Jon Jones vs The Canadian Immigration
If you missed it UFC Light Heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones plead guilty to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) today. For those of you that have never traveled to Canada you might not realize that a DWI is considered a “serious” offense. I praise Mr. Jones for taking responsibility and handling this matter as expeditiously as possible.
The effect of this conviction go beyond the sentence that will be handed down by the judge. As an example, if you are traveling to Canada, before you are allowed to enter the Country you will be asked “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” When your answer is “yes”, you will likely be turned away. If you have been convicted of a DUI or DWI within the last ten years you will not be allowed entrance. According to the Canadian Criminal Code driving while impaired is a serious crime. The attitude is supported by most Canadian citizens.
The common person with a conviction may be considered rehabilitated “after” a certain period has expired from the completion of the sentence imposed. You must apply for rehabilitative status and demonstrate your rehabilitation. The usual post conviction waiting period is five years. After this five-year waiting period the person must submit the following documents:
- An application form IMM 1444E
- A passport size photograph
- A copy of your passport data pages
- An FBI police certificate
- A state police certificate
- Copies of court documents indicating the charge, section of law violated, the verdict, and sentencing
- Proof of completed sentences, paid fines, court costs, ordered treatments, etc.
- Copies of the text of the law describing the offence.
- Detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding the offence
- Three letters of reference from responsible citizens.
- A non-refundable processing fee of $180 USD
Further information can be found at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s webpages, Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility and Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility – Frequently Asked Questions.
It might be possible to get a temporary resident permit to enter Canada prior to rehabilitation, but this is up to the passport control officer’s discretion and requires a $200 (Canadian) fee. The temporary resident permit is meant to allow entry for exceptional circumstances, which would include reasons of national interest or on strong humanitarian or compassionate grounds, which a UFC event is not.
It remains to be seen how the Jones conviction will effect the UFC plans.