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DWI convictions and getting into canada

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How a DWI Conviction Can Affect Your Plans to Travel to Canada

Because of its close proximity to the border, it is not uncommon for New Hampshire citizens to frequently travel to Canada for both business and pleasure; however, under Canada’s current laws, having a DWI conviction on your criminal record could classify you as a “criminally inadmissible” person. A criminally inadmissible person is barred from visiting, staying in, or residing in Canada because they have been convicted of specific crimes inside or outside of the country.

Regardless of meeting specific eligibility requirements, a non-Canadian person can be classified as criminally inadmissible due to prior criminal conduct or criminal conduct on the part of their dependents. More specifically, if you have been convicted of an NH DWI, gaining entry into Canada will become more complicated – if not outright barred.

Charges of driving while intoxicated are called a variety of names across the United States (DWI, DUI, UDD, OUI, etc.); however, each carries the potential to create a host of issues for United States residents who are seeking entry into Canada. Americans should be aware that Canada’s immigration laws do not place weight on distinguishing between felony and misdemeanor offenses, which means that a misdemeanor offense could make you become criminally inadmissible.

Classification as criminally inadmissible can be surmounted by undergoing criminal rehabilitation or by obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit.

Criminal Rehabilitation

If you have only been convicted of a single DWI offense in New Hampshire and a minimum period of 5 years has passed since you completed the entirety of your sentence, then it may be possible for you to be deemed “rehabilitated” by the Canadian government.

“Rehabilitation” means that you are not likely to repeat your former mistakes or commit a new crime.

To enter Canada, you can apply for individual rehabilitation, which may or may not be granted to you. To apply, you must do the following:

§  Demonstrate that you meet the criteria

§  Have been rehabilitated

§  Prove you are unlikely to participate in future crimes

Furthermore, as aforementioned, five years must have passed since:

§  Your criminal sentence ended (including any attached probation)

§  The day the act that classified you as inadmissible was committed

Applications can be made to the Canadian visa office that serves the state of New Hampshire; however, there is a processing fee that you must pay. Other special, additional requirements may apply. What New Hampshire citizens should be aware of is that these applications often take over a year to process. If you travel to Canada frequently for business, then this could produce serious ramifications on your employment.

Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs)

Temporary Resident Permits are granted individuals who would otherwise be classified as inadmissible for entry into Canada. A TPR must be for a specific purpose. On the TPR application, the visit’s purpose must be clearly explained. A New Hampshire DWI conviction can create a number of complications when it comes to entering Canada – whether permanently or temporarily; however, one does have several options for attempting to overcome this obstacle. If you have been classified as inadmissible, but possess a valid reason for traveling to Canada, you can potentially be issued a TPR.

In order to qualify for a temporary resident permit, the need for you to stay or enter into Canada must outweigh the perceived safety or health risks to Canadian society. Whether or not your need does outweigh the risks will be determined by a border services or immigration officer. Even if you believe that the reason why you are inadmissible is a minor one, you must be able to demonstrate your visit is a necessity.

Bear in mind that there is no guarantee your TPR application will be granted. If you wish to receive a permit, a processing fee must be paid, which is nonrefundable.

A TPR permit is generally valid only for the duration of your stay in Canada. For example, if you are attending a weeklong conference, then your TPR would only be valid for those seven days. You will be required to leave Canada by the expiration date listed on your TPR or else apply for a new permit before the old one expires.

It should also be noted that TPR permits can be revoked at any time by an authorized official. Upon leaving Canada, your permit will become invalid unless it explicitly states that you have been authorized to leave and reenter the country.

The Importance of Having a Skilled DWI Lawyer

Many individuals do not think of the long term consequences, like affecting their ability to travel internationally, a DWI conviction can have. A few drinks during a night out with friends can turn into a legal nightmare that produces long term ramifications. Of course, the best method of avoiding an NH DWI is to not drink and drive, but mistakes do happen.

If you have been charged with a DWI in the state of New Hampshire, please contact our law firm today. Your initial consultation is free, and we will work diligently on your behalf to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. One mistake does not have to ruin your entire future.

 

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N.H. DWI Lawyers Address: Dan Hynes 206 Fair St. Laconia NH 03246 Phone: 603-384-3264