Cruise line jobs are available even if you have a record. Your primary concern will be traveling from one country to another. This is especially true for Canada and the United States. Border guards in these countries have a lot of information at their fingertips. They share databases about each other’s citizens.
This information is not necessarily shared with countries in the south. However, applying for a pardon in your state can help seal your record and qualify for visas to other countries. In Canada, you can apply for a pardon from the Parole Board of Canada. Unfortunately, Canada and the US do not recognize each other’s pardons. They will still take a look at your record. A criminal record can deny you entry to either country.
Cruise line jobs and crossing the border
While many people think about the Caribbean when they think about cruising, there are many ports of call in Canada. On the West Coast, ships will leave from Victoria and Vancouver and travel up the coast to Alaska. On the east coast, cruises will visit the historic cities of Halifax and St. John’s. Often a cruise will even start in Canada when the ultimate destination is south.
A pardon is not necessary, but it may help you land the job. Often recruiters and companies will conduct background checks. If you are serious about working in the cruise ship industry, you should take care of your criminal record completely. To do this, apply for permission to enter the US or Canada.
Entering the US
If you are a Canadian, you can apply for a US Entry Waiver. A US Entry Waiver is issued from anywhere from six months to five years. You will need to provide court and record checks, reference letters, information about your income and the circumstances of your conviction.
Americans have more options for entering Canada. They can enter on a Temporary Resident Permit, apply for Criminal Rehabilitation, or simply be “deemed rehabilitated”. What option you qualify for depends on how long ago your conviction was. As well, officials will look at how serious it was. You need to rely on the Criminal Code of Canada to determine how seriously your conviction will be treated. That’s why it’s good to get expert advice.
If you only have one minor (“summary”) conviction you are not ineligible. However, check with us about whether your conviction would be considered summary in Canada. Americans with impaired driving charges often run into trouble at the border. This is because they have a misdemeanor charge. However, Canadian border officials will not treat it that way.
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): If your conviction was in the last five years or you are eligible for criminal rehabilitation, but have not yet completed the application, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit. This is issued for a single purpose. For example, if you know that you will be making a port of call in Vancouver on a certain date you can apply for a TRP for that visit. You may even be able to get one for the entire season. However, this is a temporary solution.
Criminal Rehabilitation: After five years from sentencing you may be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation. This is a permanent solution. It will let you come and go. You need to apply for this, but once you have it, you don’t need to reapply as long as your record is clean.
Deemed Rehabilitation: If you only have one offence on your record and it has been at least 10 years since you completed the sentence, you may be deemed rehabilitated. You do not need to apply for deemed rehabilitation. However, you may want to get an expert opinion, such as a letter from a lawyer that states that you can cross the border.
Whether you are a Canadian wishing to travel to the United States or a US resident wishing to travel to Canada, applications for these types of waivers can take some time. Please, get in touch with us well before traveling.
If you are interested in cruise line jobs, we can help. Contact us today to learn how a US Waiver, TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation application can help you qualify for cruise line jobs. Don’t worry if you don’t know which application you need to make. We offer a free consultation.