Is a Past DUI or Criminal Conviction Preventing You from Crossing the US/Canada Border for Your Work?
Working in Canada with a past DUI when an employee has to cross the US/Canada border can be difficult. It can create complications in his or her professional life. A DUI can bar admission into the country and make somebody criminally inadmissible. An experienced border crossing immigration lawyer can explain how to work in Canada with a DUI and assist individuals with this process.
Legal Steps to Get into Canada with a DUI
In order to gain entry to Canada with a DUI conviction, a person must receive permission from Canada legal authorities. This often involves a complex legal process. An immigration lawyer can discuss the possibilities of obtaining this permission, including:
- Temporary Resident Permit – This legal designation allows a person to enter or stay in the country for a specified period of time. One permit of this nature can provide the legal ability to enter the country multiple times, up to three years. To qualify for a TPR, the applicant must be able to show that his or her reason to enter the country outweighs the risk to the health or safety of Canadian residents, in the determination of an immigration officer. Additionally, the applicant must be able to show that the visit is justified.
- Criminal Rehabilitation – If an employee needs to be able to enter the country for longer than the temporary solution provides, he or she might consider applying for criminal rehabilitation. This process asks Canadian government officials to forgive an applicant’s former DUI or other convictions. This option is available if at least five years have passed since the applicant’s conviction. If approved, this document never has to be renewed and can provide reentry for an unlimited number of times into the country.
A licensed immigration lawyer can discuss whether either of these options are available for your particular circumstance.
Requirements for Deemed Rehabilitation for Reentry
Another possibility for entry across the Canadian border is deemed rehabilitation. An applicant may be deemed rehabilitated if he or she meets certain requirements. If he or she is deemed rehabilitated, the applicant may not be denied entry to Canada. However, it is still advisable to seek competent legal representation since the rules are often complicated and the process may not be automatic.
To qualify for deemed rehabilitation, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Have only one DUI conviction
- The DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor
- In general, 10 years have passed since the completion of the applicant’s sentence and he or she has not been convicted of any other crime
If the applicant meets these requirements, Canadian immigration authorities might disregard the prior DUI conviction. However, if an applicant has two or more DUI convictions or has other criminal history, he or she might not be able to enter the country unless he or she acquires a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation status, regardless of how long ago the conviction was.
How Basiga Law Firm Can Help
Simply because there are methods that can allow an applicant to legally enter the country does not mean that he or she will be automatically approved. Many petitions for the relief described above are denied. To be approved, the applicant must submit the necessary documents that justify his or her reason for the travel and to support his or her application. This requires the capable assistance of an experienced border-crossing immigration lawyer.
Not all convictions can be forgiven or ignored for entry. Additionally, DUI charges are state-specific, so being convicted in one state may bar entry altogether while being convicted in a different state may still permit entry, based on the specific wording of the criminal statute and the court documents.
Additionally, if an applicant was convicted of additional charges at the time of the DUI charge – such as reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, or refusing a test under the implied consent law of the state, the charges may not be disregarded for the purposes of the reentry process. An experienced immigration lawyer can assess your particular situation and determine the legal options available in your particular case.
It is important to understand whether the applicant is legally admissible to enter the country with either of the options outlined above before forging forward. An experienced immigration lawyer from Basiga Law Firm can assess your eligibility and walk you through the necessary steps to advance your application. We can maximize your changes of admissibility in Canada. We have successfully helped many clients overcome inadmissibility issues related to drunk driving and related criminal charges.
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