Yes, you can travel to Europe with a criminal record as long as the country you are visiting will allow it. A Record Suspension can increase your chances of being allowed entry.
Travel is one of the great joys in life, but if you have a criminal record, you may have a constant worry that your past infractions will come back to haunt you at the airport. Each country sets the terms of entry for visitors, so it is always possible that you will be denied entry into a foreign state as a result of a past conviction.
However, you do not need a visa to visit European countries such as France, as long as you do not plan to stay longer than 90 days. There is always the chance that you will be asked about your criminal record while crossing a border or before you board a plane, but this doesn’t always happen.
When you apply for a visa, you may be asked about your criminal record. It will depend on the country’s specific rules about what you must disclose. Some states may ask you to identify all past convictions, even those that have been pardoned.
Travel outside of Canada can be risky for those with criminal records, as political situations often change from region to region. You may enter one region with no problem, but during a side trip, end up in a country with an entirely different set of rules and regulations. Your status as a Canadian citizen may help you get assistance, but your criminal record may also cause you problems you did not anticipate.
If you want to travel or plan to visit other countries in Europe at some point in the future, it is a good idea to obtain a Record Suspension as soon as possible. Since the process to have your criminal record taken out of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database can take time, start early so your vacation plans are not delayed.