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NEW DUI Penalties Affect Immigration Status for Permanent Resident, TFW

Marijuana (cannabis) is now legally available to adults across Canada but before you enjoy the consumption of this drug, you should be aware of the new strict laws and penalties pertaining to it.

Along with the long-awaited legalization of marijuana, Canada imposed new strict laws and penalties to ensure its safe and responsible consumption as well as its proper handling and distribution.

Last October 17, 2018, tough new penalties were imposed on those who commit cannabis-related crimes such as illegally producing, distributing or selling cannabis or illegally importing or exporting cannabis or cannabis-related products across Canada’s international borders.  Offenders will have a maximum penalty of 14 years.

Meanwhile on December 18, 2018, new penalties will take effect for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including cannabis. Any impaired driving offences will then be considered serious crimes in Canada and the maximum penalty will increase from 5 to 10 years.

More so, permanent residents and temporary residents could be significantly affected by the new laws. In addition to facing a fine, criminal charges or spending time in jail, permanent and temporary residents may be found inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality whether the crime happened inside or outside Canada.

Violating the new laws might lead to:

·       Permanent residents losing their status and being deported

·       Temporary residents including visitors, international students, and foreign workers may not be able to enter or stay in Canada

·       Refugee claimants may lose their claim referral for a refugee hearing

·       Any other appeal rights for permanent residents and foreign nationals, including sponsored members of the family class to be affected

So while marijuana is now legal in Canada, it is very important to abide by the law if you want to avoid the new tough penalties especially for refugees or residents vying for citizenship, education, or international work.

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