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Question
Hello Tim,

I am a US citizen and am anticipating travel to Canada next month.  I was arrested for suspicion of DUI in 2007, and my case was ultimately dismissed for want of prosecution in 2010 (no conviction, no sentencing, no deferred adjudication, no reduced charges, etc.).  I have a certified copy of my disposition that I am prepared to present when questions at CBP.  What potential issues could I expect related to admissibility at the Canadian border?

Thanks!

Answer
Dear Justin,

If the DUI charges were dismissed for want of prosecution and you have proof of this, then there should be no real issues at the border.

Unfortunately, one immigration officer might interpret the facts differently from another, so it is always advisable to travel with the documentary proof of the disposition. If an officer is of the opinion that you are inadmissible, you can always request admission to Canada on a temporary resident permit if you can demonstrate that your admission would be in Canada's national interest (example, you are coming to repair a critical piece of equipment in a factory that might otherwise close down if the equipment is not repaired). In addition, a foreign national who is deemed inadmissible to Canada can in many cases apply for rehabilitation if the sentence was completed 5 or more years from the intended date of admission.

Finally, an immigration officer's decision can always be challenged in court if there is an error in fact or law.

So you would appear to have lots of options should an immigration officer dispute your admissibility.

I hope this is of some help.

Best wishes,

Tim Morson
Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)
(ICCRC No 416007, Quebec No 11121)
canada@morson.ca
514-845-5454  

Canada - Government Information

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Tim Morson

Expertise

I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and former Canadian diplomat and immigration program manager. I have 20 years of federal government experience in Asia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, and with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa, Canada. I am currently the Senior Immigration Advisor for Pace Law Firm in Toronto, the Director of Immigration for the Cirque du Soleil, and the National Policy Director for the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). I can answer all questions related to Canada's immigration requirements and procedures: (1) permanent residence in Canada for business people (investors, entrepreneurs, self-employed, professionals, skilled workers, provincial nominees, spouses and other family members, humanitarian reasons and refugees; (2) temporary residence -- tourist visas, study permits for international students, work permits, and temporary residence permits; (3) settling in Canada, Canadian residency requirements, Canadian citizenship and Canadian passports; (4) queries concerning Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), Immigration Québec, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), etc. Please note that my responses are for information purposes only. To formally engage my professional services and obtain professional advice please contact me directly. Je suis couramment bilingue et en mesure de répondre à vos questions en français.

Experience

1982-2001 - Counsellor, Consul, Vice-Consul, immigration program manager, deputy director, special advisor and visa officer. I have had various assignments around the world: Asia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa and Canada. Since 2001, I have done migration consulting work for individuals, corporations, institutions, and organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM). I am accredited by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Je suis un ancien diplomate canadien et expert en matière d’immigration. Pendant vingt ans de service avec le gouvernement fédéral, j’ai occupé de nombreux postes diplomatiques et consulaires en Asie, en Europe, aux États-Unis, au Moyen-Orient, aux Antilles, en Afrique, ainsi qu’avec le Ministère de Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada (CIC), et le Ministère des Affaires étrangères et Commerce International du Canada (MAECI) à Ottawa. En tant qu’expert reconnu dans le secteur de l’immigration, j’ai effectué plusieurs travaux de conseil en migration pour l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM), pour des entreprises canadiennes et pour des particuliers. Je suis un consultant canadien agréé en immigration (CCAI) basé à Montréal, Canada. Je suis également membre du Conseil de la Réglementation des consultants en immigration du Canada (CRCIC, membre no R416007), directeur des politiques de l’Association Canadienne des Conseillers Professionnels en Immigration (ACCPI), et directeur d'immigration pour le Cirque du Soleil.

Organizations
Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (regulatory body), Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.

Education/Credentials
M.A. Journalism (1992) UWO London, Ontario; B.A. Political Science (1982) Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec; RCIC -- Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.

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