Canadian Work Visa Effected by a DUI?
There are many different types of work permits available to foreign nationals that would like to work in Canada. For example, you could apply as a Temporary Foreign Worker, for an Open Work Permit under the International Experience Class, or for a NAFTA Work Permit if you meet the necessary conditions. Even foreign nationals in Canada on Study Permits can work under certain conditions. Work opportunities are readily available in Canada, but with a DUI arrest or conviction on record, you may not be able to enter the country. This is because a criminal inadmissibility requires special permission from an immigration officer to allow you to enter the country. This rule is taken very seriously and even applies to those who already have a valid Canadian work visa and are trying to re-enter the country. Even Canadian permanent residents who have been established in Canada for years can run into problems at the border if they have a DUI or other criminality on record.
If you want to work in Canada but have a DUI, it is advisable to not take any chances and begin the process of obtaining special permission to enter the country. This means you will have to apply for either a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation. A TRP is a good solution if you have to travel to Canada for work in the near future or are planning to exit and re-enter soon. It can be processed fairly quickly and will grant you up to 3 years of access to Canada (depending on the strength of your application). On the other hand, if you completed all of the conditions of your sentencing over 5 years ago and can provide proof of this, it may be in your best interests to solve the problem once and for all and apply for Criminal Rehabilitation at a Canadian Consulate. Criminal Rehabilitation takes up to 1 year to process, but the advantages of receiving it are many.
The other option for overcoming criminal inadmissibility is Deemed Rehabilitation. If you plan on coming to Canada to work and you only have one misdemeanor offense on record, you may automatically qualify for Deemed Rehabilitation. Keep in mind that you must have finished your sentence over 10 years ago and must not have offended before or since. Also, if your previous conviction is not a misdemeanor but a felony, then it is likely you have a serious criminality and will have to take the steps to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation.
You may find yourself in a situation where you have received a job offer or will be doing an intra-company transfer and urgently need a TRP to travel to Canada. If this is the case, you can use a technique called "flagpoling" to receive your TRP in a matter of hours. Once you have a complete application put together, go to the border and present it to the officer. If the application is adequate and the officer approves, you will receive a valid TRP and then can go on into Canada or come back later. Many people use this technique to secure a TRP and then use it later for a work or business trip.
Studying in Canada with a DUI
Foreign nationals in Canada on a Study Permit are often allowed to work under certain restrictions. A student visa falls under the same regulations as a work permit, which means you will also have to apply for a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation if you have a DUI on record.
Remember, any DUI or driving while intoxicated charge can result in a refusal of entry to Canada no matter what type of visa you have or reason for travel. Even reduced charges like Wet Reckless or individuals completing Diversion Programs can be found criminally inadmissible. If you are concerned about your ability to enter Canada, contact our team of Canadian immigration lawyers and consultants today and take advantage of their knowledge and experience in this matter.