Many people assume that if they have a DUI on their record, that it may not be a big deal and can still enter Canada, after all, a DUI or DWI conviction is commonly viewed as a “minor offense”. But this is not the case, it is nevertheless an offense punishable in Canada under the Criminal Code of Canada. A DUI may not necessarily be a violent offense, but you are still inadmissible if you’ve had one DUI or multiples DUIs regardless of time.
Some believe that since they have never been refused entry to Canada before even with a DUI conviction or an offense on record, that it makes it ok to enter Canada. And, sometimes it is possible to “slip in” (as some refer) to the country. However, this may not be so every time. There have been cases where a client was able to enter Canada before, but now is refused entry, and he or she is confused as to why. Well, the simple answer is, the fact that this individual was able to enter Canada before doesn’t negate the fact that the person was still inadmissible in the first place.
Another common myth is flying into Canada is better and won’t get you flagged as opposed to traveling by land. An officer at the airport has the same information available at his disposal just as the officer at a land border. Therefore, this is not some sort of a loophole to avoid being inadmissible into the country. You still need to deal with this issue by applying for a temporary resident permit or criminal rehabilitation.
Simple misdemeanor should be allowed in and it shouldn’t cause any issues. This, is also a myth. Although some misdemeanors are not considered an offense under the Canadian Criminal Code and the person would be admissible, still majority of the misdemeanors would make a person inadmissible.
There’s also the misconception concerning the complexity of the temporary resident permit application process, and some believe that this whole process can be done at the border by getting an application there and get in right away. In our experience, most CBSA officers (border agents) will notify the individual to apply to the Consulate and wait for an answer, and do not appreciate travelers clogging the border with such applications. It is only done on a case by case basis.
A common misbelief is that felony convictions are always refused. We have had cases with felony convictions and fortunately for the client, have had them approved. It is serious criminality in nature, and that is why you need an immigration consultant or an attorney specializing in matters of inadmissibility. The test which is applied by the Government of Canada in deciding whether to approve or deny your application, amongst other considerations, is whether the benefit of allowing you admission to Canada outweighs any possible threat or risk to the Canadian population. Your rehabilitation efforts must be noteworthy and your justifications to enter Canada should contribute to the economy of Canada.
DISCLAIMER: The aforementioned is for general information purposes only and should not be viewed as legal advice.
Tharshini Nakeswaran, Esq, RCIC specializing in criminal inadmissibility matters.