Immigration Question - Criminal Record

This forum deals with all aspects of immigration to Canada, landed immigrant status, work permits, etc.

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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:01 pm

Immigration Question - Criminal Record

Post by Troubled » Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:10 pm

Hello there

Firstly its a great forum and very helpful, thank you.

I am a British citizen and my same sex partner is American. I was refused entry to the United States in January 2005 on the basis of an overstay on tourist waiver of 2 weeks and suspicion that I was living in the US. This would be correct, my partner has a very good job and for the past year I had been visiting the US on waivers.

After entry refusal I was unsuccessful in obtaining a visa in England and when my partner got sick I crossed the border to care for her and was caught. I was charged with a felony, being found in the US after deportation despite only ever being refused entry. After 6 months in prison I have just arrived back in England, deported from the US. US immigration have since admitted to their error and my attorney assures me that if I apply, the felony will be removed. I have no idea how long this might take or if I even believe it.

My partner and I would like to move to Vancouver. We have a growing business in the US that is web based and a move to Canada would allow us to retain this business. I have received mixed advice from attorneys and CiC about my felony and chances of returning to Canada on vacation or any other type of visa.

Any advice on the best way for us to approach moving to Canada as soon as possible would be great. Firstly, whether its possible with the type of felony I have and whether the best approach is spousal sponsorship with my spouse on a work permit, or a business visa or work visas for each of us.

Thanks in advance.. its a tricky one I know.

Ron Liberman
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:23 pm

Post by Ron Liberman » Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:20 pm

Dear Troubled,

I think you will find Canada is a kinder and a gentler country than our neighbour to the South!

My view is this "felony" does not affect your ability to visit Canada, because you have not committed a crime which would be an indictable offense if committed in Canada. The Criminal Code of Canada does not regard an overstay as constituting a criminal offense, and therefore this issue does not prevent you from entering Canada in the normal way. The only possible side-effect I see is that, when entering Canada, you may possibly need to show stronger evidence than normal that your entry is for a temporray period of time.

British passport holders do not require a visa to visit Canada.

For a spousal sponsorship to apply, one of you has to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Therefore you would have to start off with a work/business visa. If you can show you have cohabited for at least one year at any time, you qualify as common-law patners, and therefore the likelihood is only one of you would need to qaulify for the work/business visa as the other partner would have a derivative status. It is difficult to advise you as to which is the best approach without more detailed information.

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