Just heard through the grapevine that Crowley is firing anyone who has a past criminal conviction and can’t crew going to Canada.
The back story is since the US has engaged TWIC and all this ‘user friendly’ crap and started enforcing it on foreigners coming in too, Canada has been (for the last couple years) upping the ante (so to speak) and over enforcing the regs on incoming US seamen.
“Transporte du Canada” has hired a private security firm (ala lockheed martin and TWIC) to enforce and control this issue for the Canadian immigration. On their immigration form the actual question reads: “Have you been convicted in the last 5 years.” But it is being enforced if you have ANY convictions, ever, no age limit or expiration! Since both countries cooperate, since the crew manifest is sent there 24 hours ahead, When you arrive they know exactly who has what record and who lied on the pre-arrival questionnaire. [I]Even if you read the question properly, it is being interpreted as applying to ANY record, ever! [/I]The first immigration violation is a 200 dollar fine. The second offense is permanent expulsion, subject to jail upon return! This is serious stuff.
There is a process to have your record proven to have been (in the words of Transporte Du Canada) “Rehabilitated.” It takes about 3 to 9 months for all the paperwork to be processed, and gathered. YOU have to do much of the leg work and written requests. It costs about 1000 bucks. It involves a police background check, and FBI background check, letters from the court of conviction attesting to completion of: 1.sentence, 2. restitution, 3. incarceration, 4. rehabilitation, 5. therapy. Then you have to send this to Transporte Du Canada to be assessed and approved. Once this is done, you can go to Canada. But until then… You may be unemployed!
This post is not to argue the merits, or legality of what’s happening, [U][B]but to inform mariners what may be an ‘evil necessity’ to stay employed[/B][/U]. I certainly don’t wish anyone a trip to the unemployment office, and am sharing for everyone’s benefit. This may be ‘old news’ to some, but there are many, many ,many out there who are blissfully unaware of this.