Entering Canada With A DUI:
A Guide for American Travellers
Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and other related drunk driving infractions, are not minor offences Canada. Although most jurisdictions in the United States tend to classify DUIs as misdemeanors, the 2002 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) designated certain criminal offenses as grounds for being denied entry into Canada; DUI is one of them. As a result, American citizens who try to enter Canada with a DUI conviction, or charge, on their record may find themselves deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada.
What can you do?
If you want to enter Canada with a DUI arrest or conviction on your record, you should first consult with a Canadian immigration lawyer well in advance travel. An experienced Canadian immigration lawyer can determine your best course of action, as there are a few legally sanctioned options for entering Canada with a DUI. These include the following:
Temporary Resident Permits
If you are declared criminally inadmissible to Canada due to a DUI but must to travel to Canada for a specific purpose, you may apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). TRPs enable US citizens to enter Canada as foreign workers, students, and visitors. The decision to admit someone with a DUI by way of TRP lies completely with the officer assessing the application. A Canadian immigration agent or CBSA officer will weigh your need to enter Canada against any health or safety concerns that your entry would pose in making a decision.
The criminal rehabilitation process enables those Americans with a criminal infraction(s) on their record to request a permanent pardon from the Canadian government. After an applicant has successfully undergone the criminal rehabilitation process that individual may resume normal travel to Canada. To be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, at least five years must have elapsed since the completion of all sentences, probationary periods and fines. For example, if you served a suspended sentence, you must wait five years from the sentencing date.
After five years has elapsed from the completion of all sentences, probationary periods and fines, those who are criminally inadmissible to Canada may petition to Canadian government for criminal rehabilitation status. Applicants must have certain documents with them when they apply, including the following:
- a passport
- records stating each charge, verdict, and sentence, and the laws under which the conviction(s) took place
- other relevant forms and Canadian legal research.
Processing your application may take up to a year, but you may be able to expedite your assessment if you are willing to travel and your infractions are non-serious in nature, as per Canadian law.
Foreigners attempting to enter Canada with an one old drinking and driving conviction may be deemed rehabilitated under certain conditions. To request an assessment of admissibility, it is wise report to a Canadian port of entry and present all documents relevant to your criminal history. You may wish to contact our Canadian Immigration law firm for a free consultation about entering Canada with a DUI.
You must meet these criteria to be eligible to apply for deemed rehabilitation:
- Your record has only one conviction or infraction.
- Canadian law does not consider your crime a “serious” one.
- Ten years or more have passed since you completed all sentences, probationary periods and fines.
Free Legal Consultation
Those seeking to enter Canada with a DUI may wish to contact our Canadian immigration law firm for a free consultation @ 1 (855) 360-4333 (toll-free in North America) .