As the warm weather approaches, travel plans might commence. Did you know a DUI conviction can change those plans? When traveling internationally, you’ll need to consider your destination’s rules on criminal records. Keep in mind that certain countries have tough restrictions on who can enter with a DUI.
Travel Plans: Traveling Post-DUI
When applying for travel visas, some countries ask about criminal charges. They might also include background checks. China, Japan, and Malaysia all ask about your past charges. The best idea to ensure your travel plans go through is: be honest.
Middle Eastern Countries
Getting into most Middle Eastern countries as an American citizen is difficult enough. Iran, Dubai, and other Persian Gulf countries leave it up to the immigration officers. This up-in-the-air process can make travel plans tricky. It is best to consult your embassy or consulate first.
North American Countries
One of the most notable countries to not allow those with DUIs in is Canada. The land of hockey and home to half of Niagara Falls is strict when it comes to DUIs. While a clean record post-DUI will help your case, you could face a fine of $200. Travel plans to Canada are much like those to Mexico. Mexico’s immigration laws consider DUIs an offense similar to a felony. If your DUI was more than 10 years ago, you should be allowed entry.
Down Under…Kind Of
While Australia doesn’t have any rules on entering the country with a DUI conviction (yet), New Zealand does. If you’ve done 12 months of jail time or more within the last 10 months, you might a hard time getting into New Zealand. Your travel plans will really be interrupted if your sentence was more than five years, as that indicates your charges were severe.
Life doesn’t have to change just because of a mistake. And actually, your travel plans don’t have to, either. A little extra research and thought into traveling internationally will go a long way. At the end of the day, traveling can still be fun and exciting, even after a DUI conviction.