If you are looking forward to your vacation, it is high time that you started to plan an extravagant trip. How can you make your trip exciting? Would you be interested in visiting common tour spots because your tour guide tells you so, or would you rather do something that you love doing but is a bit different?
If like us, you thrive on sailing, then this would be the ultimate vacation trip for you. You can think of going sailing for a long period, and spend a relaxing time with your family and friends.
There is plenty of advice to offer people who want to set sail and experience a magical nautical trip which they will remember for a long time. However, one of the things that you might want to be aware of is deciding the course of the ship.
If you manage to cross Canadian borders while sailing, you might get into trouble. And if you have a DUI history in your record without acquiring criminal rehabilitation, you will be in deep trouble and probably end up in jail.
The FWCanada blog has a very informative chart that shows how you can manage sailing in international waters without violating the rules of the Canadian borders.
Charting your sailing course is quite important before you start on your voyage. If you have DUI offence in your history and are interested in sailing to Canada, there a few steps you have to go through to be on the safe side:
Get Criminally Rehabilitated:
This is the permanent solution that would be the best solution for you. You are eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation if five years have gone by after the completion of your sentence.
In order to apply, you have to submit proof to show that you have a clean record since the sentence was completed, and make an adequate case that you are completely rehabilitated and not a danger to yourself and others in society.
If your application is approved, you will be granted criminal rehabilitation so that you can get admission into Canada without any issues. This option is the perfect solution because it is permanent. This means that you can gain entry into Canada anytime.
This is a Temporary Resident Permit. This is a permit you can have if you do not have criminal rehabilitation. This is a temporary solution, and is useful when you have less time before sailing to Canada.
The Temporary Resident Permit can be easily obtained at the port of entry or at the Canadian border, so you do not have to wait for a long time to get an answer.
To gain the TRP, you have to make a compelling case for the reason of your visit. The TRP is offered in case people with a DUI history and no criminal rehabilitation need to go to Canada for work meetings, or to meet a friend or family for emergency cases. The TRP is maintained for a short amount of time and you need to leave Canada when it ends.
This is similar to criminal rehabilitation, but is needed for crimes that were committed inside Canada. For summary offences that you may have committed in Canada, you will have to wait for 5 years after the completion of your sentence.
But if you committed indictable offences in Canada, you need to wait for minimum ten years after the completion of your sentence to successfully apply for record suspension. The record of your crime will still stay on Canadian records, but they will be set aside and you will be forgiven and granted entry to Canada again.
When do you need a Legal Opinion Letter?
In case you have been charged with a crime but never convicted, you do not have to apply for a record suspension, or criminal rehabilitation or even TRP when you are visiting Canada. You will be allowed to enter Canada all the same. However you will be asked questions about your charge every time you are crossing the Canadian borders, so it is better if you carry a legal opinion letter that explains the charge and why you are legally admissible in the country.
If you have committed a DUI offence a long time back, but have no idea if you are admissible to Canada under criminal rehabilitation or record suspension. It is always better to be prepared so that you do not have to go all the way to the Canadian borders only to find out that you cannot enter the country.
Should you hire a Canadian immigration Lawyer?
While applying for criminal rehabilitation or temporary resident permit is very easy, you might want to reconsider getting some extra help.
Having a Canadian immigration lawyer will always help, as they are strict professionals who have a good idea regarding the Canadian law and can offer you important advice about your situation.
They also know what type of information you need to give to the Canadian authorities in order to be granted entry into Canada, so they will save you from the hassle of having to re-apply. They can fill up your application forms, and tell you what you need to say at the Candian border or port of entry.
It will cost you some extra amount of money if you are hiring a Canadian Immigration lawyer, but it is definitely worth it. You will have lesser risks in the process, and you can get professional suggestions regarding how to handle your situation.
Since you need to make a convincing case that you are completely rehabilitated, you will need a lawyer who can fight your case for you. This way, you get a guaranteed entry into Canada without having to jump through extra hoops.
For more information on Canadian Immigration lawyers you can hire to help you, please visit the DUI Canada Entry site. This site also contains a lot of valuable information on how to manage your case and what you need to do to gain entry into Canada. Also, if you think that your DUI offense is way back in your past and the Canadian authorities will never know, you will be making a big mistake.
Your records will keep your crimes and offences public, which means that the Canadian authorities will have access to them no matter what. It is therefore better to follow the law and toe the line – rather than make the mistake many have done before, spoiling their sailing adventures and being turned away at the border.
Had a bad experience trying to get into Canada or elsewhere? Drop us a line with your experiences and we will spread the word to other travellers.