We get a lot of inquiries from people having problems at the Canadian border. Canada has one of the largest land borders in the world and hundreds of thousands cross into Canada each year. Most are admitted as visitors, students or workers but many do get denied entry. There are many reasons for being denied entry to Canada. Here are the main ones.
If you have a criminal record, you will likely be stopped at the Canadian border. This is because there are rules in place whereby people who have a criminal history will be considered inadmissible to Canada. If this is the case, they may need a special permit called a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) to be admitted to Canada. TRPs are not easy to get. You have to show a lot of documentation to prove that you will not be a concern to the Canadian authorities if you are admitted to Canada.
If you have a medical history you may be denied entry. Depending on the condition especially if it is a communicable desease you may need a TRP as well.
All visitors to Canada must show that their intention for coming to Canada is temporary. This is a must. You have to show that you have sufficient ties to your home country such as employment, family, properly etc otherwise you could be refused admission to Canada at the border. Therefore having paperwork in hand in case you are asked about your ties is recommended.
The best way to avoid problems when crossing the border is to prepare in advance. If you have a criminal history, consult a lawyer before attempting to cross into Canada. The lawyer should be able to advise you as to whether or not you need a TRP first. If you are American you could one at the border but there are some risks associated with this approach.
Also as mentioned, you should have all your documents with you showing your ties to your home country just in case you need to show the Canadian authorities if asked. And lastly make sure you know where you are going in Canada, the purpose of your visit and how long you intend to stay. This is basic information that you will be asked each time you cross into Canada.
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