I am a Canadian citizen and was wondering if I can travel to England for 3 weeks to see my girlfriend in December. The record is from 2011 and I am not on probation or anything at the moment. The bad part is I applied for a work visa for England and was denied due to criminal record. So reading all this do you think I can travel to England for a short visit?
I have a valid Canadian passport at the moment.
If you had never applied for the UK Work Permit then your criminal record would be utterly immaterial. Canada and the UK do not share normal criminal databases at the point of entry so it's a non issue.
Unfortunately though you are now in the UK database and there is absolutely no way anyone can tell you with any certainty that your past refusal isn't sitting right in their computer with a big red flag on it.
Personally I wouldn't risk being turned around and deported, I would get this cleared up asap by going through the proper channels. Your call.
Thank you very much Terry. You said you suggest "going through the proper channels". What would that be? what is my next step to ensure i will be able to visit England in December??
I have no clue because your situation is fairly unique - no one applies for a Work Visa with a criminal record (which is sure to be refused) then turns around and tries to enter as a tourist where no Visa is required and criminal history is immaterial. It's a very backwards way to shoot yourself in the foot.
Start by talking to the department that refused your Work Visa to see if enough time has passed... Google is your friend... etc.
The proper channels means starting here:
From the questions it asks, it looks like a Canadian passport holder can walk in visa-free for tourism, with no question about history. However given your back story I'd imagine you want more reassurance - from that link you can go on to contact them via webchat or email, so you could ask about the criminal record and if they couldn't give you a definitive answer they would know where to direct you, eg your British high commission.