Entering Canada with a DUI

If you are a US Citizen that needs to enter Canada with a DUI, there are several things you need to know including the relief available. We discuss why you should apply for both Criminal Rehabilitation and a Temporary Resident Permit if you have a DUI. Read more about entering Canada with a DUI here.

Will a DUI prevent me from entering Canada?

If you have ever been arrested or convicted for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol (DUI) in the US, you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada. This can affect your ability to enter Canada for any reason. Traveling with a family member who has been arrested or convicted of a DUI can also impact your ability to enter Canada. This includes:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI),
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI),
  • Driving While Impaired (DWI),
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI),
  • Operating While Intoxicated (OWI),
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OMVI),

Under Canadian immigration law, any charge associated with driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can make you Criminally Inadmissible to Canada.

What if I only have a misdemeanor DUI?

Either a misdemeanor or felony DUI can make you inadmissible to Canada. A US citizen, convicted of a misdemeanor DUI offense, may still be criminally inadmissible to Canada. Criminal inadmissibility to Canada due to DUI, DWI, or any other drinking and driving conviction(s), can be overcome in different ways, depending on the circumstances.

What is criminal rehabilitation (CR)?

Criminal rehabilitation is a petition submitted by a US citizen to request Canadian officials to provide relief for prior DUI convictions. To be eligible for a criminal rehabilitation application five (5) years must have passed since the completion of all DUI sentencing, including probation and fines. Those that have gone through criminal rehabilitation will no longer be denied entry to Canada due to previous DUIs.

What is a temporary resident permit (TRP)?

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is a document that allows a US citizen who is inadmissible to Canada to temporarily visit Canada.  You must show good reason when applying for a TRP. A TRP is not intended simply for a vacation to Canada.  It is at the discretion of the Canadian immigration officer to issue a TRP.

Should I apply for both Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) or a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)?

Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) waives your inadmissibility to Canada permanently while a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is temporary. In many cases, it makes sense to apply for both a Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) and a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP).

Deemed Rehabilitation?

You may be deemed rehabilitated, depending on the following factors:

  • the crime you committed,
  • how serious the crime was,
  • how much time has passed since you completed the sentence imposed for your crime: 10 years for one indictable offense and 5 years for two or more summary convictions,
  • whether you have committed one or more crimes, and
  • if the crime would be punishable in Canada by a maximum prison term of fewer than 10 years.

Canadian Inadmissibility for US Citizens

Additional Outside Resources

We Can Help!

The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law are experienced in helping people with DUI convictions to enter Canada. Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.

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