Coming to Canada with a DUI
As you may know, you can potentially be denied entry at the Canadan port of entry with criminal record. In Canada, drunk driving is a serious offence. If you have a past offense of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OMVI), Operating Under the Influence (OUI), Wet and Reckless (W&R), Reckless Driving, Driving without Due Care and Attention, or similar, it can affect your chances of getting into Canada and crossing the border. Do not give up your hope for coming to Canada, though. In this blog, you will learn about how to enter Canada with a DUI by overcoming your inadmissibility.
Temporary Resident Permit
The Temporary Resident permit is a document that overcomes your inadmissibility and grants you entry to Canada for a specific period of time. If you have an urgent to travel to Canada, you may have to apply for a temporary residence permit at the port of entry. The valid period of a temporary resident permit is completely based on the officer’s discretion. When an Officer reviews your application, they will consider “need vs. risk.” This means that they will consider whether or not your need to enter Canada outweighs the risk you might pose to Canada and Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents. When looking to enter Canada with a DUI conviction, the TRP is your fastest option.
An officer will investigate the following factors to ensure the threat you pose on Canada is low, and your need to enter Canada is justifiable:
- The seriousness of the offence
- The chances of successful settlement without committing further offences
- Behavioural factors involved (drugs, alcohol)
- Evidence that you have reformed or are rehabilitated
- Pattern of criminal behaviour (e.g., the offence a single event and out of character)
- Completion of all sentences, fines paid or restitution made
- Outstanding criminal charges
- Eligibility for rehabilitation or a pardon
- Time elapsed since the offence occurred
- Controversy or risk caused by presence of the person in Canada
The Criminal Rehabilitation application would serve as a permanent solution for overcoming your criminal inadmissibility to Canada. If your criminal rehabilitation application is approved and you do not reoffend, you may travel to Canada without the need to worry about your past criminal record on a permanent basis. Criminal rehabilitation applications take approximately 12 to 18 months to process, depending on the nature of your offense. If you cannot wait for such a long processing time, you may apply for a TRP at the consulate or at the port of entry.
In order to adequately qualify for a Criminal Rehabilitation, you must make sure it has been over five years since the completion of all your sentences. The sentence would also include any payable fines, probation, parole, etc. If you have determined that all of the aforementioned factors have been completed, then you are eligible to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation.
Important Documents for Overcoming Your Inadmissibility
For both Temporary Resident permit and criminal rehabilitation applications, the most important documents are the criminal background check certificate from every country you have lived in for over six months since the age of 18. For USA applicants, you will need to obtain an FBI clearance certificate and criminal background check certificates from every state you have resided in for over six months since the age of 18. You also need criminal background check(s) from the state(s) where your offense occurred.
The applicant also needs to include all information and documentation regarding the criminal record. The documents may include court dockets that show any sentences imposed on you, any probation completed, any fines paid, and/or any community services served. You will need to provide supporting documents, such as, personal statement, reference letters, employment letter, and/or proof of your good character. Remember, when you are applying for criminal Rehabilitation or Temporary Resident Permit, it is important to not only show the documents regarding your criminal record, but also demonstrate you have fully reformed from your offence(s). It is best to include these documents so that the Immigration officer may be able to review them and determine that you are not a threat to Canada and all citizens/permanent residents. It is completely based on the officer’s discretion regarding the approval or refusal of your application. As a result, the more information you provide to the Immigration officer, the better the chances you have.
Contact Akrami & Associates
As previously mentioned, Canadian government is very strict when it comes to assessing foreign travelers’ inadmissibility. In order to compile a strong a temporary resident permit or criminal rehabilitation application, you will need to prepare for the correct documents. However, having to prepare all the required documents can very confusing and exhausting. It is also essential to note that this type of application is difficult to pursue on your own. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Akrami & Associates work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients create strong Temporary Resident Permit and Criminal Rehabilitation applications. Please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 for more information, or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!