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Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to deny?

Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to deny?

Old May 18th 2012, 5:58 am
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Default Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to deny?

Hello,

I would like very much to apply for a working holiday visa for Canada, now called International Experience Canada. I am a UK citizen.

On the form there is the question "Have you ever committed, been arrested for, been charged with or been convicted of any criminal offense in any country". The honest answer to this would have to be yes as 22 months ago I was arrested for shoplifting in the UK as an adult. However, I was NOT convicted or cautioned and merely released with a warning. I therefore do not have a criminal record and it will not come up on CRB checks or the ACPO form I am required to submit.

My questions therefore are

a) Would this be enough for my application to be denied? If I do declare it, should I lie in the description and say I was arrested but not cautioned or convicted because I was not guilty? How could the canadian immigration officials possibly get access to details of the arrest?

b) Could I get away with answering no? I dont see how they could find out that I have been arrested as my certificate will be clean and if they run a criminal records check or check the police national computer nothing will come up. The only place there is any record of the arrest is information held locally at the police station where I was arrested. (I confirmed this to be the case with an officer from that police station). It would perhaps come up on an ENHANCED CRB check but I am sure they are not allowed to conduct those. What resources are available for to foreign immigration officials to check the police histories of UK nationals?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:10 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

You would need to answer the question on the form honestly, but if it isn't on your ACPO check then you needn't worry - just include an explanation.

Presume you are aware that there are very few IEC visas left for this year? So you will probably have to wait until next year's program opens anyway.

Good luck.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:18 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Yes I just noticed that, just my luck, I only found out about this program today, got all excited about it, then a few hours later found it was almost full for the year....

Is the ACPO the extent of the criminal records checks that they do? Because I would really rather not mention it as technically I think it could render me criminally inadmissible as I did commit an "act" which is a criminal offence under Canadian law.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by MikeBrit
Is the ACPO the extent of the criminal records checks that they do? Because I would really rather not mention it as technically I think it could render me criminally inadmissible as I did commit an "act" which is a criminal offence under Canadian law.
So you want to lie on the form? Seriously, don't do that unless you want to face being banned from Canada. You need to answer the question honestly, but if as you say it was only a warning, then you're definitely not inadmissible to Canada - even a caution wouldn't have made you inadmissible, only a conviction would.

CIC certainly do all sorts of background checks for PR applications, I don't believe they do for IEC or Temp Work Permits, but what if you want to apply for PR one day and then they find out you lied to gain entry to Canada? Not worth risking imo.

My advice - don't lie to immigration, just be honest, and you'll be fine.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:28 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Thanks for your help........ it's just that for the life of me I cant think how anyone could ever find out. You see, I also want to be able to travel to and from the US on the Visa Waiver Program, so if I admit to an arrest on a Canadian Form, might that not then get on the system and make me have to apply for a visa every time I want to travel to the US as a tourist?
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:33 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

By the way I would have absolutely no moral problem with lying on the form because I dont think they should have the right to ask that question.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:35 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by MikeBrit
it's just that for the life of me I cant think how anyone could ever find out.
As I said, they do extensive background checks if you ever decide to apply for PR.

Seriously, nobody on the forum is going to recommend that you lie to gain an immigration benefit and give yourself a potential ban from Canada.

For the US you will need to declare your arrest on the VWP form anyway, so whether you decide to lie to CIC has no bearing. From the little I know of US immigration, I think you'll have to get a visa to enter the US anyway (as theft is a CIMT), but I'd suggest you ask the question in the US immigration forums to get a definitive answer.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by MikeBrit
By the way I would have absolutely no moral problem with lying on the form because I dont think they should have the right to ask that question.
You don't think they have the right to decide who comes in to their country, and to set their own immigration laws?!
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

I do not think anyone should be allowed to ask about arrests, I think they should be restricted to asking only about convictions as arrests by themselves do not denote guilt and, even though you are given the chance to provide an explanation, I think that having a "Yes" answer to that question creates an illegitimate bias against you.

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
As I said, they do extensive background checks if you ever decide to apply for PR.

Seriously, nobody on the forum is going to recommend that you lie to gain an immigration benefit and give yourself a potential ban from Canada.

For the US you will need to declare your arrest on the VWP form anyway, so whether you decide to lie to CIC has no bearing. From the little I know of US immigration, I think you'll have to get a visa to enter the US anyway (as theft is a CIMT), but I'd suggest you ask the question in the US immigration forums to get a definitive answer.
Yes but I would definitely be fine with lying on the VWP form, I am very sure they would not have the time and facilities to do an in depth check and even if they did catch me I could argue I didnt understand the meaning of the phrase "moral turpitute"
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:52 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by MikeBrit
Yes but I would definitely be fine with lying on the VWP form, I am very sure they would not have the time and facilities to do an in depth check and even if they did catch me I could argue I didnt understand the meaning of the phrase "moral turpitute"
Well, good luck to you then. You seem to have less morals than my toothbrush, and are bizarrely proud of the fact.

I shall try not to pass your email address and/or name on to the immigration officers that are forum members then.
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:53 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by MikeBrit
By the way I would have absolutely no moral problem with lying on the form because I dont think they should have the right to ask that question.
What about if they ask that question at the Port of Entry and do a PNC check?
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Old May 18th 2012, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
What about if they ask that question at the Port of Entry and do a PNC check?
FYI OP - FL is one of the aforementioned immigration officers that will greet you at the airport and decide whether or not to let you in to Canada.
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Old May 18th 2012, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

I was told by a police officer I spoke to at the police station which arrested me that the details of my arrest will not show up on the PNC and that they are only held locally at the station, so if they do a PNC check it should come up clean.

I have also been told, though I am not sure this is reliable, that the UK government does not share police records with foriegn immigration officials other than criminal records, and I have no criminal record.
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Old May 18th 2012, 8:06 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

Originally Posted by MikeBrit
I was told by a police officer I spoke to at the police station which arrested me that the details of my arrest will not show up on the PNC and that they are only held locally at the station, so if they do a PNC check it should come up clean.

I have also been told, though I am not sure this is reliable, that the UK government does not share police records with foriegn immigration officials other than criminal records, and I have no criminal record.
But you do realise that, although you cannot be refused entry under criminal inadmissibility (because, as you correctly state, you don't have a criminal record), you can be refused entry for lying on the forms?

So why even bother risking it? Just seems madness to me.
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Old May 18th 2012, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Applying for Canada working holiday visa - must I declare my arrest, enough to de

But the question isnt do you have a criminal record the question is have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted.
We deal with many people who have been arrested and even charged with offences but have no convictions so therefore are not inadmissible.

Perhaps this might explain it
Obligation — answer truthfully
16. (1) A person who makes an application must answer truthfully all questions put to them for the purpose of the examination and must produce a visa and all relevant evidence and documents that the officer reasonably requires.
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