Travelling through Canada on the Journey to or from Alaska with a Criminal Record

Alaskan Cruises

In response to the increasing popularity of cruise travel, many cruise lines have expanded their offered range of destinations. No longer are cruises confined to the tropical climates of the Caribbean, but have instead expanded to other locations steeped in natural beauty, with cruise travel proliferating most notably in Alaska. From thrill-seeking adventure junkies to those in search of a tranquil sightseeing holiday, ‘the Last Frontier’ attracts a broad range of visitors. Many travelers also take advantage of their trip to Alaska as an opportunity visit Canada. In fact, Vancouver often serves as the departure point for many of the popular cruise circuits. For such international itineraries, whether you are leaving Alaska and heading south to mainland USA or vice versa, tourists, Americans in particular, must ensure they are allowed to enter Canada.

Travelling to/from Alaska through Canada 

Generally speaking, Americans need only a valid passport or permanent resident card to enter the country. However, those deemed criminally inadmissible will likely need to secure additional documents well in advance of their intended entry into Canada.

Foreign nationals must first determine if the crime(s) they’ve been convicted of is a federal criminal offense in Canada. For offenses such as underage drinking or possession of drug paraphernalia, which are not federal crimes in Canada, a passport will suffice to permit you into the country. For convicted offenses such as driving under the influence (DUI) or assault, which are seen as Canadian federal crimes, the convicted individual will need additional documentation to enter the country.

How Can I Travel through Canada if I am Deemed Criminally Inadmissible?

One option to ensure you can travel through Canada is to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). Not to be confused with the temporary resident visa, a TRP will allow either single or multiple entry into Canada for those deemed criminally inadmissible. TRP applications are sent to the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles, and can take anywhere from 4 – 6 months. The TRP application processing fee is $200 CAD. Alternatively, a TRP application can be brought directly at the Port of Entry if you are travelling by land, air, or sea and the application processing fee will be waived. The choice of location may impact the likelihood of your success, as well the processing time. If you choose to submit a TRP application at a Port of Entry, you can save yourself a great deal of time, as applications can be processed on the spot. For more information about applying for a TRP at the port of entry, see here. While the approval of the application is ultimately at the discretion of the immigration official, retaining the services of a Canadian immigration lawyer or immigration consultant will likely improve your chances of successfully obtaining a TRP.

While TRPs allow temporary entry to Canada, those who have completed the conditions of their sentence at least five years ago are also eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, which is a more permanent solution to the problems associated with criminal inadmissibility. Criminal rehabilitation is an avenue explored by those seeking to permanently change their criminal status for the purposes of entering Canada. As this is a long term solution, processing times for criminal rehabilitation can be considerably longer than they are for a TRP and can take over a year to be approved. As such, many clients are advised to also apply for a TRP when entry to Canada is needed in the near or immediate future. Additionally, processing fees for a Criminal Rehabilitation application range from $200 CAD to $1000 CAD depending on the severity of the case.

For more information concerning criminal inadmissibility as well as a plethora of information pertaining to Canadian Immigration please visit

At FWCanada, we are happy to offer free consultation to promptly provide honest assessment of your case and chances of success. As one of the leading immigration law firms in the country specializing in criminal inadmissibility, we have extensive experience handling a wide range of cases. We prioritize detailed review of each client’s case to optimize application approval.

Please call on our toll free number: 1.855.316.3555 to ask all your burning questions and remedy confusions, because providing honest and accurate advice is our ethos.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration, follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.