travel restrictions following drugs conviction
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jun 25, 2012 4:34 AM Last Post By: pratyeka
Jun 14, 2012 8:24 PM
travel restrictions following drugs convictionI was recently convicted for the possession of a miniscule amount of a class A drugs. while I know this means I am restricted from traveling to some (or maybe not), I am finding it impossible to find out which ones. I only received a fine and no jail time. Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks.
Jun 15, 2012 8:01 PM
1I am not an expert on visas and - bottom line - your admission into any country is in the hands of the authority reviewing your paperwork, almost always regardless of any published rules. But 23 years of living overseas gives me some perspective, so I will present you with some background on their decision.
My guess is that if you must apply for a visa to visit a country, criminal convictions (or even just arrests) are usually asked about on the form. They don't/won't care about the amount of drugs involved, your fine, no jail time or anything else - basically just yes or no.
If you were the visa authority and it is your signature on the visa granting this person admission to your country and possibly your comfortable and prestigious career in government service at risk, would you approve that visa?
Countries that will require you to only present your passport for admission, you'll probably not have any difficulties. You don't mention the country of your passport. That can make a huge difference.
Jun 17, 2012 7:51 AM
2Well you leave it to us to be mind readers as to your nationality and what a class A drug in your country is. In some countries for instance getting caught with an ounce of marijauna is not a 'felony' conviction and so does not result in a 'criminal' record. That can often be the question asked when entering a country or applying for a visa. So you need to clarify whether you now have a 'criminal record' or not.
If you are from the USA for example that means you cannot even drive across the border into Canada. They will not let you enter if you have been convicted even of just 'possession'. The same applies to someone from the USA trying to enter Canada with a DUI conviction.
A lot of people who end up in your position do not realize just how a conviction can limit their travel severely. The only way to know is to check with each country you hope to visit. I don't know of any list of countries by offense. The reality is it would be very complicated to make up such a list as there are too many variables.
Jun 18, 2012 8:02 AM
Jun 18, 2012 10:31 AM
Jun 19, 2012 2:51 AM
Jun 19, 2012 6:39 AM
6Yup, I would be fussing as well.
If you cant get concrete information,. then each palce you are heading and think you'll have trouble, you will need a backup place to go. I agree, that anywhere which only asks for passport wont be a problem, but the visa countries may be hard to tell. Sure, some may not care, but certainly the countries that are more strict against hard drugs may not give in to your charming smile.
In the end, you may have to find whatever info you can from the governments website on the visa section. If you can find anything, then it may be worth contacting the consulate before you spend the money to go somewhere.
Not sure what else to say...
Jun 20, 2012 1:28 AM
7Unfortunately with Canada though the Canadians have access to US police records. They don't seem to check everyone, but if they do run your ID you can find out that something that wasn't a felony in the US is considered a felony in Canada......then they turn you away.
The rule - 10 years ago when I was turned away - was that as long as it is considered a felony under Canadian law they are going to turn you away. I believe the statute of limitations for that was 5 or 7 years, can't remember now.
Jun 20, 2012 9:01 AM
8There is no 'statute of limitations' mattarse. What you can do however is apply for a pardon in the state where you were convicted. That gets your record expunged and you can then say, 'no convictions' and get away with it. Legally, Canada would still deny you even though the record was expunged if they knew about it but since the record is gone they have no way of knowing.
Pratyeka, I love how some people (you in this case) make blanket statements. "Don't stress. You're taking it far too seriously. Law is just a game everyone plays." I'd love to see you put your money where your mouth is and guarantee the OP he will not have a problem, be turned away at a border or be out of pocket as a result. Are you going to GUARANTEE that for him? If not, I suggest you keep your dumb opinions to yourself. It's not a 'game' when it is you that gets denied entry.
Jun 21, 2012 2:26 PM
9@travelinstyle46: The OP requests general information, not specific information, on concerns regarding their new status with regards to one country's criminal record system. Thus, a reasonable response entails addressing those concerns and making generalizations.
@OP: In general, one country's records are not either important or accessible to another.
Where they ask you "have you ever been convicted ..." and you lie and say no, then, unless they are both electronically connected AND super chummy (eg. Canada and the US) or you give them a reason to put effort in looking your history up via a long winded international request, then you are highly unlikely to experience any problem.
Of course, the penalty for lying could be that you're unwelcome to return, but if you play it smart "oh sorry, I completely forgot", "I fill out so many of these forms!", "that was so long ago!", etc. then you'd really have to be unlucky to be victimized that far.
Even if you tell the truth, I doubt many countries care.
I know of at least one case of an Australian convicted under anti-terrorist legislation being issued a visas for the US and China, for example.
Jun 22, 2012 7:26 AM
"I am finding it impossible to find out which ones. I only received a fine and no jail time. Any advice would be gratefully received"
That sounds to me like the OP wants to know specifically pratyeka "which ones" he may have a problem with.
As for a reasonable response and generalizations such as you are making along the lines of 'just lie and play dumb if caught', that may well work in some instances, perhaps even in 'general' but will be of no help whatsover when it does not work.
Basically what you are saying is, 'you will probably get away with it 90% of the time, so don't worry about the 10%.' That advice is of no use whatsoever to someone who wants to know WHICH countries may be in the 10% and THAT is the question the OP has asked.
Jun 25, 2012 4:34 AM
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