College students often dream of studying abroad. Nothing gives them more of an opportunity to learn about themselves, a different culture and the world around them quite like living in a foreign country for a semester.
Unfortunately, those dreams may be hampered for some college students if they get a OUI conviction on their record. That’s because there are multiple countries with much stricter penalties for OUIs and won’t often let those with one cross its borders.
Countries students can’t enter with a OUI
While students may have a harder time getting into both Canada and Mexico with a conviction, these are some other nations where they could be denied entry:
- United Arab Emirates: As UAE strictly adheres to Muslim scripture, consumption of alcohol of any kind can be frowned upon. While there are no specific laws that prohibit those with a OUI from entering the country, students with a bad mark on their record may have a harder time getting in, depending on the strictness of the border patrol officer.
- China: Entering China or other Asian countries like Japan or Malaysia can be difficult as well. However, students with convictions may be able to enter if they are transparent about their offense and apply for a free travel waiver with the U.S. consulate.
- Australia: In many cases, traveling to Australia can be easy for American citizens. But to get into the country, those looking to enter have to pass a character test and show that they have no substantial criminal record or any prior convictions. As OUIs are considered serious criminal offenses in Australia, the country tends to ban people who have one on their record from entering.
- South Africa: Misdemeanor OUIs in South Africa aren’t often considered problematic. But for those who have a felony OUI, they may be denied access. Those who reach the South African border are often expected to disclose their criminal convictions voluntarily to customs officers. If they don’t, they could face what’s called “deception by silence,” resulting in one’s immediate refusal to cross its borders.
OUIs can hurt students’ opportunities
There are other countries students can travel to with a OUI conviction. However, receiving one can significantly limit their options to expand their mind and explore different parts of the world. Those charged with a OUI may want to contact a knowledgeable and persistent attorney. They can help clients understand their rights and defend their case in court.