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A new plan announced Friday , February 10 will make travel to Canada easier for those tourists with a minor blip on their criminal history. The tourism industry in Canada has been struggling, and since 9/11, criminal inadmissibility for minor criminality has been more detrimental to Canadian tourism than any other factor, including the struggling economy.
Not only has the policy has a negative impact on tourism, but has also deeply affected the convention business in the bigger cities. Companies are reluctant to hold conferences and conventions in Canada because they fear that some, if not many, of their participants will not be able to attend due to a minor incident that may have occurred many years ago.
The current policy allows a border official to deny admittance based on a single minor criminal offense, such as a DUI, for which no time was served in jail. Under the new policy, beginning March 1, those individuals with a single indictable offence in their criminal histories, for which they served less than 6 months jail, are less likely to be turned back at the border.
Under this new plan, if a U.S. Tourist meets the criteria under the Tourism Facilitation Action Plan, they are allowed admission into Canada after filling out a temporary resident permit form. There will be no fee for this permit. This is not an official change in the law and the ultimate decision is still up to the border official, but they are to be guided by this new policy.