December 3, 2012

ENTERING CANADA WITH A DUI; CANADA RELAXES RESTRICTIONS

It's nearing the holidays and you want to go skiing in Banff for New Year's. But you've been convicted of a DUI.

Having a DUI on your record used to be a major impediment to vacationing in Canada. See, http://www.californiacriminallawyerblog.com/2009/11/california_dui_conviction_many.html for my previous article on the difficulties of entering Canada with a DUI conviction. The difficulty was because DUI is considered an "indictable offense," much life a felony in the U.S., foreigner's with such convictions were not allowed entry.

Canada's new policy is in direct response to waning tourism.

New Canadian policy lets first-time offenders a one-time exemption. But the exception is limited. Americans with more than one DUI still canot enter without going through the same red tape you had to cut through previously. And, it doesn't help Americans who want to do business regularly and who need to come and go frequently. Those, too, will have to go through the mountains legal red tape previously required of the first time offender.

Here are the rules: Americans with a single DUI must not receive any term of imprisonment in connection with their sentence and must have no other convictions or charges that could render them inadmissible. If eligible, these Americans can receive a free Temporary Resident Permit in lieu of paying the normal fee of $200.

Note: Isn't it interesting how Canada - who reviled and repelled those American citizens with a mere single DUI - changed its tune when money came into play? I guess "safety" isn't as important as money. Or maybe the Canadians saw just how ridiculous it was to impose wuch hardships on people who, well, just want to go to Banff.e Star Tribune reports that Canada has eased its strict policy denying Americans entry into Canada if they have a single DWI conviction. In the past, Americans with a single DWI conviction often were deemed inadmissible because DWI is considered an "indictable offence" in Canada. An "indictable offence" is similar to a felony in the American system. Canada's new policy is in response to lost tourism revenue.

The new Canadian policy effective March 1, 2012, allows certain first-time offenders a one-time exemption. Importantly, the policy doesn't help Americans enter Canada more than once and doesn't help those with more than one DWI or other conviction triggering inadmissibility.

Under the new policy, Americans who are convicted of a single DWI must not receive any term of imprisonment in connection with their sentence and must have no other convictions or charges that could render them inadmissible. If eligible, these Americans can receive a free Temporary Resident Permit in lieu of paying the normal fee of $200.

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