It would be difficult for travellers who have had a past DUI offense to cross the border to Canada. Canada has strict laws on impaired driving and these laws were further strengthened in 2018 when marijuana was legalized. The legalization of marijuana has resulted to tougher punishments for DUI offenses.
When converting foreign crime to its Canadian equivalent, judges consider an individual’s past criminal history. It should be noted that as of December 18, 2018, Canada has doubled the maximum punishment for DUI conviction from 5 years to 10 years in prison. This means that the government can opt to prosecute DUI by summary process or indictment. Summary offense is similar to misdemeanor in the United States while an indictable offense is similar to felony in the American judicial system.
How to enter Canada when you have a DUI offense
- Temporary resident permit (TRP) – an individual can apply to enter Canada through TRP if it has been less than 5 years since the completion of the DUI sentence. TRP is a waiver of inadmissibility that will allow an individual who is typically inadmissible to Canada to enter the country. Before a TRP is granted, it is ensured by the IRCC that the individual is not a threat to society and there is a strong reason for coming to the country.
- Criminal rehabilitation – An individual may apply for criminal rehabilitation if it has been more than 5 years but less than 10 years since the completion of the DUI sentence. Once the application is approved, the individual will have a clean slate and allowed to enter Canada.
Individuals who are currently facing DUI charges with no prior criminal history may be admitted by Canadian immigration authorities after weighing the benefits and risks of allowing the person to enter the country. Entry will depend on the discretion of the Canadian authorities particularly since Canadian laws will be applied.
If you are considering to enter Canada with a pending DUI charge, your best option is to consult a MyDefence lawyer. A lawyer is the best person who can explain the important facts regarding your case and why you are considered as inadmissible.