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Old 01-28-2008, 10:02 AM   #1  
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Default Regional's and canada

Hi everyone, I've been reading posts here for about a year but this is the first time I've needed some help.
Three and a half years ago I acted like an idiot and made a huge mistake by driving home drunk after a night out with friends. That night I got a DUI. I have no excuses for my actions that night and am thankful everyday that no one got hurt. I thought I was invulnerable and learned an important lesson that if I act like and idiot I will hurt myself and possibly others. I have never driven a car after having anything to drink again. I was hired by my first flight school a year ago in Minnesota and started working. Mesaba was hiring like crazy so I put my application in. This is when I learned that I could not travel to Canada. I applied for a temporary resident permit which would allow me to travel to Canada but was denied (being the DUI was too recent.) For those of you who do not know how the regulations work, after a DUI and the probationary period (for me 1.5 years) your not allowed into the country for five years (so for me, march 2011. I got the DUI Sept. 11 2004) Now Iíve gotten stuck in a situation. I'm willing to work anywhere but I need to know, which regional will allow me to interview for a job. I know Pinnacle, Mesaba, Skywest, Compass and American Eagle are out of the question. I've looked at dozens of companiesí websites but very few ever bring it up. Is this a huge deal breaker? I've got 700 hrs, 50 multi, and Iím the chief flight instructor at my current school (its part 61, so itís a title only). I am planning to start applying in April. I appreciate any help you can give me.
-northern pilot
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:23 AM   #2  
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I am not sure but every regional I have applied for has asked during the interview or during the initial phone interview if I had a DUI in the last 5 years. That seemed to be the time frame they were interested in. You might as well apply to any regional that you meet the minimums for. It wont hurt even if they turn you down. You might find one who only cares about the last 3 years. Hope it helps.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:30 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGRIG View Post
I am not sure but every regional I have applied for has asked during the interview or during the initial phone interview if I had a DUI in the last 5 years. That seemed to be the time frame they were interested in. You might as well apply to any regional that you meet the minimums for. It wont hurt even if they turn you down. You might find one who only cares about the last 3 years. Hope it helps.
Hey guys, The Canadien Immigration Rehabilitaion Act is the problem. Canada started this a few years ago, and the time frame is five years from CONVICTION not the offense. It applies to most ALL Misdemeanors. After five years is up, you apply on paper which is a pain in the a$$ plus pay 200 dollars I believe. They have the option of turning you down still even at that point and will be unable to overnight in Canada. You can go in and out as in out and backs without going through customs however no overnights.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:32 AM   #4  
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I have flown with several regional pilots who require special permission to enter canada due to DUI's. They can't enter through the "crew" line, they have to go to the special office for criminals, dissidents, and terrorists. You might want to re-investigate getting a waiver or whatever they call it.

Any airline is going to ask if you have had a DUI...it's not a good thing but it's not always disqualifying at a regional. Since yours was a few years ago (hopefully you were young) they might be willing to entertain the idea that you've matured (you seem to have the right attitude about it).

Also, some regionals don't go to Canada...look at their route maps. Maybe Piedmont or PSA?
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:39 AM   #5  
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Northernpilot,

Have you considered working for a freight carrier until you're able to get permission to enter Canada?
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:44 AM   #6  
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Were you actually CONVICTED of a DUI? If you run a background check and it doesnt come up on your FBI background, then Canada wont have any way of knowing about it. So if you were charged with a DUI, but convicted of something lesser (ie reckless driving) Canada wont care and the airlines may not disqualify you.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:47 AM   #7  
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Quote:
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So if you were charged with a DUI, but convicted of something lesser (ie reckless driving) Canada wont care and the airlines may not disqualify you.
I believe Canada considers a "wet-reckless" the same as a DUI. In addition, a standard reckless charge may be a misdemeanor in Canada. Their laws are a little different ours, and they set the standard when trying to enter their country.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:04 AM   #8  
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northernpilot,

Well there is good news and bad news. You seem to be aware of the bad news; that you are not admissible until min of 5yrs from completion of probation. The good news is that once this is behind you I think you should have no problems getting hired seeing the way you worded your post concerning the DUI. You clearly see the mistake and take responsibility for it.

I was in your shoes and it's a tough to have to deal with this canadian waiver. The process is a pain. My eligibility date in canada was June of 2006. 6 1/2 yrs from making my mistakes.

Some suggestions:

-As others said, look for jobs that don't require flight into canada. Part 135 Charter/Cargo may be a good option after getting the 135 mins satisfied. Ameriflight supposedly hires some into the California system who are short on the mins for VFR work. I don't think Colgan flies into Canada so their route map may be worth looking at too.

-Look into expungement for your DUI. The state you offense occurred in either will or won't allow it. Find out and if it is allowed consider the expense of a good lawyer to get it erased.

-Another option for Canadian entry is to get a CANPASS. In a nutshell it's prescreened customs clearance and is valid for 12yrs. If your DUI is expunge-able then this would be the quickest option as a CANPASS takes less than 2 months to process vs. the 6+ mo for the entrance waiver and they accomplish the same thing.

I had a discussion with a Chief Pilot at my airline about these waivers on a recent flight and for what it's worth the common feeling is that the Canadian Government has gone overboard on this issue. I don't get the idea the airlines are worried about your mistake in this case so long as it's understandable. They are worried about you getting stuck in Canada while part of a crew and the delays/issues that would cause. So they are being very careful regarding these waivers, but I know SKW has hired folks who can't go into Canada (although very rare) due to the ability to have them on the EMB120's that don't go the Canada. So once you get your 1000hrs SKW may be a viable option for you as they are gong to be operating the EMB120's for a while longer. And finally Mesa, as you probably know seems to be desparate for pilots and this may work to your advantage.

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:57 AM   #9  
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Search the forum for "Getting into Canada DUI". You will find the following post. Apparently, Canada is looking beyond the 5 year "rehabilitation" period.

I had a buddy that this happened to. You can get spiecal VISA that allows entry, it'll take at least a year to get it. He had no idea that there was such a law, his DUI was 9 yrs old. Anyway he had entered the country as a crew member (pilot) maybe 30 times and never been questioned; one day he airlined in as a passenger, thats when they caught him. He got to enter, had to pay $250 for temp VISA, but once he left he couldn't reenter. Anything like this gets flagged when you go through immigration, which generally doesn't happen to a crew member. Customs has nothing to do with it.

The word he got during his stay was that Canadian Immigration Officers have a lot of leeway in enforcing this policy. The past 3 years they have become sticklers because of the the US's ridiculous policy of requiring passports when traveling between the 2 countries.

Note: If the DUI is over 10 years old, all is forgiven. Basically my buddy's 10 years was up before he ever got the VISA.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:16 AM   #10  
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I did some research on this and here's what I came up with:
It looks like you can still apply even though the 5 years is not up yet. It's still going to take a long time to process the paperwork, and it still is no guarantee of course.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/informa...ns/rehabil.asp

"You can apply for individual rehabilitation if at least five years have passed since you completed your criminal sentences. People who are ineligible for approval of rehabilitation because not enough time has passed can complete the form and check ďFor Info rmation Only.Ē An officer will decide if special permission for temporary admission is warranted."

Eligibility, and applicable dates:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/informa...des/5312E4.asp
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