find all of the necessary forms and information you need at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/applications/rehabil.html.

The Permanent Rehabilitation Permit takes the place of what used to be called a Minister's Permit. It's an improvement over the Minster's Permit because it permanently removes an impediment to travel to Canada. The Minister's Permit was a one-shot deal. Just be aware that there is a fee to process an application for a Permanent........(continued)

 
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