The following piece was reviewed for accuracy by Daniel Kingwell, a partner at Mamann, Sandaluk and Kingwell LLP, where he has practiced in all areas of immigration law for almost two decades. He is a head of the firm’s thriving litigation practice, regularly appearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board, and the Federal Court of Canada. You can reach Daniel by calling him toll free at 1-855-402-1845, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you considering traveling to Canada for a fishing trip or to watch your son’s travel hockey team? If you’re planning on traveling to Canada for recreation, you need to know that they don’t just let anyone with a passport into their country. Canada is pretty strict about who they let enter their country, and if your criminal past doesn’t meet their standards, you can be denied entry. The most common case we run into when dealing with entry into Canada is for folks who have previously been convicted of DUI.
In today’s blog, we explain the three things you should do if you are trying to enter Canada with a DUI conviction on your record.
Getting Into Canada With A DUI
If you are trying to get into Canada and you’re afraid that a DUI or similar criminal conviction might hold you back, don’t just grab your passport and hope for the best at the border. Instead, do these three things.
1. Contact An Immigration Lawyer – Whenever someone calls us wondering if they’ll be able to get into Canada with a DUI on their record, we always refer them to our friends at Mamann, Sandaluk and Kingwell LLP. We’re a criminal defense firm, and while we can help point you in the right direction, a lawyer on the other side of the border that specializes in immigration and admission is who you’ll want to speak with in order to get the answers you seek. I can’t speak highly enough of their work, and many clients who have called Appelman Law Firm at the outset end up calling me at the end of the trip to thank me for referring them to MSK. Explaining your situation to an immigration law firm is the first step you should take if you’re trying to enter Canada with a criminal record.
2. Apply For CR And TRP – As we mentioned in a previous blog, two ways to enter Canada with a criminal conviction like a DUI on your record are to be found criminally rehabilitated (CR) or to receive a temporary resident permit (TRP). A temporary resident permit allows you to enter the country for a short, specified period of time, while being found criminal rehabilitated waives your inadmissibility to Canada forever. If you fit the criteria for being found criminally rehabilitated, you should apply for it alongside your TRP, because it can offer a permanent solution, whereas a temporary resident permit is only a short-term solution. Again, your immigration lawyer can provide more details about each and which path is in your best interest.
3. Don’t Wait – Government paperwork doesn’t exactly move at the speed of light, so don’t wait until a couple weeks before your trip to ensure everything is sorted out. You may be able to go online and renew your fishing license with a few clicks, but you’re not going to be able to ensure entry into Canada just by filling out a few online forms. The process to be criminally rehabilitated or to be granted a TRP takes months, so don’t drag your feet. As soon as you know you’re planning on heading to Canada, begin the process of ensuring you’ll be admitted. Don’t run into trouble at the border because you just hoped things would work out. Be proactive and don’t delay, and you’ll significantly increase your chance of getting into Canada.
For more information or for help with your admission, reach out to Mamann, Sandaluk and Kingwell LLP today.