Celebrities Who Have Been Denied Entry to Canada

A criminal record can get you denied entry to Canada, even if you are a famous celebrity with a job to do. Whether they had a sold-out show to play or a movie they were contractually obligated to promote in Canada – Canadian border services won’t treat them any different than others. 

Just a few celebrities who have been denied entry to Canada

United States pastor Terry Jones was denied entry to Canada in October 2012, and Jones is famous for holding a Quran burning that resulted in protests where several people were killed. He was denied because of a criminal fine he received in Germany over 20 years ago.

Comedian Russell Brand said he was denied entry to Canada in October of last year because of a previous drug conviction, forcing him to postpone a show for over 5,000 fans at Casino Rama. However, it turned out he was making a joke because there was a technical issue with the plane he was supposed to take.

Rapper The Game was denied entry to Canada in April of 2011, because of alleged gang affiliations. The Game also alleges that Canadian customs detained him for 14 days before letting him return to the United States.

Rapper Lil Wayne was never actually denied entry to Canada in April 2011, but told by Canadian authorities that he would be denied entry because of his criminal record, and so he cancelled two Canadian stops on his tour.
Rock band The used was forced to cancel all of the Canadian stops on their recent tour in the summer of 2012, because lead singer Bert McCracken had several small offenses on his criminal record from more than 10 years ago, like trespassing.

Actor Wes Bentley, from the Hunger Games and American Beauty, was denied entry to Canada earlier this year as he attempted to go to Toronto to promote his new movie at the Toronto International Film Festival. While clean and sober now, a past drug possession charge in 2008 resulted in his criminal inadmissibility to Canada.

As you can see, even celebrities who have oodles of handlers, money and influence at their disposal cannot circumvent Canadian border security. They are among the many everyday people who are denied entry to Canada for seemingly “small” criminal offenses every day. If you have a criminal record and are worried about being denied entry to Canada, contact our immigration law firm. There are ways of overcoming your criminal inadmissibility.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: denied entry to Canada Lil Wayne Russell Brand Terry Jones The Game Wes Bentley

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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