Can I enter Canada on business with a DUI?

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The answer depends on various factors. Unless you have one misdemeanor well over 10 years ago, you must apply for a temporary resident permit or criminal rehabilitation, sometimes both, if necessary, in order to overcome your inadmissibility issue.

Nothing is more terrifying for a business traveler than showing up at Immigration and Customs to learn that their past offense(s), DUI or DWI, just prevented them entry into Canada. At this point, being denied entry in Canada may not be the only thing that you panic about, but also your employment, which may be at risk if your employer discovered the reasons why you couldn’t attend that business meeting in Canada. Furthermore, not only discovering your inadmissibility due to a DUI may be a concern, but financially, the company lost funds invested in the planned trip and must cancel all arranged meetings with Canadian clients, which could also potentially be detrimental for the company itself and its logistics. What should you do in this instance? You must apply for a temporary resident permit and/or criminal rehabilitation (if eligible), sometimes both, if necessary, to overcome your inadmissibility. Call a JTM Lawyer in order to determine the best course of action for your unique circumstance.

It is always best to resolve these issues well ahead of time prior to your business travel, whether you fly, drive, or aboard a ship. Applying to the Consulate is the best route because an answer, whether an approval or denial can be had before a scheduled trip. This in turn avoids any unnecessary surprises at a point of entry, although sometimes it becomes necessary to have an application for a Temporary Resident Permit processed at a port of entry. For example, if you have a last minute trip scheduled or you discovered right before your trip that your past offenses may be a problem for Canada travel.

Preparing for a temporary resident permit process can be daunting, you must disclose all offenses committed, even if dismissed or not prosecuted. It is best to be honest up front and disclose to the government what is on record. Otherwise this could jeopardize the chances of an approval. You should gather as much documents as possible, especially all court documents pertaining to the offense(s), and documents which show you’ve completed all the terms of the sentencing of your conviction. If your employment requires that you make periodical trips to Canada, then a two-year permit can be requested, however, the government will ultimately decide if it will grant you the two-year period requested. One of the factors which the Government of Canada considers in deciding whether to approve or deny your application, amongst others, is whether the benefit of allowing you admission to Canada outweighs any possible threat or risk to the Canadian population. Your justifications for entry into Canada should contribute to the economy of Canada.

Once a temporary resident is expired, it can be renewed and a similar validity period can be requested once again, although it is never guaranteed. There is no cap on the number of times it can be renewed, and it is wise to begin the application process for the renewal at least a few months in advance of the expiration date on the temporary resident permit. This in turn avoids any lengthy gap between permits so not to interrupt travel plans that the employer has scheduled.

Finally, a word of caution, a law firm cannot grant you a temporary resident permit, only the government can do that. If you are to retain a law firm to represent you in this matter, choose carefully, and speak with a lawyer directly. This is a specialized immigration procedure and should be handled by a firm who has exceptional knowledge in this area of immigration law.

To find out if you are eligible to enter Canada with a DUI, please call our team of Lawyers on 1-844-326-8410 for a Free Consultation. We handle first and foremost inadmissibility issues.