Travelling to the beautiful country of Mexico is one thing; getting denied entry is another. Imagine heading off to Mexico with your family and friends, only to get stuck at the border and eventually be asked to go back home to Canada. If you have a criminal record, your trip to Mexico may be compromised. To save yourself from embarrassment, financial losses, and secure permission to travel, you need to seek Canadian pardon. Here’s what you should know before you book a trip to Mexico:
Travel Requirements to Mexico
When it comes to travel requirements to Mexico, here’s what Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has to say: By law, Canadian citizens, including those with dual nationality, must have a valid passport to enter Mexico. Without it, you won’t be allowed entry, and you will be sent back to Canada.
But here’s another thing: the layovers between Canada and Mexico often take place in US cities, and this matter can complicate your trip further. Why? The United States has stricter laws when it comes to allowing individuals with a criminal record to enter their territory. That said, it’s best for travellers to have a Canadian pardon or a US entry waiver prior to travel.
Criminal Record Database
It is still possible to obtain a passport, even if you have a criminal record. But chances are you will be held for questioning at the US border when you travel. This is because the US Center for Border Protection is authorized to run personal information in the Canadian Police Information Centre database. This database has information on a person’s criminal record in Canada. In most cases, travel restrictions apply. Crossing the border with a criminal record and no US entry waiver is considered illegal. Therefore, you won’t be allowed entry to the US and you won’t be able to reach Mexico.
The Benefits of Pardon
Given the circumstances mentioned above, your next course of action should be to seek Canadian pardon or obtain a waiver.
It’s true that Canada and Mexico are NAFTA partners. It’s also said that Mexico is less strict when it comes to border control. But you still need to check in with the Canadian Embassy before you travel. So in order to be allowed entry, it’s best to obtain a Canadian Pardon and a US entry waiver.
- Pardon and Waiver:
What does a pardon and a waiver do?
In a nutshell, a pardon conceals a criminal record from CPIC databases. On the other hand, a waiver discloses the details of the offence (s) to the United States in advance. For sure, these two will help you gain entry to Mexico.
- Other Considerations:
There are a few other things to consider. All Canadians entering Mexico must have a tourist card filled out and stamped at their first port of entry. An immigration booth will be located at the border crossing when you travel by land. If you travel by air, a tourist card will be stamped in Mexico City en route to your final destination. Your personal information will be checked at all these points
Ultimately, it pays to know and follow the law when it comes to travelling out of the country, particularly to Mexico. Seeking a pardon and waiver will surely increase your chances of being able to travel. So what are you waiting for? Get either of the two, head off to Mexico, and savour all the beauty that it has to offer!
We specialise in pardon applications in Canada, get in touch today to see how we can help!