If you are a foreign national with a criminal conviction – listen to this Podcast BEFORE travelling to Canada! In this Podcast I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the most respected Business Immigration Lawyers in Canada, Barbara Jo Caruso of Corporate Immigration Law Firm based in Toronto, Ontario. BJ shared with me some tremendous insight on the inner workings of the Canadian POEs and some recent changes at the Primary Inspection Line that every foreign national needs to be aware of.
As a prior Customs Officer working at the Canadian POE, BJ walks us through the inspection process and shares some fantastic insight on what people can expect when they are going through the Primary Inspection Line.
Our conversation focuses primarily on what is now happening to foreign nationals with prior criminal convictions or even a criminal charge that was resolved, who are seeking entry to Canada.
If you fit into this category, this Podcast will give you tips and strategies on how to minimize your risk if travelling to Canada.
Most important take-aways from my interview with BJ Caruso:
- Overview of Canadian Ports of Entry and how the inspection process really works!
- Insight into the make-up of the modern CBSA Officer.
- Primary Inspection Line Officers now have access to CPIC.
- How criminal inadmissibility to Canada is determined.
- How to overcome criminal inadmissibility
- Tips for safely navigating the Canadian Ports of Entry
- Pros and Cons of applying for access to the Trusted Traveller Programs (NEXUS etc.)
[Chief Mountain Port of Entry, Alberta/Montana Border]
[Tweet “Changes at the Canadian POEs that are catching travellers off guard“]
- The best way to reach BJ Caruso: firstname.lastname@example.org
- CBC Investigates | Border security: hundreds detained in 1st month of new screening measures – http://bit.ly/1TuT9Hp
- Annotated Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada: http://bit.ly/1O0jdO0
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Read the Transcript
You can read additional notes for this episode, [spoiler]
Canadian Immigration Podcast – Show notes
Season 1: Episode 14
Interview with Barbara Jo Caruso.
Barbara Jo Caruso is a founding partner of Corporate Immigration Law Firm, located in the heart of the Financial District in Toronto, Ontario.
BJ is a co-author of the Annotated Immigration & Refugee Protection Act, published by Carswell (“The Annotated IRPA”). The Annotated IRPA is a leading immigration textbook in Canada, and is used by Federal Court Judges, Canadian immigration officials at all levels including Canada Border Services Agency Officers, Immigration Officers, Appeal Board Members, Refugee Board members, lawyers and law students alike.
I can attest to the fact the Annotated IRPA was definitely used by government officers. My first copy was given to me by the hearings officers in Calgary when I was working as a Pro Bono Student (Slave) while attending law school.
BJ is Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. She is one of the most respected business immigration lawyers in the country and a tireless advocate for her clients and our profession. She is currently serving as Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Immigration Section and a mentor to many young aspiring immigration lawyers across the country…..me included.
We could easily spend the whole podcast episode discussing BJs numerous professional accomplishments; however, knowing BJ, she probably just wants me to stop with the introductions and get to the real reason she has come on the Canadian Immigration Podcast –
and that is to discuss some recent changes that have occurred at our Canadian ports of entry that are catching many foreign nationals off guard.
Lead in Question:
- BJ, can you take a minute to explain these recent changes at Canadian ports of entry and how they are impacting people seeking entry to Canada?
Issues to discuss:
- Overview of Canadian POEs and insight into the make-up of Border Service Officers
- 1800 cases flagged in the first month of operations where travellers were identified as having outstanding warrants against them.
- Can impact any FN who has ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime inside and outside Canada.
- CPIC information is not updated – onus on FN to satisfy officer they are not inadmissible
- Failure to disclose prior criminality could lead to finding of misrep and 5 year bar
- How to overcome inadmissibility – TRPs, Rehab & “deemed rehab”
- So what happens if I am an individual with a DUI who is travelling to Canada for business and I really don’t have time to prepare a TRP or Rehab application?
- What can I expect to happen if I decide to travel anyways and test my luck?
- Let’s say I’m a Global Mobility Manager who needs to send a highly specialized employee to Canada on short notice, but fortunately the employee tells me prior to travel that she had a prior criminal conviction. What should they do?
- Given what we now know about the increased powers of inspection granted to CBSA officers at the front lines, If there was one piece of advice you could give an individual who needs to travel to Canada, but may be criminally inadmissible, what would it be?
- If there are individuals or companies out there with employees facing issues with criminal inadmissibility and they want to get in contact with you for further information and assistance, what is the best way to reach you?
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