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Arrested in the past travelling to Canada - ETA trouble?

Travel Forums North America Arrested in the past travelling to Canada - ETA trouble?

1. Posted by Sparky_99 (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

Hello

I recently booked flights to Canada for a holiday later this year. However I've found out that they are introducing something similar to the USA's ESTA programme. You're asked if you have ever been 'arrested, charged or convicted' on their Electronic Travel Authorisation form.

I am British and in 2012 I was arrested and charged for breach of peace. The charges were dropped and I was not convicted. Not that they will care, but I was arbitrarily arrested. I had done nothing wrong and the police lied in their statements.

I don't know whether to select yes or not. One the one hand if I say yes they will not grant me an ETA and I will have to jump through hoops to prove I have been 'rehabilitated'. There's also Canadian laws that is has to be more than five years since it took place and it's only been four years.

Anyways, does anyone know if I say no they will know I was arrested a few years ago? I have not broken the law since and would just like to see the country and have a nice time.

2. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 640 posts) 37w

Hi

As i understand it the USA and Canada share their own databases with each other, but that's it - they don't have access to UK data.

3. Posted by Sparky_99 (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

Can I ask how you know this please?

4. Posted by Sparky_99 (Budding Member 3 posts) 37w

My friend recently traveled to the US, he's been arrested a bunch of times in the past (he's a great guy don't judge him) and he answered 'no' to the arrest question for their ESTA form and got let in no problem in late 2015. However I would just like to add that I'm Asian and am worried they will take a special interest in me because of it. Even thought I'm law abiding, employed, respectful etc I'm worried that if I answer no I will be singled out and checked.

It's really annoying because I wasn't convicted but if I answer truthfully and say yes I think they will not grant me an ETA. From my research on the Canadian's government website you can apply for a 'temporary residence permit' but they only grant this for exceptional circumstances. And I don't think they'll view me going on a small trip to see the sights of one of their major cities as an exceptional circumstance.

Does anyone have any advice? What would you do if you were in my position? Thanks.

[ Edit: Edited on 10-Jan-2016, at 08:03 by Sparky_99 ]