For whatever reason, you have gained a criminal record. Maybe you want to go to Canada on working holiday, but feel you will not be let in. There is help available. The Canadian systems are very thorougher and logical. These questions will outline the main points that need to be considered. For more detailed information please look at this official Canadian site: http://www.canadianrehabilitation.com/getting-approved-to-enter-canada/
There are two ways of going about this.
1. Deemed Responsibility
This covers cases older criminal cases. Please note, this will be dealt with when you enter Canada by immigration officials.
What help do I need?
It is strongly recommended that you get in contact with a lawyer who specializes in immigration law. This is to ensure that all your documentation is properly presented.
How many convictions does this involve?
You must have only one conviction.
Over what time period?
This is over a period of ten years before you consider entering Canada.
What does this cover?
All aspects of your case must be completed. This includes all fines and fees. Obviously, you have left jail, if that was the case, ten years ago. Plus anything else relating to your conviction.
What can help me?
If the criminal act was not considered too serious or there are mitigating circumstances. However, if you have committed a felony under United States law, this could also be considered a serious crime under Canadian law. In which case you will not be allowed into Canada.
What is the legal system in Canada?
It is broadly based on the English (and Welsh) system with some input from Scottish law. Quebec Province has a strong French element as well. Under English law, there is Common law and Criminal law. If you have had money problems, minor driving offenses etc, then your chances of entering Canada should be fairly good.
What is a serious offense?
The following would properly be considered criminal offenses. Consequently, you would not be allowed into Canada. These include any criminal acts involving firearms. Any physical harm what so ever. Any convictions concerning property damage.
2. Streamlined Rehabilitation
Again your case will be decided when you enter Canada.
What are the main differences with Deemed Responsibility?
All the above conditions are the same. The main difference is that this applies to one or two convictions. Again, a skilled immigration lawyer can advise you on the best action to take.
What documentation do I need and what do I need to cover?
You will need a full and valid passport that it will not expire during your proposed stay in Canada. In which case get the passport renewed. Have a valid identification photograph and your birth certificate. Copies of all your records relating to your case. If you are a US citizen, an FBI record. From anywhere else, equivalent police security checks. This applies to all the countries you have stayed in for more than 6 months, over a 10 year period. You will need $200 (CAD) for the streamlined application.
If all of the above overwhelms you and you still want to go to Canada on a working holiday. Then it would be a very good idea to get in contact with Working Holidays. Their specific website for this is: http://workinholiday.com.au/canada-rehabilitation/
If all goes, well they can also help you in finding a working holiday in Canada.