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But meanwhile, those with multiple misdemeanor convictions or more serious offenses still have difficult hurdles to clear if they want to enter Canada.
"I continue to have a steady stream of people [seeking help]," said Satveer Chaudhary, a Fridley attorney and former state legislator. People can seek "criminal rehabilitation" status by filling out numerous forms and getting an FBI background check, which can take eight weeks to receive. Fingerprints also are required.
That process is lengthy, but if accepted, a person can enter Canada freely. "People make mistakes," Chaudhary said. "Most of those mistakes shouldn't be a lifelong yoke around your neck if you want to hunt and fish." His advice: Plan ahead. It can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on whether a person hires an attorney or not, to acquire criminal rehabilitation status.
Ultimately, those with criminal convictions will have to decide if they're willing to pay the money and spend the time jumping through those bureaucratic hoops, Chaudhary said. "I had that conversation with a fellow last week. He said, 'Well, I don't need to go to Canada that bad.'"
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