A DUI can affect your ability to apply for Canadian permanent residency. If you have a DUI, you are inadmissible to Canada for at least 10 years. However, you may be able to apply for permanent residency after resolving your inadmissibility to Canada.
Permanent Residents are immigrants who are approved to live and work in Canada on a permanent basis. They can work for any employer, live in any province and access subsidized medicare. The only rights they don’t have are the rights to vote, and they could be deported based on a criminal offence. Becoming a permanent resident is a path to citizenship for many.
If you have a DUI in Canada
If your DUI occurred in Canada, you will need to wait five years to have it sealed through a Canadian Record Suspension. A Canadian Record Suspension is available to anyone convicted in Canada, including foreigners. However, you will need to pay off any fines and complete all aspects of the sentence. Once this is done, you are eligible to apply after five years. If your DUI was considered indictable, you will need to wait 10 years from the completion of the sentence.
Once your record is sealed, it will not appear on the criminal record check for your application.
If you are a permanent resident who plans to apply for citizenship, you should take action to remove your criminal record as soon as you are eligible.
Applying for Canadian permanent residency from outside the country
If you were convicted outside of Canada, you will need to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation if it has been less than 10 years. Criminal Rehabilitation is a permanent waiver of inadmissibility. However, it won’t seal your record, so it is possible that the immigration officials may consider it when determining your application. It is important to put together an application that is compelling in all other aspects, such as work experience, education, language and adaptability.
Criminal Rehabilitation is available five years after the completion of the sentence. After 10 years, you may be deemed rehabilitated, which means you are no longer barred from Canada. You may need to show proof that you completed your sentence.
Temporary Resident Permit
Although a Temporary Resident Permit cannot help you with permanent residency, you may need to apply for a TRP to remain in or enter Canada while the Criminal Rehabilitation application is being assessed.
Under Bill C-46, the maximum sentence for impaired driving has been increased to 10 years meaning that impaired driving is serious criminality. Once this bill comes into effect, fees for Criminal Rehabilitation will increase to $1,000 and deemed rehabilitation for DUI will no longer be available. The new rules come into effect on Dec. 21, 2018.
In addition, a permanent resident convicted of DUI will face deportation proceedings regardless of the length of the sentence. Outside of Canada, a conviction is not necessary to commence deportation proceedings. You can be deported if charged with DUI in a foreign country. If you have a DUI on your record, you should act now to clear it either through a Canadian pardon or Criminal Rehabilitation. As well, there will be no appeal process if a sponsorship application is denied based on a DUI.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, said his department would look at the impacts of these changes on immigration, however, no mitigation is planned at this time.
Contact us today to get started on sealing your record or overcoming inadmissibility to Canada at 1-866-972-7366.