A longer and more expensive process to cross US border into Canada will be faced by citizens of the United States who have recent convictions of driving under any influence.
In October, Canada legalized recreational marijuana which has made the country to impose stricter penalties on alcohol as well as cannabis related crimes, driving while impaired (DWI) inclusive as revealed by Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Penalties related to cannabis have been effective since mid-October while those relating to impaired driving became effective this month.
Previously, 10 years ban from travelling to Canada was the penalty given to U.S. residents convicted of DWI or DUI after which they can now enter the country given they did not commit any other offenses.
The focus of new restrictions is on new DUI or DWI offenses instead of old offenses.
The new penalties could result in being deemed unfit to enter Canada for serious criminality, whether or not the offense is committed in Canada. This implies that permanent residents in the country can lose their status and forced out of the country, international students and foreign workers – temporary residents – will not be able to enter or continue residing in the country and refugee hearing may be denied refugee claimants.
All types of entry into Canada is affected by these restrictions – by car or plan, driver or passenger.
Nevertheless, there are a few options that people with such offenses and are still wishing to enter Canada can exploit. One of such is by applying for rehabilitation five years after serving their sentence. It involves payment of $1,000 Canadian processing fee which is not refundable. Also, a temporary resident permit can be applied for with a justifiable reason to travel to Canada. A travel visa as well as $200 Canadian non-refundable fee is also required for the temporary resident permit.
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