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Thread: Entering DR with a criminal record

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachata View Post
    Do you think they are waiting for the OP?

    Yes!!!!!

    JJ
    I don't know who the OP is but I said yes!!!

    JJ

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachata View Post
    i don't know who the op is but i said yes!!!

    Jj
    no!!!!!

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomas2 View Post
    You may get through immigration at the airport, but I don’t think they will let you into Sosua with anything less than a gross misdemeanor these days. Amusing that is where you are going, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamborista View Post
    Where on this thread does The OP even mention the word Sosua?
    Sorry. Typo. “Assuming you are going to Sosua” came out as “Amusing you are going to Sosua”.

    So, Vanilla, where are you headed, if you don’t mind me asking?

  4. #54
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    Punta Cana

  5. #55
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    "Jumbo" I know of people with felony DWI, assault and batteries and mistermeanor drug posession and they have been going to the DR for over 8 years many times a year.[/QUOTE]

    You have some interesting friends Jumbo, you BBQ's must be off the chain.

  6. #56
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    Ducadista, where did i mention friends? And my pig roasts are very tranquil thankyou!

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaGorilla View Post
    I have a misdemeanor on my record for possession of a controlled substance. I was on probation for 6 months. Would this stop me from entering the DR? My fiance and I are going on vacation and I just want to make sure I'll be able to enter.

    I got my passport after the conviction. I was denied access to Canada because of the conviction which makes me worry.

    Thanks,

    VanillaGorilla
    I am replying to your original post again just to assure you that you will have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM entering the Dominican Republic for your vacation.

    It appears that certain posters would have you believe that you might not be granted entry. And even one poster to go so far as saying "If I were you I wouldn't take the chance". That is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. You are not taking any chances by coming here to the Dominican Republic, period. It just isn't the case. I also saw another post saying you have a "50/50 chance of gaining entry", again this is absolutely not the case.

    I have passed through Dominican Immigration hundreds of times. I have a thorough knowledge of both U.S. screening and reporting procedures. I am up to date and current with all the APIS, UN/EDIFACT reporting protocols and requirements and the interactions between federal agencies such as DHS, CBP, TSA, NCTC, TSC, FBI, FAA, and the systems involved including eAPIS, IBIS, TECS, NCIC, TSDB, etc.

    I am also thoroughly familiar with the procedures and protocols used here in the Dominican Republic. I have personal and professional relationships with many Dominican Immigration officials and spend quite a bit of time in their company. I know the system and all of it's intricacies both here in the Dominican Republic and in the United States.

    Seeing that you posted your concern several times you still might be somewhat anxious. So in the following post I will reply to the poster who said you have a "50/50 chance of gaining entry" to clear up some of the inaccuracies of those posts. Several people who know me here have also requested that I post regarding the process. Check out the following post. It probably contains more information than you want or need but you can be the judge. I hope it clears things up.

    Anyway, don't worry about anything, it's not necessary. Come on down, you and your fiance will have a great time.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    I work for a small firm that does criminal and other investigations in the U.S. A couple of weeks ago a guy came in and wanted to know why he was denied entry into Santo Domingo. Immigration told him to turn right around and get back on the plane.

    His problem: trafficking conviction. He not only wasted the plane fare but he also had to pay for his rerouted, unexpected flight.

    You have a 50/50 chance of gaining entry. Dominican Immigration officials know if you have had a criminal conviction in the U.S. Your attitude at entry probably makes all the difference.
    Telling the OP he has a 50/50 chance of gaining entry into the Dominican Republic is inaccurate, misleading and irresponsible. The Dominican Immigration officials who initially review arriving passenger's documents have no idea of a passenger's criminal conviction record. Unless that passenger is a deportee or specifically listed on a special alert or watch list either specifically sent by U.S. authorities or the Dominican government and even in that case any actual criminal conviction is usually not noted, only an order to detain for further review.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    Immigration officers in the Dominican Republic have electronic access to passenger manifests on international flights. I am certain that DHS includes other relevant information. Also, in case you are wondering, electronic information is also available at the Haiti borders

    A little more information for you, courtesy of Air Canada. Conviction information on passengers is also part of an international travel manifest.

    Don't waste your time saying it isn't so. I know the process intimately. If you have been convicted of anything in one of the treaty countries, Dominican Republic immigration officers know. Again, your chance of entry is based upon an on view assessment of you by an immigration officer. Don't think for a moment that DR authorities don't know. Now, actual timely use of the program by Dominican immigration is a completely different subject, dependent upon the airport, network access, and professionalism of the immigration officer.
    You apparently don't know the process intimately. Just by the fact that you state that the OP has a 50/50 chance of gaining entry shows how intimately you know the process. Unless the OP is on a special watch list the OP has a 100% chance of entering the Dominican Republic.

    Conviction information on passengers is NOT part of an international travel manifest.*

    *For a detailed list of what is required to appear on international flight departure and arrival manifests see the first link at the end of this post. Pages 17-22 contain the PAXLST (Passenger List) reporting requirements and pages 29-35 contain the actual international flight departure and arrival manifest reporting requirements. The appendicies contain examples of how the actual manifest and reporting information appears, with all codes and data formatting. Probably way more information than you will want or need but it's all there if you care to read it.

    The Immigration officer who reviews your travel documents here in the Dominican Republic DOES NOT have electronic access to passenger manifests. Although these manifests are transmitted into Dominican Immigration's main computer database, they are NOT AVAILABLE to the immigration officer conducting the initial document review.

    These manifests are lengthy and contain extremely extensive coding. It is way beyond the scope of that specific immigration officer's duties and abilities to access or interpret that information. To see an actual example of the information on a flight manifest see the first link below. In the appendix at the end are samples of how the coding appears.

    Again, even if the immigration officer did have access, passenger manifests do not contain conviction information of any passengers. If a passenger boards a standard commercial carrier in the U.S. (Jet Blue, American, Delta, etc) to travel to the Dominican Republic the information in the passenger manifest is standard travel data, passenger name, gender, date of birth, nationality, travel document type & number, seat number, class of reservation, special dietary needs, luggage info, connection info, etc. Criminal conviction info . . . NO.

    When a Dominican immigration official swipes a passport through the reader, or manually enters the passport number into the computer the software searches specific watch lists for specific names, that's it. The officer's "timely use" of the system consists of swipe or enter the passport number, wait for next screen to appear, if all OK, stamp it, "welcome to the Dominican Republic", next. Total "timely use" 20 seconds. If the passenger is on a watch list he is sent to be interviewed by another officer.

    The APIS (Advance Passenger Information System) requires certain information of travelers travelling to and from certain countries. The information required is Full Name, Gender, Date of Birth, Nationality, Country of residence, Travel document type (Passport), Travel document number & expiration date and for travel to and from the U.S. a destination address in the U.S. It HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS. Again see the provided links to see the COMPLETE reporting requirements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    Sky, frankly, you don't know what I know, and I'm not going to expand on it here. Everything I have posted on this subject is absolutely correct. You can choose to believe or not to believe it. I really don't care!
    Unfortunately everything you posted is not "absolutely correct". It is actually misleading and wrong.

    Perhaps SKY doesn't know what you know, but SKY's answer is "absolutely correct".

    Quote Originally Posted by SKY View Post
    No one is denied entry because of a prior conviction unless you are on a special list that they do use to deny entry. But it is a select list and I doubt very much the OP is on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    Let me step you through this, based upon fact.

    If you have committed a crime, either a misdemeanor or a felony, and your fingerprints are taken, your information is entered into an FBI database. If you were a member of one of the U.S. Armed Forces or civil service and you applied for a security clearance, your fingerprints were taken as part of that process and entered into the FBI database.

    When you register your name on an international flight information about you from that database can be appended into the flight manifest.
    Absolutely false, there is no format to "append" data from the FBI's database to either APIS, or UN/EDIFACT reports. Criminal convictions are NOT reported, there is absolutely no requirement to report criminal convictions or a format to report criminal convictions on APIS, UN/EDIFACT reports or airline manifests.

    What actually DOES happen is PNR and APIS supplied data is compared to the FBI National Crime Information Center WANTED-PERSONS database, and also the (IBIS) Interagency Border Inspection System which is part of the (TECS) Treasury Enforcement Communication System. These databases contain the names of people who are currently wanted by law enforcement authorities, deportees, known or suspected terrorists, and other fugitives from justice. If a name appears on both APIS and on specifically designated sections of one of the databases and designated "Selectee" the appropriate action is taken before the passenger boards the plane. This data is transferred and analyzed several times before departure (wheels up) as it becomes available.

    The main purpose of these checks and database comparisons is to apprehend terrorists, wanted criminals and fugitives from justice, and maintaining aviation and border security, NOT REPORTING THE CRIMINAL CONVICTION RECORDS OF EACH AND EVERY PASSENGER ON EACH AND EVERY FLIGHT. The impracticality of such an absured suggestion is unimaginable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    The information does not prohibit you from leaving the host country, with the exception of a want or warrant that is extraditional in the host country. The U.S. and Canada share access to that database and other databases, and INTERPOL shares information as well. Prior to your arrival to a foreign country, that country's immigration service is aware of information that on that manifest and any information that was appended from the databases to the manifest.
    The immigration officer who reviews your travel documents does not have any of this information, not even the passenger manifest. The APIS and UN/EDIFACT reports, and the specific carrier airline's passenger manifest are available to Dominican Immigration officials but the officer who reviews a passengers travel documents DOES NOT have access to that information on the system they use for routine document review.

    MY BOLD HIGHLIGHT ADDED BELOW FOR CLARIFICATION TO THE OP

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dan View Post
    There are a lot of variables that occur in the foreign country prior to the arrival of an international flight:
    NONE OF WHICH SHOULD BE OF CONCERN TO THE OP.

    1) Ongoing investigations of travelers who may be involved in activity in the country of arrival, or of known investigations concerning certain crimes in the country of arrival to which a traveler may or may not be involved.
    DOES NOT APPLY TO THE OP
    2) Evaluation of information that is included in the flight manifest.
    Criminal convictions are not included on flight manifests, and the manifests are NOT routinely evaluated unless there is a specific incident, NO PROBLEM FOR THE OP
    3) Guidelines written by the country of arrival's government to determine how to admit or deny entry based upon several disqualifying and mitigating factors.
    In the OP's case there are NO "disqualifying and mitigating factors".
    4) Evaluation of previous travel to that country.
    The OP never traveled to the DR before, no problem.
    4) An interview process at the port of entry (What is your purpose for travel, where will you be staying, etc.. as well as an evaluation of your demeanor during the process).
    The OP will probably not be asked anything, the documents filled out on the plane contain all the information needed. Travel documents will be reviewed, stamped, and "Welcome to the Dominican Republic."

    The "blacklist" being referred to is a result of information taking the flight's manifest and other country of arrival specific evaluation into account. DHS does have a list of suspected wrong doers who are subject to more scrutiny prior to boarding a flight, and immediately upon entering the country when a flight lands. Foreign countries may and do share a similar process.
    There is no "blacklist" for misdemeanor convictions.

    It is not possible for a foreign country to know who is traveling to one of their ports until the flight manifest is received. Any special list being referred to is based upon information in the flight manifest and local country guidelines. The origination of the process of being placed on any list is the origination of booking a flight, cruise, whatever, and if there is a "blacklist" for DR, it is created by the DR based upon their evaluative processes. One cannot know the criteria set by a foreign country to approve or deny entry, because of the number of variables involved. The process is very fluid, but once you have been denied entry chances are very good you will continue to be denied.
    I don't think the OP has ever been denied entry, so not an issue. The criteria for entering the Dominican Republic will NOT prohibit the OP in ANY WAY. Misdemeanor convictions in the United States are NOT AN ISSUE and will not appear anywhere on the OP's travel info.

    Example: You could be a feloniously convicted drug traveler taking a cruise or traveling with a tour group and be admitted. You could be that same person traveling alone, and recent activity at the port of entry has resulted in arrests at that port that are similar in nature to your conviction, and you are denied entry.
    If you are referring the the Dominican Republic you are WRONG. I don't know what a "feloniously convicted drug traveler" is but a person will not be denied access to the Dominican Republic for a felony conviction in drug "trafficking" if that person served their sentence, has not been deported from the Dominican Republic, has no outstanding warrants or is not on any detain, no-fly or other special observation list.

    Example: The flight manifest was not evaluated and you are admitted.
    The Dominican Immigration officer who reviews your travel documents DOES NOT see the flight manifest, and the manifest is not evaluated unless there is a special circumstance.

    Example: A guideline in the foreign country states that no one will be admitted based upon a conviction of X and you are denied.
    Here there is no "guideline" at immigration for denying passengers convicted of misdemeanors in the United States entry into the Dominican Republic.

    Example: You enter a foreign port and appear suspicious, nervous, dodgy at the entry interview...entry denied, even with nothing on a flight manifest.
    Unless the passenger is on a specific detain, no-fly or special observation list, appearing "suspicious, nervious, dodgy" at the entry interview WILL NOT be a cause for DENIAL of entry, it may lengthen the process but not a cause for denial.

    Again, any special list is based upon, or originates from, flight manifests, country specific guidelines, and interviews at the port of entry.
    And again, only by BEING INCLUDED ON a "special list" would the passenger and in this case the OP be denied entry. The misdemeanor conviction doesn't put the OP on any of these "special lists."
    http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...fact_guide.pdf
    Guidelines for UN/EDIFACT, PAXLST, CURSES protocols and messaging, APIS pre-departure and secure flight guidelines, International Arrival Data Passenger Manifest reporting requirements, Actual examples of electronic passenger manifests

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Travel
    APIS - Advanced Passenger Information System information provided by CBP

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33645.pdf
    Watchlist Checks and Airline Passenger Prescreening process, CBP and TSA prscreening procedures, TSA Secure Flight Program, complete PNR/APIS information requirements

    And the simple and qualified answer to the OP's original question . . .

    "I have a misdemeanor on my record for possession of a controlled substance. I was on probation for 6 months. Would this stop me from entering the DR?"

    NO.

  9. Likes Dolores, Wishing you well, robbie liked this post
  10. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    When you were denied entry into Canada, how did the officials find out about your drug conviction?

    When you enter the DR, the first step is to give your passport to an immigration officer in a booth. Although you cannot see what he is doing, it is obvious that he is checking the passport against something. He doesn't just take it and stamp it, he takes it into the booth and down to desk level. When he is satisfied after doing whatever he does, he stamps the passport.

    If you and your passport are on some sort of official list that is available to authorities internationally, you may have a problem entering the DR.

    I am wondering if the posters who say you will not have a problem are really sure of that. If so, I would be interested in knowing what the immigration officer checks the passport against before stamping it.
    I have major felony convictions in the US, but no current warrants. I visited the DR in March and it was OK. The immigration officer at the entry booth is checking to see if you have any Interpol warrants. If so, you will get arrested and whatever country wants you has to come get you in 30 days. So a simple tourist visa is OK. To get a residency or other visa you have to show a police record from your country of record. I'm sure if you get a Dominican lawyer he can help you get residency even with the criminal record from your home country.

  11. #60
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    The information provided by NY-DR Commuter is spot on.
    You have nothing to worry about if the information you have provided us is accurate.

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