Drunk driving charges are processed under many names worldwide, but they all equally have the potential to make you criminally inadmissible to Canada. These charges include, but are not limited to Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Wet and Reckless (W&R) Reckless Driving, driving without Due Care and Attention. These charges can and will affect your chances of crossing the border into Canada. You do have hope if you’ve been charged though, read below for options of overcoming criminal inadmissibility because of your DUI.
Temporary Solution: Temporary Resident Permit
The Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is a document that overcomes your inadmissibility and grants you entry to Canada but only for a limited time. The period of validity for a TRP is completely based upon the officer’s discretion. When the application is being reviewed, the officer considers whether your “need” to enter Canada outweighs any risk you might pose to Canada and Canadian Citizens. When looking to enter Canada with a DUI. The TRP is the fastest option, since for urgent travel you can apply at the port of entry.
The most important factors for an immigration officer in making the decision is the “risk vs. need”. The officer will investigate the following factors to make sure the threat you may pose on Canada is low and your need to enter Canada is justified.
- The seriousness of the offence
- Behaviours involved (alcohol, drugs)
- Evidence that you are rehabilitated or reformed
- Chances of successful settlement without committing any further offenses
- Completion of all sentences, fines paid or restitution made
- Eligibility for rehabilitation or pardon
- Time since offense occurred
- Pattern of criminal behavior
Permanent Solution- Criminal Rehabilitation
A criminal rehabilitation application would service as a permanent solution for overcoming your inadmissibility to Canada for a DUI. You may travel to Canada without the worry of your past criminal record on a permanent basis if your application is approved and you do not reoffend. Criminal Rehabilitation applications take approximately 12-18 months for a decision to be made, all depending on the nature and severity of your offence.
In order to adequately qualify for Criminal Rehabilitation, a period of at least 5 years must have passed since the completion of the sentence. The sentence includes, jail time, fines, probation, parole etc. Once all of these factors are complete, you are eligible to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation. The approval of your application is directly based on the officer’s discretion. Officer’s want/need to make sure you do not pose any threat to Canada or Canadians, making them extremely vigilant.
Important Documents for Overcoming your Inadmissibility
For both Criminal Rehabilitation applications and temporary resident permits that most important documents reviewed are criminal background checks. These must be provided for every country you have lived in for 6 months or more since the age of 18. For applications from the United States, you must submit FBI clearance certificate and criminal background checks for every state lived in and the state in which the offence occurred (if different than residential state)
The applicant must also provide supporting documents relevant to the criminal record. These may include court documents that show sentence imposed, probation completed, fines paid, community service completed etc. You also need to supply a personal statement, letters of reference, employment letters. It is extremely important to show the officer that you have completed your sentenced but also demonstrate that you are fully reformed. The more information you can provide that shows this, the better your chances the immigration officer will approve your application.
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