Criminal Rehabilitation Waiting Period

How to Determine When You're Eligible After a DUI

Canadian immigration law states that at least 5 years must have passed before a foreign individual with a DUI is eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation. This five year waiting period does not begin on the date of the drunk driving charge. It also does not begin on the date of the DUI conviction. If you are a resident of the United States and are interested in Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation so you can travel to Canada with a DUI hastle free, here is how to determine when your waiting period is complete.

In order to determine the 5 year waiting period, the following applies:
  • For a suspended sentence you will count 5 years from the date of the sentencing.
  • If there is a fine with the suspended sentence, the 5 years starts from the date you paid the fine. If a payment plan was used, the 5 years starts when the last payment is made.
  • For imprisonment with no parole the 5 years begins on the day that imprisonment ends.
  • Imprisonment with parole, the 5 years starts at the end of probation.
  • Probation: this is a part of a sentence and the 5 years starts when probation ends. This is the same for driving probation.

To further explain when you are eligible for the rehabilitation document, here are some examples. If you were convicted of a crime on January 12th, 2012 and you received 3 months in jail, you will be eligible for rehabilitation 5 years after your time in jail ends. If your jail sentence ended April 12th, 2012, you are eligible for rehabilitation on April 12th of 2017. This is only if there are no other terms to the sentencing.

If your driverís license is suspended, you will count from the date that it is reinstated. For example, if you are convicted in June of 2005 and your license is suspended for 2 years, you will get your license back in 2007 and you will be eligible for rehabilitation in June of 2012, which would be 5 years later.

For people who need to come to Canada, but cannot apply for rehabilitation because 5 years have not gone by since the end of your sentencing, you may request special permission to enter the country. When applying it is important to check the box that states for information and include all of the required documents. There will be additional fees for processing this type of application. Although DUI Entry to Canada is annoying (some people would even refer to it as a "pain in the ass", if you have a criminal record and have no choice but to visit Canada the hassle can be minimized if you do things right. A qualified legal professional will take care of the hard work for you, and can give you legal peace of mind since they are excellent at what they do.

If you can afford to pay the monetary fine suggested by the criminal prosecutor, it's advised that you do not negotiate to pay it in instalments since this payment structure can sometimes delay your ability to qualify for Criminal Rehabilitation. Since DUI and DWI offenders are only eligible for Rehab five years after they finish their entire sentence, spreading your fine out into monthly payments could potentially add an additional 6 - 12 months to your CR qualification timeline since it can result in completion of your sentencing take significantly longer.

Immigration Canada (CIC) let's people know the exact processing time for almost all services with the exeption of criminality related applications. You can go online and see exactly how many days it will take for officials to process your Temporary Resident Visa needed by some green card holders in order to visit Canada, but you can never see exactly how long your Temporary Resident Permit will take (it could be 4 months it could be 6 months).