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Top 10 things to know about criminal records

Travelling to Thailand with a criminal record – You just Thai and stop me!

Although Albert had visited Thailand many times since his conviction, research on the internet convinced him that changes in immigration policy would make it impossible for him to visit again.


Approximately 35 years ago I was convicted of a sexual offence and received a suspended prison sentence. The details of the offence are not really relevant to the story and I’m mindful that when you put something in writing it can look as though you’re trying to minimise what happened – I don’t want to do that. All I will say is that my life now is very, very different to how it was at the time of my conviction.

I’ve been married to my second wife for over 25 years and although she’s originally from Thailand, she’d been living and working in the UK for several years when I met her. I told her all about my conviction as soon as I realised that things were getting serious between us and thankfully, she understood that it was a one-off incident which still caused me tremendous shame and guilt.

My wife and my grown-up children from my first marriage get on extremely well and so my wife booked a holiday for all of us to visit her family in Thailand. My wife and I have visited the country many times since we married, the last time was in 2015, and I’ve never had any problems. However, since she’d booked the holiday, I started to read lots of articles online about how Thai Border Control had invested in new high-tech equipment just so they could keep sex offenders out of the country.

The more I read, the more worried I became. I’d convinced myself that I’d be stopped by immigration as soon as I landed and would be immediately deported back to the UK; this would be devastating for my wife and children. The worry was with me constantly; I wasn’t sleeping or eating, and I felt sick all the time. My anxiety was compounded by the fact that I’d never told my children about my conviction – as it had happened when they were just babies, it was something I didn’t think I needed to tell them.

My wife kept asking me what was wrong, but I didn’t have the courage to tell her about the tough new laws in Thailand. She was looking forward to seeing her family so much and we’d saved so hard for all the family to travel. I couldn’t bear for my family to see me being carted off by immigration after I’d had my face scanned and fingerprints taken and I started to think that I’d just have to make some excuse and stay at home whilst my wife and children travelled on their own.

I decided to have one last look online before I told my family that I couldn’t go with them, when I came across a helpline for people with convictions and decided to give them a ring. A wonderful guy listened to me and eventually said:

No need to panic, the situation’s the same as the last time you visited”.

He told me that I didn’t need a visa to travel to Thailand if I was going to stay for less than 30 days. He told me that what I’d read online about people being deported generally related to those who were on the Sex Offenders Register and who’d had their passports flagged by the police. As my conviction was prior to the introduction of the register and as I didn’t need to inform the police of my intention to travel, there was no way that any flag would be put on my passport. Therefore, nobody in either the UK or Thailand would be aware of my criminal record.

I can’t tell you the difference this information has made to my life and I’m so excited about my trip. However, I’m so sad that as a result of these tough new immigration rules, so many people will think twice about visiting ( or indeed be denied entry to) a country which has some breath-taking islands with wonderful beaches, great food and amazing festivals.

By Albert (name changed to protect identity)


Useful links

  • Comment – Let us know your thoughts on this post by commenting below.
  • Information – We have practical self-help information on travelling abroad.
  • Discuss this issue – There are some interesting discussions related to travelling abroad on our online forum.

Living and working in China after asking the police to delete my cautions

Niall’s cautions had never really caused him too many problems until he wanted to live and work in China. He’d often wondered whether he’d been given the best advice by his solicitor after accepting the cautions and took the decision to apply to the police to have them deleted.


Although I’ll admit that I’d had a bit of a troubled past in my youth, I’d always felt that the four cautions I had on my criminal record shouldn’t have been there. They’d never really caused me too many problems until I tried applying for a visa to travel to China and then I realised that as far as travel was concerned, they were likely to be a huge problem. I realised that I’d need to apply to the police and make a request to have my cautions removed from the Police National Computer.

At this point, it’s probably useful to give you a bit of background about the cautions:

Caution 1 – This caution was for assault and happened when I was 15 years old and accidentally shot my friend in the face with a BB gun. There was no malice intended and my friend and I remain close to this day.

Cautions 2 and 3 – Both of these cautions were for criminal damage. The first was when I was with a friend who started a fire. We both received a caution even though there was no proof that I’d done anything wrong. The second caution came about after I accidentally set fire to my own garage whilst smoking a cigarette. My mother was happy to confirm in a letter to the police that the incident hadn’t incurred any considerable costs and she explained that at the time she’d explicitly told the police that she didn’t want me to be charged with anything, it was an accident.

Caution 4 – I was having an argument with my girlfriend when a passer-by wrongly assumed that I’d assaulted her and contacted the police. At the police station, I was advised by the duty solicitor to accept the caution for battery as it meant that I wouldn’t have to go to court and potentially receive a conviction. As I’d only been going out with the girl for a short period of time I really didn’t know what she was likely to say to the police and, as the relationship was extremely toxic, I felt there was every chance that she would lie. When I accepted the caution I was told that it would not appear on any criminal record check in the future.

When I was in the process of applying for my Chinese work visa, I contacted the girl concerned telling her about the problems that I was having. She agreed to write a statement explaining the events and absolving me of any wrongdoing. She offered to be interviewed by the police if they felt that it was necessary.

I read everything I could about how I could apply to get my cautions deleted and then set about gathering as much evidence as I could to explain my innocence. I then sent all the evidence, together with details of each caution to the ACRO Criminal Records Office.

With regard to caution 4, I applied for deletion on the grounds that improper advice and information was given to me at the time. Both the police and my solicitor had been aware that due to changes in legislation, my caution would remain on the PNC until I reached 100 years of age. However, they still urged me to accept it. If I’d known the consequences, I may have chosen to take a different course of action.

Having sent my letter and evidence to the Criminal Records Office, I was delighted to be told that my application had been successful and the four cautions were going to be removed. I was over the moon when I received my first totally blank DBS certificate.

After that, getting my work visa was much easier and I’m writing this article whilst living and working in China.

By Niall (name changed to protect identity)


Comment from Unlock

You have the right to ask the police to remove information under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR’s Right to Erasure. Generally however, the police will only remove cautions in exceptional circumstances and we’re delighted to see that having reviewed the evidence provided by Niall, they have taken the view that his cautions should be deleted.

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Having my wings clipped by an old conviction – how my criminal record stopped me travelling with my family

Following an emergency overseas, Helen needed to fly to the Caribbean. However, an old conviction meant that she ended up doing this without her family. Read about the barriers that Helen continues to face due to her criminal record and what she’s planning to do to help not just herself but others in the same situation.


At the end of last year, I was told that one of my family who lives in the Caribbean was extremely ill and had only been given a short amount of time to live. I immediately went online to find the cheapest flight so me and my family could go and see my relative before they died.

After hours of looking, I managed to find a cheap flight which transited in Canada, so I hastily went ahead and booked the tickets.

It was only then that I realised that we would need to apply for Electronic Travel Authorisations (ETA). Having a conviction from 2000 which would never be spent, I knew that if there were going to be any problems it would be my application, so I went ahead and applied first. The question I’d been dreading popped up asking:

Have you ever committed, been arrested for, been charged with or convicted of any criminal offence in any country.”

There was no point in lying, I needed my ETA, so I set out the details of my offence.

The result of this was that I was asked to submit a hideous list of documentation explaining the details of my conviction. As it had happened so long ago, I didn’t have everything to hand and spent two and a half weeks gathering and paying for what was needed and then sent it off.

Imagine my disappointment when I got the reply, telling me that my ETA had been refused. The only option I had was to book another direct flight for myself and let my family travel on the existing one without me. This meant having to spend considerably more money and not being able to get a refund on the flight I’d already booked.

I was gutted and disappointed by this outcome. It truly wasn’t just a matter of the money or even the fact that my husband had to take the children on the plane without me (although I was upset that we couldn’t all travel together), it’s a matter of principle. My conviction was 17 years ago, yet I’m still being punished because of it, even though I’ve totally turned my life around.

For some time now I’ve been thinking about the barriers that people with convictions have to overcome, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can’t stay silent any longer. I now intend to campaign to address and raise awareness of this issue as I know there will be many others out there in the same situation as myself. I want to help them have a voice, and see if positive changes can be made so people with convictions can move on with their lives and leave their past firmly in the past.

By Helen (name changed to protect identity)


A comment from Unlock

Helen’s story demonstrates the barriers that a person with a conviction can face, particularly when trying to travel abroad to certain countries, even though their conviction may be historic. We would always recommend that you obtain your visa before you book your flight, as you could suffer financially if your visa is refused.

Useful links

  1. Comment – Let us know your thoughts on this post by commenting below
  2. Information – We have practical self-help information on travelling abroad
  3. Discuss this with issue – There are some interesting discussions on travel on our online forum.

Travel tips if you’re on the sex offenders register

Whether you’re looking to travel abroad for a holiday or business, having any type of conviction could potentially cause you some problems. However these may be escalated if you’re under the sexual offence notification requirements. Here Alan offers some useful tips in dealing with the more common issues you may face.


I’ve been subject to notification requirements for the past five years and during that time I’ve travelled extensively around the world, between 12-15 times a year. Although my experiences will be different to yours, I really hope that what I share will help you to understand a little more about the processes you’re likely to go through.

I’d like to dispel some of the myths and stop you from getting too many surprises whilst you travel.

No 1 – Informing the police of your intention to travel

Before you visit the police station, print off a summary of all the information you’ll need to provide on the travel form (in the correct order). The desk staff will then be able to complete the form very quickly – they’ll only need to copy your data into their form. Give your summary a bold heading such as ‘travel notification’ to avoid having to say anything out loud – really handy if there are other people at the front desk and you want to be discreet.

Make sure you take some ID with you.

Ask the desk staff for a photocopy of the registration form once it’s been filled in. I’ve never had a problem but it’s always good to have evidence that you’ve followed the process correctly. If there are any discrepancies on the form, check with your dedicated PPU officer – the front desk staff at the police station aren’t always aware of the latest processes.

In the section which is marked ‘optional’ always provide further information. Although you’re not legally obliged to, it always raises suspicion if you don’t.

No 2 – Travelling out of the country

Scanning your passport at check-in and/or the boarding gate doesn’t display any information to staff about your conviction.

When you’re travelling within the EU, the SIS information sharing system will usually place a marker against your passport. This hasn’t caused me any problems, however I’ve noticed some changes over the last 3-4 months and I now find that Immigration Officers in EU countries want to gather more information about my visit than they previously did. The officers are discreet but it’s still obvious that they’re asking you more questions than other people.

If you’re travelling with a group who aren’t aware of your situation, let them go through the passport check first. People behind you will see that you’re being asked more questions and this may raise suspicion.

When travelling outside of the EU, information isn’t usually shared with the country you’re visiting. An exception of this would be if your PPU officer issues an Interpol ‘Green Notice’. This may be done if they feel you’re travelling to commit an offence abroad. Depending on the country you’re visiting, you may be denied entry. You may want to check with your PPU officer whether they’ve any intention of doing this so that you can decide whether to continue the visit or not.

No 3 – Arriving back into the UK

eGates will always reject you and point you to a manned desk. This isn’t too much of a problem as people are asked to go to a desk for a variety of reasons.

If you’re travelling with somebody else and you both go to a manned desk, always let the other person go first. After your passport is scanned, an alert will appear on the UKBA officer’s screen and the officer will ask where you’ve travelled from etc. Although the questioning is discreet, the desk won’t accept other people behind you for a couple of minutes (I imagine this is the time it takes for the system to update your entry) so might raise suspicion.

No 4 – Visas

Countries which require visas (or visa waivers) are unlikely to be aware of the details of your conviction. Whether you choose to declare it or not is down to you and I’m not going to offer an opinion on this either way.

If you do declare, it’s unlikely you’ll be issued a visa within a reasonable time frame. Many countries will choose to deny a visa application completely depending on the severity of your conviction and/or the amount of time which has passed since you received it. I’ve now applied twice for a US visa and been refused both times.

I hope you’ve found my information useful and it doesn’t put you off travelling. Being aware of what will/may happen should help you to mentally prepare equip yourself.

Happy holidays.

By Alan (name changed to protect identity)


Useful links

  1. Comment – Let us know your thoughts n this post by commenting below
  2. Information – We have practical self-help information on travelling abroad and sex offence notification requirements
  3. Discuss this issue – There are some interesting discussions related to sexual offences and travel on our online forum.

The long journey from crack to carer – Working in a care home

It’s often felt that jobs within health or social care can be difficult to get into if you have a criminal record. However, as Melanie’s story shows, people with significant criminal records can successfully get into this type of work.



I’m sitting at Gatwick Airport with my son waiting for our flight to Spain to be called. We’ve both been working really hard so we’re looking forward to the break. It’s strange to think that the crazy journey I’ve been on started at Gatwick and will end there as well.

Back in 2005 when my son was 7 years old I was a single mother with an addiction to crack cocaine. I was struggling to survive and when I was given the opportunity to earn some serious cash I didn’t think twice and I agreed to smuggle a huge amount of drugs into the UK.

I wasn’t a criminal mastermind, just a crack addict, so unsurprisingly I was arrested at Gatwick Airport and before I knew it, I found myself in court and sentenced to 12 years in prison. During my time inside I recovered from a stroke (bought on by my drug taking), got myself clean and started to think about what life after prison would be like.

My son went to live with my mum and despite her being hugely disappointed in me, she bought him along to the prison most weekends so that we could maintain a close relationship.

In 2009 I moved to an open prison and started doing some voluntary work in a residential care home. As a result of my drug addiction I’d never held down a job before and I absolutely loved the routine it gave me. I volunteered for 5 days a week but would often do extra shifts when the home was short staffed.

Around the same time that I was eligible for paid work, a job came up at the care home where I volunteered and I applied, confident that I’d walk it. I was constantly praised for my work as a volunteer so why wouldn’t I get a full time paid job. Sadly, it seems employers are less tolerant about convictions when it comes to paid work than for volunteers. Although the manager of the home was happy to employ me, the Care Quality Commission were making it very difficult for her. She told me that she was willing to ‘fight my corner’ but I knew that as soon as I was released from prison I’d be moving to a different part of the country and so I took the decision to continue as a volunteer and save the ‘fight’ until I was released.

Since my release in 2011, I have gone on to work as a carer in a residential home, although it wasn’t easy to get a job. Many employers disregarded me as soon as I told them I’d got a criminal record and those that did invite me to an interview and gave me a chance to explain my conviction were less receptive when I mentioned that my offence was drug related.

Eventually I struck gold and found an employer that valued my skills and experience far more than worrying about my past. My reference from my previous care home manager was fantastic and my personal officer in prison had given me a character reference which highlighted how I’d worked with a prison drug charity and had been clean for 5 years.

I work full time and rent a house for me and my son. He’s grown into a wonderful young man and is an apprentice car mechanic. Getting paid to do a job I love is amazing. I’m able to regularly spoil my mum as a thank you for the years she’d spent looking after my son and he and I are now on our way to Spain on holiday.

It’s odd being back at Gatwick and what a difference. This time my case is full of PG Tips instead of crack cocaine – well you know how difficult it is to get a decent cup of tea abroad.

By Melanie (name changed to protect identity)


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Getting permission from probation to return overseas to my husband and family

We’re always encouraging people to try and build good relationships with their probation officer, however difficult this can sometimes be. Rosie explains the assistance she was given by her probation officer and the benefits of seeking peer advice, in this case from the Unlock forum.

To say that I’ve had the year from hell is an understatement. At the beginning of the year I was convicted of a white collar crime and given a suspended sentence and 300 hours of unpaid work. Up until the time I was arrested (May 2016) I’d been living with my husband 5,000 miles away from the UK but whilst awaiting my court appearance and sentencing I hadn’t been allowed to leave the UK.

As he sentenced me, the judge said he hoped that after completing my unpaid work requirements I would be allowed to return home to my family. It took me just 6 weeks to complete the 300 hours (I worked six days a week, 8 hours a day) and I sold my house to ‘’ at a greatly reduced price in order to raise the funds quickly to return to my country of residence.

As I was finishing my last day at the charity shop where I worked and saying goodbye to all my new friends, I received a call from my probation officer telling me that there was no way I would be allowed to return home until my suspended prison sentence was completed; 22.5 months away. I was absolutely devastated. I was homeless, had no job, no savings, a crucified reputation, the lot. I couldn’t understand the purpose of keeping me in the UK. I was classed as low risk and my probation officer had already told me that she would no longer need to see me.

I contacted loads of solicitors and other specialists but nobody could help. I was told again and again to keep my head down and wait out the end of my sentence. But I’d lost everything and there was no way that I was going to lose my marriage as well. So, as I sat on a friends’ settee one evening surfing the internet, I came across the Unlock forum and added a post asking if anybody had been in a similar situation to me and what advice they could offer.

It wasn’t long before I got a response from somebody who’d been through something similar and offered me some help. He gave me some fantastic advice about my legal standing with probation and suggested I research information around the right to family life etc. I’d built up a good relationship with my probation officer and I could tell that she was as frustrated with my situation as I was. Every piece of useful information that I found which I thought might help me get home I sent to her, bombarding her with details of other similar cases that I’d found online. I had nothing to lose and nothing else to do.

The solicitor who’d dealt with my original case was pretty useless. I truly have lost a lot of respect for the legal system, it seems all they’re interested in is money. I can honestly say that I got a lot more help from the Unlock forum than my legal team.

I’m not sure whether it was the information I sent to probation or the fact that they were just sick of my tenacity but a couple of weeks ago my wonderful probation officer called me to say that she’d taken my case to the Deputy Director of Probation and that I should book my flight, pack my case and return home. I was free to go.

So here I am 5,000 miles away with our rescue animals (8 so far). My husband is the happiest man on the planet and I’ve already received a job offer. Life is good. I’m determined to stay in touch with the guy that helped me on the Unlock forum. I really hope that one day I’ll be able to help him as much as he helped me.

If I can give any advice as far as my dealings with probation go, it would be to be polite and honest, do exactly as they tell you and give them no reason to dislike you. I know that having my probation officer on my side really helped me. Not only was she able to present my case to the Deputy Director but, as I’d always been very upfront with her, she was confident in supporting my application to move overseas.

I’m keen to put the last couple of years behind me and start to live my new life overseas.

By Rosie (name changed to protect identity)


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Getting permission from probation to travel to my brother’s wedding whilst on licence

From the day I received my custodial sentence, I was determined to turn my life around and make sure that I never went back to prison. I kept my head down all the time I was inside and upon release I’d already lined up a job volunteering for a charity who worked with ex-offenders.

I knew the hardest thing for me was going to be rebuilding a relationship with my family. I’d really let them down and I’d been devastated to see my mum and dad so distraught when I told them that I was likely to be going to prison. Communication between us had been very sporadic all the time I was inside.

My brother had been a fantastic support to me both during my trial and whilst I was incarcerated and I was so pleased when he told me that he’d got engaged and would be getting married – at last, something to look forward to. But then came the sting in the tale – they were getting married abroad. I was pretty sure that as I was still on licence, I wouldn’t be able to go.

From the time I left prison, I’d had a pretty good relationship with my probation officer so I thought I’d run the idea of travelling overseas for a couple of weeks past her. I was quite shocked when she categorically said ‘No’. No discussion, no thinking about it, just ‘No’. She told me that it was a standard condition on any licence to:

Not travel outside the UK unless otherwise directed by your supervising officer (permission for which will be given in exceptional circumstances only)

As far as she was concerned, this wasn’t an exceptional circumstance!

I left the probation office in tears. I wasn’t totally surprised but I did think that my probation officer would at least consider the pro’s and con’s of the trip. I’d really wanted to be with my brother on his big day and had thought it would be a good opportunity to start to build bridges with my mum and dad and other members of my family. My probation officer had just taken this all away from me.

My brother was stunned when I told him the bad news but after a cup of tea and some clear thinking he said:

Come on Mee this can’t be right. Let’s find out what options are open to us.

We did loads of research that night and over the next couple of days had conversations with lots of different organisations. In the end we decided that I had nothing to lose by appealing my probation officers decision.

I wrote a really detailed letter to the head or the probation office and a couple of weeks later I received a response stating that my application to travel had been approved.

My brothers wedding was fantastic. We were away for about 10 days in all which gave me plenty of time to spend with my mum and dad, away from the stress and pressure of everyday life and really did give me the opportunity to start re-building our relationship.


By Mia (name changed to protect identity)


Useful links

  • Comment – Let us know your thoughts on this post by commenting below
  • Information – We have practical self-help information on travelling abroad while on licence
  • Discuss this issue – There are some interesting discussions related to disclosure on our online forum.

A city of possibilities – Living and working in Singapore with a criminal record

I’m 40 years old and most people that know me would consider me to be a ‘pillar of the community’. However, this hasn’t always been the case and, as a young man, I received several cautions and also had a short stay in a Young Offender’s Institution. Most of the incidents involved violence.

Since then, I’ve done pretty well at work and, two years ago through my work in the UK, I was offered a job in Singapore. The job was a management role and I’d been offered a good salary. As a young man, it had always been my dream to live and work abroad but, from what I’d read, this was going to be impossible with my criminal record.

My new employers in Singapore told me that I’d need an ‘Employment Pass’ which they would apply for on my behalf and would last for two years. To meet the criteria, I had to demonstrate that I had the appropriate professional qualifications and skills and would be earning above £1800 per month.

It all sounded too good to be true and I started to do some research into what, if any, criminal record checks might be undertaken. I found out that to work in many countries, I would need to get a copy of my Police Certificate. I know that my past cautions and conviction would probably show up and this would be likely to affect my new employers decision as to whether to employ me. However, I’d not been asked to provide one yet.

Within a matter of days, my new employer contacted me to let me know that they’d submitted the application for an Employment Pass and that they needed some additional information from me – this included a copy of my passport, my bank details and evidence to show that I had a clean criminal record.

I obviously agreed to send this off but was panicking like mad. How could I prove that I didn’t have a criminal record – I did. I started to search for information online and came across details of the helpline run by Unlock. I rang the number straight away and explained the situation to the lady at the other end of the phone. She immediately put me at ease and, after a few minutes suggested that as the company had not specified the need for a Police Certificate, then I should get a copy of my basic criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland and send this to my employer. The certificate would be blank as all my cautions and my conviction were spent.

It all made complete sense and I started to think it might actually work. As soon as I put the phone down, I applied for my basic certificate online. I got it back about 6 days later and emailed a copy to my new employers who were more than happy with it.

I’ve been working in Singapore for about a year now and loving it. Singapore is a cosmopolitan city that offers a high quality of life and endless career opportunities. Sometimes, it’s important to really think about what an employer wants from you. Mine needed evidence that I didn’t have a criminal record and the basic certificate was able to prove this. If I’d rushed in and given them a Police Certificate it might have been a different story for me.

By Seb (name changed to protect identity)


Useful links

  • Comment – Let us know your thoughts on this post by commenting below
  • Information – We have practical self-help information on police certificates and travelling abroad
  • Discuss this issue – There are some interesting discussions related to disclosure on our online forum.

My world’s just got bigger – disclosing my conviction to a new partner and travelling to Canada

canadaI’d been seeing Michael for a couple of months and enjoyed his company. We liked the same things – going for walks, nice meals, dancing.

It wasn’t love at first sight but I’m 67 so not surprising really. The thing is, I’m not your average 67 year old and I wanted a bit of excitement in my life. When my best friend met Michael she described him as:

Adorable, like a pair of comfy slippers!

I think that’s why I decided not to tell Michael about my past. Back in 2009, I received a prison sentence for money laundering. I’d never been in trouble before and I have no defence other than even at the age I was, I was gullible and got taken in by a real charmer.

Then, right out of the blue, Michael asked me whether I’d ever been to Canada. I knew that his two sisters lived there but apparently Michael had been asked to speak at a conference in Toronto and thought he could tie it in with a visit to his family. He wanted me to go with him and also meet his family.

Oh my god! What to do. I knew I wouldn’t be able to visit Canada with my criminal record but did I want to open up and tell Michael that. So I bottled it and told him that I’d love to go but couldn’t afford it.

Michael offered to pay for my ticket. I told him that I couldn’t possibly accept – far too proud blah, blah, blah. He told me he would be needing some admin/secretarial support whilst he was away (I’d been a PA up until my prison sentence) and to think of the ticket as my ‘salary’.

It didn’t look as though Michael was going to take no for an answer so I either had to tell him the truth or walk away from the relationship. The sad thing was, I’d started to become quite fond of Michael and I really didn’t want to call a halt to this new relationship. I was pretty sure that ultimately that’s what was going to happen when I came clean.

My ‘disclosure’ was awful – garbled and rambling but Michael just listened. ‘So you see that’s why I can’t come to Canada with you – not that you’d want me to now’ I stuttered.

My story didn’t phase Michael at all; he was just keen that we find out for sure whether I’d be able to travel to Canada or not. We hunted the internet and it became pretty clear from Unlock’s Information Hub that I was ‘criminally inadmissible’ and would not be ‘deemed rehabilitated’ as I didn’t fit the criteria – ten years hadn’t passed since my conviction – and that I’d have to apply for a temporary resident permit.

Eventually Michael rang the Canadian Embassy and explained the situation to them. He told them that I wanted to go for the purposes of business and that the terms of my sentence had been completed for two years. The Embassy confirmed that in their opinion I should apply for a temporary resident permit. On the application I had to give a lot of detail about the work I would be doing, the type of conference I would be attending and why Michael could not take somebody else with him.

I submitted my application. The Embassy took the view that my need to enter Canada for the purpose of business was greater than any potential risk I posed to Canadian society and my permit was granted.

So me and my comfy slippers are on our way to Toronto.

By Diana (name changed to protect identity)


Useful links

  • Comment – Let us know your thoughts on this post by commenting below
  • Information – We have practical self-help information on travelling to Canada.
  • Discuss this issue – There are some interesting discussions related to travel to Canada on our online forum.


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