Entering Canada with a DUI
Unfortunately, North America seems to be going through a time where not everyone is on the same page about drinking and driving. For a long time, not long ago, the consensus was that there is nothing wrong with drinking and driving. Nowadays though, there is a much different notion surrounding the idea. Drinking and driving has caused a lot of problems, for, individuals and families, and as such, it is now against the law all over North America. Though, the laws are by no means universal in practice, as they are in legislation. As such, there is still an abundance of individuals who drink and drive, and end up with a criminal conviction on their record. Often, this is because, as I mentioned, no one thought wrong of drinking and driving was wrong a fairly short time ago, and some still forget that this act is objectively wrong, regardless of the circumstances. The point is many otherwise upstanding members of society end up with a DUI on their record. These people often still need to travel for business, or wish to travel to visit family. As such, there should be a way to overcome their inadmissibility. After all, no one is perfect. This article will help those with a DUI on their record understand the ways they can go about overcoming their inadmissibility.
I have a DUI from 2010, and would like to be able to travel to Canada again, how can I do this?
Well, there are a couple things to consider. First and foremost, it does not matter when you committed an offence. Rather, it matters when all the conditions of the sentence you were given were completed. So, let’s assume you were sentenced to pay a $200 fine, and obey the conditions of 1 year of unsupervised probation. Let’s also assume you complied with the conditions of this sentence. This being the case, you would have successfully completed all conditions of your sentence in 2011. It currently being the year 2018, 7 years has passed since you completed all conditions of your sentence, and you would be eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation, or, to apply for a temporary resident permit. Within both of these application processes, the officer reviewing the case will consider the crime an individual was convicted of in their country of origin, in terms of the Canadian criminal code. Therefore, it is important to understand two things for your application. First, that you must show that you have/ are complying with the conditions of your sentence. Second, you should understand that no one will determine how severe your offense was by considering what you were actually sentenced. Rather, Canadian immigration officers will consider the offense in terms of how severe it is considered to be in Canada. Therefore, in this case, it is important to be aware; a DUI is generally taken more seriously in Canada than it is in the USA. Ultimately, this means it is even more important than normal not to downplay the seriousness of the offense when referring to it.
What is Criminal Rehabilitation?
Applying for criminal rehabilitation application is a permanent solution to criminal inadmissibility, so long as the individual does not reoffend. This application process allows individuals to submit that they are effectively rehabilitated from their criminal past, and they are very unlikely to offend again. If you are criminally inadmissible to Canada and enough time has passed since you completed your sentence, and believe you can prove you are not a risk any longer by submitting a comprehensive application, then you may want to apply for criminal rehabilitation to permanently overcome your issue of inadmissibility. The processing times for this type of application run between 12-18 months on average. So, if this is the way you would like to apply to overcome your inadmissibility, it is important to begin very far in advance of your travel date.
What is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)?
A Temporary Resident Permit can be used by anyone that has criminal inadmissibility. There are no eligibility requirements for this document. Though, it is only a temporary solution to criminal inadmissibility. This means, if you overcome your inadmissibility for a single visit using a TRP and you wish to travel to Canada again in the future, you will have to apply for a new temporary resident permit to be able to do this. It is very important to understand that when processing this application, the immigration officer will balance the reason the applicant wishes to enter Canada, against the risk they pose to Canadian society. Therefore, it is incredibly important to submit a thorough application which shows you deserve to enter Canada.
Furthermore, the processing times for these applications are also fairly long. Typically, they range between 8-12 months, so it is still very important to begin preparing well in advance. If you do have a reason to travel urgently, it is important to know you can apply for a temporary resident permit at a Canadian port of entry, though, you must have a very good reason for coming to Canada. The immigration officer will have to also balance into consideration, that you did not take the necessary steps to apply to overcome you inadmissibility to prepare to enter Canada lawfully; rather, you are requesting special permission at the border. This means it should be conceivable that you did not know about your travel date with enough notice to apply at a Canadian consulate, as you should. If you are applying for a TRP at the border, it can also help to have submitted an application to the consulate, to show you have also respected what is required of individuals who are inadmissible to Canada.
Contact Akrami and Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to apply for any of the applications to resolve your inadmissibility. These applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients that have criminal inadmissibility apply for these applications to resolve their inadmissibility. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office 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!