Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Help! Canada won't let us in!

One of my least favorite calls frequently happens around 2 or 3pm.  Usually it's a young newlywed bride on the verge of tears.

"We're here for our honeymoon and the Canada border people won't let us in because my husband had a supervision for DUI in Chicago four years ago! My hubby didn't even remember this! Can you do something?" [note - expletives deleted to protect my innocent readers].

Sadly, for the most part, the answer is no. You see, in Canada, DUI is a felony offense every time, and is a basis for exclusion from admission.  The most I can suggest in this situation is to ask to speak to a senior agent that has the authority to override the exclusion.  Planning ahead would help, and a call to the Canadian Consulate to determine eligibility for what our northerly neighbors lovingly call "rehabilitation."

According to a recent article in the National Post about DUI exclusion, it would appear that Canada's tourism folks would prefer that exclusion based on DUI cases were perhaps a bit less rigid.  We're thinking somebody told them that occasionally, hunters and fishermen (fisherpeople too) sometimes drink *gasp* alcohol. We'll let you know if we hear about any movement on this.

Meanwhile, let us know what you think about Canada's policy for punishing newlywed brides for DUI arrests their husbands have already forgotten about.

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