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The emptiest feeling I’ve ever had | Don't Ever Look Back

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The emptiest feeling I’ve ever had

The emptiest feeling I’ve ever had

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while now, you probably know that our plan was to fly to Hawaii in 4 months time and then most likely onwards to Vancouver and beyond. After exploring North America for a few months, our aim was to eventually return to Canada, find somewhere to settle for a few months and subsequently obtain work. Amy’s uncle lives in Toronto so that looked like it could have been the perfect destination for us.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s going to happen anymore.

After a process that’s dragged out for over 4 months, I’ve finally received official notification from the Consulate General of Canada that I’ve been rejected for a Canadian work permit. Yep, rejected. By the nature of Canadian law, this also means that I’m inadmissible to Canada until I apply for rehabilitation which I’m not eligible for until 23 January 2012.

Based on a careful review of the information contained in your application and all of the documentation which you have provided in support of your application, I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of the Act and the Regulations. I am therefore refusing your application.

After reading this letter, I can’t even begin to explain the emotions I started to feel. Anger. Disappointment. Devastation. Completely and utterly emptiness. Our hopes and dreams crushed to pieces.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise - will you still wait for us?

My offence

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what the hell I did, right? It must have been pretty awful to have a visa application rejected and be deemed inadmissible to Canada for a minimum 5 year period after the offence.

In March 2006 when attempting to park my car in an underground parking garage, I inadvertently made contact with another car’s rear bumper whilst reversing, causing minor damage to the other vehicle. As it was the first time I’ve been a situation like this, I was unaware of my responsibilities and failed to leave a note on the other car – not deliberately of course, but out of ignorance more than anything.

I was subsequently charged on a summary offence with “reverse vehicle when unsafe” and “fail to report property damage”. In hindsight, it was a very naive and silly decision not to leave a note, but hardly an offence where they’d lock you in jail and throw away the key. We’ve all made mistakes like this when we’re young, right?

Unfortunately I slept through my court hearing in November as I was suffering from mild depression and insomnia at the time (not a good combination, believe me!). As a result, I was convicted of the two charges and had my license suspended for 2 months. Harsh decision yes and again in hindsight, I probably should have done something about it and appealed the decision due to medical grounds but I just wanted to move on from the situation and accepted the judgement.

Little did I know that one silly mistake 5 years ago and some bad decisions would come back to haunt me so badly! In reflection, I wish I had left a note… I wish I had gone to court that day and I may have escaped conviction… in fact, I kind of wish that I never applied for a Canadian visa!

Canada’s interpretation of my offence

Here is the direct extract from the rejection letter:

On 23 November 2006 you were convicted of “failing to report accident” which equates to section 252(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada and is an indictable offence liable to a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.

You will be eligible to apply for rehabilitation not before 23 January 2012 if not convicted of any other offences rendering you inadmissible until then.

So essentially what was a summary offence in Australia is equivalent to an indictable offence in Canada. But a maximum of 5 years imprisonment for what I did? Please!

It seems that the Consulate General of Canada sees this matter as completely black and white even though there is such a vast grey area. Initially I was surprised that I had to provide a traffic history report during the visa application process but now I’m completely stunned at this decision. Unfortunately though, I have no choice but to respect it and move on from it.

The future

We’ve got our one-way tickets to Hawaii on July 26. But now we have even more unanswered questions that need to be answered as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.

  • Do we still go on this round-the-world adventure or do we postpone it until early 2012 when I’m eligible to apply for rehabilitation?
  • If we do go through with our trip, how will this affect our plans and our budget?
  • Where should we visit now instead of Canada?
  • Do we work in the UK or give up on the working holiday idea?

Regardless on the answers to these questions, I’m sure more and more will arise but hopefully a resolution isn’t far away. We aim to discuss our plans and make some important decisions about our trip in late April so stay tuned.

We’re still extremely determined to visit Canada, but this won’t be happening for at least the next 12 months it seems. It’s a very sad day, but believe me when I say that we’ll only become stronger from this decision and experience and resolve to have even greater travel adventures because of it!

Apologies for the rant, I just had to get this all off my chest! Have you had visa issues before? How have you dealt with them? Do you have any advice for my situation?

Flickr Photos: jacob earl, MarilynJane

76 Comments

  1. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Bloody hell, 5 year imprisonment?!?!? Spare your fellow Commonwealth-ians! That’s ridiculous… and I thought trying to score a visa to the US was tough! I wouldn’t give up on the RTW or postpone it… maybe from Hawaii head to the UK and work granted they give you a working visa, I hear it’s super easy for Aussie’s to get a job there?
    Lynda recently posted..5 Free Things To Do in New York City

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Yeah it’s a bit extreme – “failing to report accident” in my eyes is something like a hit and run, not what I did. The amount of scratches I’ve got on my car from car park incidents is ridiculous, but that was my bad luck back in the day. It’s probably not hard to get a Canadian Visa – so long as you’re squeaky clean!

      Apparently you don’t even need a police certificate for a UK visa! That was gonna be a future option but looks like it could be brought forward quite a bit now. We’re still gonna be spending a bit of time in the US – if they banned me from there though, then I would be completely shattered but plan on getting over this soon! Plenty to look forward to!

  2. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that completely sucks! It seems like SUCH a petty thing too… 🙁

    But, everything happens for a reason, so try to be positive, as you never know, this could turn out to be a good thing… You could go to a place you had never even considered before because of this and have the best time ever!

    I hope you manage to come to a decision that makes you both happy 🙂 I think if it is was me, perhaps I would go to the UK on a Working Holiday Visa and save Canada for another time, or later on in the trip.
    Lauren recently posted..4 Months Until My Round-The-World Trip

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Yep. Like I said unfortunately for them it’s so black and white – I got charged on a driving offence, convicted because I didn’t go to court and now can’t enter the country.

      But you’re right, there’s no point of getting too upset about it and I’ll be doing my best to stay positive. Obviously it will take a couple of days to get over it but there’s still so much to look forward to and hopefully some new adventures will result from it! 🙂

  3. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Awww so sorry!!! We do have a strange relation with laws…5 years for this incident is ridiculous…A DUI will get less than that…Anyway, I’d say keep going on the RTW, there are plenty of other beautiful places and Canada will wait for you of course!:) Good luck!

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      The rules for a DUI were clear when I applied – if you had an offence over 0.08% BAC then you would be rejected. That’s understandable, I just wish it was a little clearer when it came to what happened to me.

      I would hardly call it reckless or dangerous driving (which also would get an application rejected) but not much I can do now. Thanks for the kind words of support, we’ll get to Canada one day. 🙂

  4. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear that. It sounds so ridiculous too-something so small, so long ago. It’s a shame visas can’t be easier. We should all be able to travel the world freely and explore. This sounds like a big dream for you, so again so sorry for such a blow 🙁 I know it’s a hinderance, but don’t let one unfortunate thing ruin the rest of what will be an amazing trip.
    Bobbi Lee Hitchon recently posted..Cruising around Malapscua

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      I can understand the need for screening serial killers and the like – but there needs to be some compassion and understanding in there somewhere as well for minor/irrelevant offences like mine!
      But we’re definitely not going to let it ruin our trip – yes it’s a setback, but we’re still going to have an amazing time!

  5. Posted March 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Lauren in that you guys should spend some time on the UK working holiday visa. At least that will get you on the road and then work on the rehabilitation thingy while there. Best of luck to you guys!
    Erica recently posted..Sydney Rocks

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Erica – the UK is looking more likely now but we’ll have to see where the road takes us.

      Just hate having a brick wall in our way now when before this it was all complete freedom!

  6. Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Have you considered simply reversing your trip route? Or possibly postponing the trip for just a couple of months and reversing the route? That way, you might be able to end up in Canada at the same time as you’re able to legally enter.
    Odysseus recently posted..Touring Jaisalmer Without a Leg to Stand On

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      We’ve already got our tickets to Hawaii so we can’t change the route too much… we might just have to go back to Canada another time. Unfortunately I’ll need to go through the application process all again (a more extensive process too!) which I don’t know if I could handle for a while yet. Thanks for the suggestions though! 🙂

  7. Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    That totally sucks! It must be so frustrating.
    Maybe you are supposed to be enjoying somewhere else. Canada can wait.
    South America ME recently posted..Chilean Travel Photography

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment – so many emotions, it’s not frustrating yet but it will be soon when we start talking plans again!
      You’re right though, things always happen for a reason and hopefully it will turn out for the best.

  8. Liv
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi guys

    Sorry to hear that. It does seem harsh. You’ll leave a lovely note next time won’t you?!

    I don’t think you can work anywhere in Europe with a UK working holiday visa because the UK is separate from the schengen states (most of Europe) & that’s an EU citizen right I think.

    However you could base yourselves in the UK & take advantage of cheap flights all over Europe at weekends & for holidays. Lots to keep you busy doing that. Some friends of mine from Perth are Loving doing that at the moment.

    Chin up! Some opportunity will come up that never would have done without this happening. I am sure of it.

    Liv.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Liv – I’m sure I could have been a bit more angry about it and really made this into a rant but not much point of that. You’re right about the UK thing, thanks for clearing that up.

      I think that might just be the plan to base ourselves in the UK and go all over Europe – someone was talking about it at a travel show we went to lately and pulled up a map with the travel times to all the destinations around Europe. We couldn’t believe how close everything was! Most was closer than Melbourne to Perth!

      And yep, definitely gonna make the most of any opportunities that come out of this. I think this makes me realize even more that you just gotta say yes to more things and can’t wait to see what adventures come out of having that attitude!

  9. Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing how your past can come back to bite you on the butt when you least expect it isn’t it? Especially when they are ‘child-like’ mistakes. A lot of ‘I wish’ and ‘I should have’s’ start to float around and you can end up torturing yourself…goodness knows I have made a lot of mistakes and have many regrets but think about it…everything in life shapes us and makes us the people we are on the path’s we’re on now. There has to be a reason – maybe you are destined to come to the UK and the Canada at a later date?
    Last year, six weeks before I went backpacking I had a miscarriage…I could have stayed but I braved it and headed to Japan for my first stop; if I had gone this year on the same day I went I would have been there for the tsunami/radiation! Fate.
    I also tried to apply for China between Japan and Hong Kong but had so many hoops to jump through I became really depressed and stressed with it all until I made the decision not to bother but then it left a gap in time for my plans which left me even more stressed. Long story short Kieron, I headed to Hong Kong earlier and ended up catching the Sevens Rugby tournament (I didn’t even know it was on until I was on my way there) which was the best weekend of my life.
    You will find away around this. For a while there are going to be a lot of questions and not many answers but you have another 4 months and a huge travel community to help. If you need any info about coming to the UK – just shout…would love to meet you two =)
    Take care of yourselves.
    Toni recently posted..Sick bag not included in this jealousy-inducing post about my adventure…

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the comment Toni and sharing your story – my situation is nothing compared to yours and I sometimes need to remind myself that I’m extremely lucky to be chasing my dreams, despite setbacks like this.

      The amount of support we’ve got for this post has already been amazing. I needed to get this off my chest and already feel a lot better than I was thanks to all the lovely comments I’ve been getting.
      The UK is a near certainty now so we’ll be sure to get in touch if we have any questions! Where are you located?

  10. Garreth
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Extremely tough break mate. But yeah you could head over here. I don’t really know the rules but would a UK visa allow you to work anywhere in the European Union as we’re part of the freedom of movement between EU member states. It would give you an awesome chance to see Europe as well. It sucks that this has happened. You head to Hawaii then spend 3 months on a Visa-Waiver exploring the U.S then head to UK?

    I’m sure whatever you decide you’ll enjoy it and as you say these setbacks can often make you stronger.

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks mate – we’ve done a bit of research, I think the UK visa only lets you work in the UK but you’re free to travel around Europe as often as you wish.

      That might just be the plan – 3 months on the VWP in the US and possibly some of central America and then across to Europe. But we’re definitely gonna stop in Iceland before we get to the UK!

  11. Skott and Shawna
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Hey guys – yeah, an unfortunate situation…it always sucks being told ‘no!’ It is obviously a ludicrous situation…the idea that a tiny fender bender stops you from entering Canada is nuts. However, the cliche “it could be worse”, most certainly applies – so don’t let it drag you down for long. Part of being a traveller is being able to go with the flow, and be a bit spontaneous…consider this “forced spontaneity” …. 🙂

    As for answering your questions:

    1. Do we still go on this round-the-world adventure or do we postpone it until early 2012 when I’m eligible to apply for rehabilitation?

    Why would you let one country barring you from entry stop or even postpone your trip? Absolutely, get your butts on that plane to Hawaii and let’s do this!!!

    2. If we do go through with our trip, how will this affect our plans and our budget?

    Well, it changes your plans as you are no longer starting in Canada, but you have 190-some other countries to start in….as far as affecting your budget…were you wanting to start off the trip somewhere you could work, or were you needing to?

    3. Where should we visit now instead of Canada?
    If you don’t need to work, why don’t you start in Central or South America…you are halfway there from Hawaii…I am sure there must be places you could work (even if under the table) for a bit….in a bar or hostel???

    4. Do we work in the UK or give up on the working holiday idea?
    Working in the UK is a great plan….why don’t you start in Mexico, Central America, and then fly across the pond to London after a bit?

    Anyways, again, sorry to hear the plans have to change, but I have not even the smallest doubt that your quest for total world domination will continue…er… something like that…

    Good luck!!

    S&S

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I still can’t understand the decision to be honest – sure, don’t let me drive when I’m there. Whatevs. Hell, don’t give me a work permit, that’s alright too. But to not even be allowed to enter somewhere because of something so minor is just beyond me!

      You’re right though, it could be a lot worse. At least most (if not all) other countries will still let me visit! It’ll all work out in the end, it’s just tough not being able to cross a border when we’re right there.

      Thanks for answering our questions guys.

      1. It’s highly unlikely we’re gonna postpone our trip – just had to put the option out there as it is a pretty big setback.

      2. Well put. We’ll probably go across to the mainland USA (somewhere on the West Coast), use our 90 day Visa Waiver and move on from there.

      3. Europe and Central/South America are definitely going to see more of us than they were previously – working in a bar/hostel isn’t really what we had in mind though. It was more to experience working in a different country and trying something completely different, perhaps finding direction of what we want to do when this journey is all over.

      4. That might just be our plan! But flying to London in the middle of their winter isn’t exactly ideal. Then again, nothing really is!

      Thanks again for the comment and we’ll still take over the world yet… it’ll just take a little longer now! 🙂

  12. Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Really tough break… but I’ll reiterate what others have said – when one door closes, several more open. Now you’ll end up going places and having experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise had… and you can always try Canada again in a couple years.
    Scott – QuirkyTravel recently posted..March links- Lucky travelers see grizzlies and ski in Death Valley

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Thanks Scott and that’s the perfect outlook to it – plenty more great experiences to be had in the meantime. Canada will always be there and fortunately we’re still young enough to try again for a working visa once my exclusion period has finished in 10 months time.

  13. Posted April 1, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    Really sorry to hear it. It’s amazing how rigid some of the bureaucracy can be. I’m amazed you had to provide a driving record when applying – I didn’t have to!

    Canada will definitely wait for you, and in the meantime you can see so much more. The UK is a decent place to base, and it’s not so expensive for Australians as it has been in the past. I spent 6 months there once and it was so easy to travel around (actually easier than it is in Canada). From memory Australians can also get working holiday visas in a number of countries – I think also Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and a few others, so UK also isn’t your only option. And then by the time you’ve done all that you could try Canada again then!
    Claire recently posted..Memories of New Zealand

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      It’s pretty ridiculous – believe it or not, not all states have to provide driving records which makes it an even harder pill for us to swallow.

      More options are definitely going to open up now, but you know how excited we were to visit Canada by the comments I left on your blog. That’s good to know there are so many options for us now and if they don’t work out, we can always try for Canada again in 10 months!

  14. Posted April 1, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Shitty deal guys! We were looking forward to meeting you.
    Offer still stands if you ever do make it out to Vancouver.
    Shake it off, its just a bump in the road! 😉
    Cam recently posted..When I die- I want one of these!

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      We were looking forward to it too Cam! Very disappointed that we can’t make it to Vancouver now – but you’re right, it’s just a roadblock that will hopefully clear up in less than 12 months so let’s aim to share that beer sometime in 2012!

  15. Posted April 1, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Wow guys, sorry to hear you’ve had such a tough break. Visa applications are certainly a roller coaster of emotions. The hoops and jumps seem designed to discourage you from ever applying in the first place.

    I’m sure that this won’t be something which stops you going on your trip and having an amazing adventure. You’ll have an excellent time, wherever you go!
    Sarah recently posted..Preparing to Launch- T minus 5 weeks

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      They sure are – it’s even harder after waiting 4+ months for this decision due to the need to chase up additional paperwork, etc. Our planning process was put on hold until I received a response and now it feels like we know less now than we did 6-7 months ago when we decided to go on this RTW trip.

      It’s definitely not going to stop us having an awesome adventure, it will take a bit of time to get our heads around but new experiences shall await us now! 🙂

  16. Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I am really sorry this happened to you guys! When you have plans in mind and it builds excitement and momentum, it is difficult to imagine revising a year or two of plans!! I wouldnt know what to offer as advice as a change of plans since it is such a big decision but I trust that something just as good if not better will present itself.
    Heather recently posted..Tasmania Eats

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Heather – it is difficult but everything happens for a reason and our plans might just be even more amazing because of it! Alreay started thinking about Plan B and it’s exciting! 🙂

  17. Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Not sure what else I can add that hasn’t already been said, but that totally sucks about the Canadian visa. I’ve always heard they’re strict on certain things but your situation seems extreme. Definitely still go on the trip, just adjust the schedule a bit. You will still have a great experience. It’s usually the people that make a place great, not the actual place or the sights, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy another country instead. Good luck if you decide to try Canada again next year!
    Ali recently posted..Adventures in Flight Booking

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Ali – it is extreme. The most disappointing thing is that I don’t have a right to appeal or discuss with them my application – it’s closed and I need to submit a whole new one if I want to go through the process again. No thanks!

      Starting to get excited about the doors that are opening up though as a result of this decision. We’re now likely to end up in Europe before the end of the year and may even be able to get to some of the summer festivals! We might even get to hang out at La Tomatina! 🙂

  18. Posted April 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    That sucks guys. Well, I have a strange feeling in a couple years you will look back on this and will be happy it happened meaning that I think this will head your trip in a totally different direction than you planned, and it will be a good one! Sorry though.
    Scott recently posted..A Tale From Off the Menu at La Boqueria in Barcelona

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Scott – I think you’re right. So many new opportunities opening up now and it’s actually a weight off our shoulders now that we can actually start the planning process even though it’s a bit different to what we first had in mind!

  19. Posted April 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear that you’re not allowed into Canada, but from what I hear, there’s not much there anyway. Jokes! My advice, try to see the positive. You may not be able to go to Canada NOW, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never get to go there. And this may open up another door of opportunity for you that you hadn’t considered before because you were planning for Canada. As it is, Canada will still be there for you whenever you get there. It sucks that it’s such a huge change in plans, but the world is an awesome place. I’m sure you can think of another destination that you’d be interested in traveling, living and working it. =)
    Connie recently posted..Meeting Family in Macao

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Hahaha Connie – thanks for trying to make me feel better. But yep, starting to see the positives now and there are plenty of new great opportunities opening up for us! La Tomatina and Oktoberfest are looking very attractive right now followed by some time in SE Asia!

  20. Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I can’t really add to this, everyone else’s comments echo my thoughts. I’ve heard the Canadian government is a bear to deal with.

    I’m terribly sorry this has derailed your plans, but as everyone said here, you can still have a great trip. Canada will still be there.

    And Connie, you almost got me mad, but you redeemed yourself. The country that gave you poutine should be respected. LOL. 😀

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      You know, I’ve never tried REAL poutine? One of my bigger travel regrets…
      Connie recently posted..Meeting Family in Macao

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      I can confirm that they are indeed a bear to deal with! The fact I had to chase up documents for 2-3 months only to get knocked back makes it that much harder to accept.

      As I said on Twitter I’m pretty disappointed that I can’t try poutine as that was one of the things we were looking forward to the most! But NYC’s poutine will have to do! 🙂

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Poutine is a-ma-zing! 🙂 And, Amy & Kieron, if you come to Bellingham, there is an outdoor-ish restaurant called ‘Niener Niener Wiener’ that serves it and we’re only about 30 minutes from the border… you can say ‘eh’ to make it feel more Canadian. 😛
      Amy recently posted..Turkey- The Eurasian Beauty

  21. Posted April 2, 2011 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Oh wow that is crazy & very sad. I am sorry that it didn’t go your way but I have to agree with everyone else. You can not let this postpone your RTW trip… I know its not what you had planned but I am sure something else will come up. You can explore the US for a bit longer or hell even go down to Mexico. You can find cheap flights between Mexico & the US. I just booked Cancun to Houston for $200!!!

    Speaking of the US if you do end up in Houston let me know Ill hook you up with my friends to show around and a good time!!!

    After reading this now I am scared to apply for a working visa in Oz in 2 years… I have a DWI that was dismissed so not sure if that would affect me or not. Gosh I would hope not. I know for sure I want to live in Oz one day!!!
    Jaime recently posted..Photo Round Up – Week 4

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jaime – we’re definitely not gonna let it postpone our trip! Something very exciting is going to come out of this, but we still need to discuss it a lot more and work out whether we can afford it.

      Long story short, we’re hoping to leave a month earlier on our RTW and be in Europe for La Tomatina and Oktoberfest! But this all depends on budget and whether we can afford to do it! If it does happen though, it would be sooo cool to hang out with all you other bloggers in Buñol!

      Thanks for the recommendations – we definitely would love to check out Houston so we’ll let you know if it fits in our schedule.

      There’s no need to worry about your Oz working visa app unless the DWI shows up on a police certificate but even then you should be ok. Don’t apply for a Canadian visa though! I do know that any DWI incidents over 0.08% automatically mean you’re inadmissible!

  22. Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    What an awful disappointment! I don’t really have any suggestions for other good places to get a work visa, but hopefully you’re able to find a place that just knocks your socks off. Good luck putting together a new plan!
    Christy recently posted..Trapped in the Dark at the Carlsbad Caverns

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      It is a massive disappointment Christy – I think the UK is the most likely destination for us to apply for a work visa (if we even want one anymore!) or try the Canadian option again in early 2012.

      In the meantime, we’re determined to have one hell of an adventure! 🙂

  23. Posted April 2, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Yikes! So sorry, guys! I’m going through my Chinese Work Visa now and there is so many documents to collect! I know you will find somewhere that you love. 🙂 And, as Connie said, there’s not much in Canada! it’s like a French, mini-America! 😛 Just kidding, Nomadic Chick! 😛 Canada is cool, but it will wait for you and there are about 200 other countries to visit! 🙂
    Amy recently posted..Turkey- The Eurasian Beauty

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      It’s insane the hoops countries make you jump through to obtain a work visa – the Canadian one would have been pretty straight forward for those who have squeaky clean records!

      We’ll just have to make do with the USA and Europe haha… I’m sure we’ll survive. And who knows, the green card lottery happens in a month’s time and my luck may just turn! 🙂

    • Posted April 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Yeah! Maybe they declined your work visa application because they had a good feeling that you would win the green card lottery! 🙂 That’s a good attitude!

      And while the US and Canada are not the same, they’re also not that different. Maybe like Australia and New Zealand? Different cultures, but from across the world, they not that different… ? Norway and Sweden? Germany and Austria? Spain and Portugal? Ok, now that I’ve offended half of Europeans, hopefully some of them will concede that from faraway, neighboring countries are often quite similar. It’s only once you reside in them or they are your home country that you get picky about differences. 🙂

      [sorry for anyone I’ve offended- Grandma & Grandpa: I know Norway and Sweden are different… if you taught me anything, you taught me that, but they are still quite similar looking at them from faraway…]

      Oh, and Canada and the US are both boring, English-speaking countries anyway! Why are you bothering with us at all? 😛
      Amy recently posted..Turkey- The Eurasian Beauty

  24. Posted April 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    oh guys so sorry! and YES, i definitely made mistakes like that and worse when i was younger. sorry it’s come back to bite you, but as everyone’s said here, it’s temporary, canada will wait, and i’d echo some of the votes for the UK. you know, in these situations, you can look at it like things are ruined, or you can look at it as a detour by the universe to the path you’re meant to travel. of course there are other options, but you get my drift. you may just find yourself in the UK or wherever you chose as the alternate and be thinking “how could we have ever thought we wanted to do something else??” the bottom line is- you get to travel!!! that can only be good! 🙂
    the roamantics recently posted..The Best Gift EVER- A Friend Gives Me the World

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      It definitely is what you would call a forced detour but there are gonna be plenty of great sights along the way! You’re totally right – so long as we still get to travel, it’s all good!

  25. Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Come work in the UK! It seems we let anybody in to the country these days. Although I don’t think a criminal who has committed the crimes that you have should be allowed anywhere… Reversing in to somebody else’s car, doing minor damage and not telling them?! Lock you up and throw away the key I say! 😛
    Dan Collins recently posted..Guest Post- One Week in Tenerife

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Haha I do feel like a bit of a hardcore criminal for not being allowed into a whole country. Until I tell the story, of course… then people aren’t so intimidated anymore.

  26. Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    However… saying that, I’ve been home for a month now and haven’t been able to get a job. Employment here is terrible at the moment. Nowhere seems to be taking on! Places are closing down left right and center!
    Dan Collins recently posted..Guest Post- One Week in Tenerife

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      That sucks about the job front dude – I guess if we did decide to work over there and things get super desperate, we could always fill the “Aussies in pubs” stereotype right?

  27. Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Hi guys!

    New to your blog and enjoying it very much. Bureaucracy SUCKS! And it is everywhere.. totally unavoidable. But I do believe (and have really experienced, especially when travelling) that everything really does happen for a reason. It doesn’t make sense now, but I PROMISE that it will in the future- I have a multitude of stories I could share with you.

    Here’s my advice, if you decide to consider it!

    Fly to the US, Couchsurf your way around (we bought a vehicle in California which is cheaper than taking public transit everywhere and gives you a lot more flexibility- very easy to do, email me for info if you like) the US, and then head down through Mexico, Central America and South America. You WILL find jobs and you will find a way to make it work on a very small budget, I assure you. You can also work in exchange for a bed and food in many hostels, on farms (WWOOFing) and since you seem very savvy with the social networking/ internet stuff, try and get that to work for you on a financial level.

    There are so many options!! Also, you can always fly to Canada from somewhere in Latin America (there are a lot of cheap options, even from Cuba!) when the time comes that you can do so.

    I think you just have to be flexible with your plans, save a good bit of money, Couchsurf, camp etc a lot and it will work out (the US was actually cheaper for us overall than Colombia has been so far!).

    If you want to talk about any of this, please feel free to email me. I’m also on Couchsurfing.

    Lots of good vibes to you both
    Miin

    PS Melbourne is our city!! Planning to move back there after our trip is done.

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Hey Miin – so glad you found us! 🙂

      After overcoming the initial disappointment, we’re starting to think that way too. This has obviously happened for a reason and we can only look at the positives that are going to come out of it!

      Thanks for the fantastic advice – we’re still considering our options after the US. It’s between heading to Europe for La Tomatina/Oktoberfest or doing as you said and spending time in the Americas.

      Will definitely drop you a line once we’ve made a decision as we would love to hear more about your experiences and get some extra advice! 🙂

      That’s great to hear you’re planning on moving here! Any idea when you’ll make the move to Melbourne?

    • Posted April 4, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      I really think your dollar would go further in the Americas AND it is very different from Australia, the US, Canada or Europe. I have never been to Europe but lots of seasoned travellers agree that it is something you can do when you’re older, and it’s not fun to do when you don’t have much money. I cannot gush enough about Latin America! But I am sure you will make the right decision for you!

      We are planning to move back to Melbourne mid 2012 I think, and our dream which I know we will make a reality is to start an urban ecovillage/ sustainable community, although it may end up being in a big regional centre like Daylesford/ Castlemaine or around the Dandenongs rather than inner city Melbourne. But we’ll see! Have a few obstacles to overcome before that but life always leads you on the path you need to travel!

      Have an amazing time in SEA (how long are you travelling there for?) and eat lots!
      xo
      Miin recently posted..Colombia Muy Amable!

  28. Posted April 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Amy and Kieron, I’m so sorry to hear this… I still remember the night we were chatting about your traveling and working plan, I have no idea it could end up this way. What’s your plan now?
    Dina recently posted..Best of France by Travelers Around the World

    • Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Yeah we remember, it felt like it was just a formality to get the visas… had no idea anything like this could ever happen!
      We’re still discussing our alternative plans but they’re very exciting – hopefully have something to announce by the end of the month. 🙂

  29. Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Hey guys, I’m sorry to hear that they have made such a harsh decision for something so petty! Sometimes this visa stuff is just so unfair!

    I know you guys will still have a good time no matter what, and as someone said above, every happens for a reason! Have you guys considered spending some time in Mexico/Central America? I hear that it’s not that hard to find a quick job in some Central American countries… something to consider until you can re-enter Canada!

    Good luck with what you decide!
    Annie recently posted..It’s like Coming Home

  30. Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Screw Canada!
    Instead, spend more time in the US and then head to the Caribbean!!!
    David recently posted..Culinary Quiz – Let’s play with eels

  31. Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Wow, I can’t hardly believe it. My sympathies. As others have said, Canada will wait, and there are plenty of other countries to see.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..Traveled Earth Business Cards

  32. Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    That sucks!! All is not lost though, I’ve done working holiday visas in UK, Czech Republic and Canada – and UK was my favorite. So like the others said, go for UK! And from the UK, you can apply for the Canadian one. Good luck.
    Roy recently posted..How To Find A Couch Awesomely

  33. Posted April 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry my country flatly and outright denied your application. I hope it does not deter you from trying again or from visiting Canada. Canadians do love Australians and their spirit, and besides, we’re all part of the big Commonwealth. Good luck on your travels, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures.
    Henry Lee recently posted..Please- dont forget about me

  34. GoBedRock - Ingrid
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Ouch..that sucks! VISA is always a huge issue…and hey! NYC’s poutine isn’t that bad too 😉 and if you’re coming down to Singapore…do give us a shoutout!

  35. Posted April 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    OK, so let me get this straight…..you’re being rejected for a work visa by Canada for an old offence that involved backing into another car……

    And you named your blog “Don’t Ever Look Back” ??? Seriously? I think maybe you *should* be looking back! LOL

    OK, sorry, couldn’t resist. :o)
    Glenn Dixon recently posted..Exit- Stage Right!

  36. Kez & Ads
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I can understand your initial disappointment but my hubby are just about to venture on a very similar trip to you guys! We leave Sydney early June then it’s South America 1st (heard amazing things), then up to Cuba, Mexico & then we’re doing an epic road trip across the states in August… from there we ‘pop’ over to Europe and meander our way towards SE Asia and home. We won’t be working so budgeting will require mammoth efforts. Just a word of advice, my besty was knocked back for UK working Visa for a driving offence a couple of months ago so just keep that in mind incase they’re a bit presh about yours. So ridiculously petty!

    • Posted April 16, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      Hey Kez & Ads – love when future long-term travelers comment on our posts! That sounds like a great plan, it is very similar to what we probably will end up doing. That sucks about the UK visa, was their offence as petty as mine or was it a bit more serious? Other people have said they don’t even need police certificates so it’s just slightly confusing!

      Be sure to drop us a line when you’re in the States as we’ll probably be there around the same time!

  37. Heath
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Mate, that sucks.

    I’m almost in the same boat, freaking out about what they’ll say about my Traffic History. Can’t say I’ve ever done what you’ve done, just minor speeding, driving without that class of licence, red light, stop sign, uninsured vehicle. Nothing with a court conviction though.
    Reckon I’ll get by with that, or?

    Bearing in mind that all stopped back in 2006. And I’ve been clean since. But how do you know at a young age that, “hey this is going to come back and kick me in the ass when I’m older!”?

    Should really give People the option of writing a short spiel about that, to provide with their application.

    • Posted May 29, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      Hey Heath, thanks for commenting. You actually are allowed to write a detailed narrative explaining the circumstances behind the incident but I honestly don’t think this made a single bit of difference in my case.

      You really should be fine if there’s no court conviction but my best advice is to get your traffic report and see what shows up. If it is a problem, you can apply for ‘rehabilitation’ five years after your last sentence was completed so if you haven’t had anything since 2006 you can do that if it comes to it. With my case, my license suspension finished in January 2007 which means I have to wait until January 2012 before I can go down this path.

      It definitely sucks that a silly mistake when you’re an immature teenager can come back to haunt you and there are plenty of “what-ifs” but you can’t dwell on it and just gotta move on. If you have any more questions about the application process, let me know!

  38. Posted October 4, 2011 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Kieron, I hope you and Amy have found another route and are enjoying your RTW trip! Best to you!
    Lisa recently posted..Inspiration and Travel

  39. Posted April 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s so unfortunate and not very fair! I hope you’ll get this visa mess sorted out and visit my lovely country 🙂
    Michelle recently posted..The Pros and Cons of Owning a Travel Blog

  40. DAMON
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    It’s Canada’s loss. I was rejected for having had a DUI almost ten years ago. No offense did not involve theft, buying or selling drugs, violence, anything like that. It involved three years. I did what I had to do and the case was closed. But not as far as Canada was concerned. Menwhile, I find it ironic and hypocritical that Vancouver has the highest drug problem north of Mexico, and convicts get much lighter sentences in Canada then in the U.S. And let’s not forget who let Karla Homolka free after raping and torturing four teenagers. None of it makes sense, politically or economically. Canada just sucks.

  41. Melissa
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    My friend found your blog and initially thought it my partner and I! I have recently just received a decline, however, I had applied for the ‘criminal rehabilitation’ received the conditional acceptance letter. Stage two was the point I was declined and I have no understanding why! I have a DUI charge from 7-8 years ago so its past the 5 year mark. My partner has his visa already and it is now me stopping us from going on our adventure, its brutal! We booked our flights to Hawaii, fly out on the 11th May but now our whole plan is in limbo. I am trying to get advice on if I can reapply and what sort of further information can I supply to get my approval. It seems impossible, there are dodgy Companies who just want your money, I have to email the Canadian Consulate as they dont take phone calls and a response could take up to 28 days. Not only that but I now turn 31 in less than a month so time is running out. I cant help but think what a flawed system! I made a mistake at the age of 24 and am still being reminded of it!
    Good luck with your trip I hope you have better luck with your application if you reapply 🙂

One Trackback

  • By Travel Visas: Explained! « rexyedventures on January 13, 2012 at 3:59 am

    […] on them. And if you fail to meet the requirements, you’re not getting a visa. This happened to Kieron of Don’t Ever Look Back after planning his route with his girlfriend; he discovered he couldn’t enter Canada until a […]

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