DUI for Entry to Canada

You may not be able to visit Canada after a conviction for impaired driving, DUI, DUAI, DWAI, DWI, OVI, OWI, and even reckless driving can make you inadmissible.  Most people will need to make an application to be allowed to travel to Canada after an impaired driving conviction. Find out if your past convictions make you inadmissible to Canada.

Will a DUI, DUAI, DWAI, DWI, OVI, or OWI keep me from going to Canada?

A DUI, DUAI, DWAI, DWI, OVI, or OWI, and even a reckless driving conviction is grounds for denial of your entry into Canada. Depending on how much time has passed since the end of your sentence, there might be relief available allowing you to go to Canada.

How long do I have to wait after my sentence has passed to re-enter Canada?

 If it has been more than 10 years since the end of your sentence for a single offense, you may be “deemed rehabilitated.” If you have more than one impaired driving offense or if it occurred on or after December 18, 2018, you will never be deemed rehabilitated.

What is “Deemed rehabilitated”?

Being “Deemed rehabilitated” depends on several factors:

  • What crime your conviction is for.
  • The seriousness of the conviction and the time that has passed since you completed your sentence.
  • Whether you have one or more convictions.
  • The maximum sentence you would receive in Canada if you were convicted of the same crime there.

How do I find out if I have been “Deemed rehabilitated”?

It is important to determine if you have been deemed rehabilitated before seeking entry to Canada. If you attempt to enter Canada and have not been deemed rehabilitated you can be found inadmissible, refused entry, and could face additional penalties. If you currently live in the United States you can go to a Canadian Port of Entry to be assessed for your admissibility to Canada. The immigration officer will review your situation to determine if you can be deemed rehabilitated for entry to Canada. If you are not deemed rehabilitated you will need to apply for rehabilitation before entering Canada. Alternatively, a Canadian immigration lawyer can help you to understand whether your conviction is one that makes you inadmissible to Canada.

How can I tell if I am “deemed rehabilitated”?

You might be deemed rehabilitated for entry to Canada at a port of entry if:

  • You had a single conviction or committed a single crime.
  • 10 years have passed since you completed all sentences (payment of all fees, jail time completed, restitution paid, etc.)
  • The crime you committed is not considered a serious crime in Canada, AND
  • The crime did not involve any serious property damage, physical harm to any person, or any type of weapon

What do I need to request deemed rehabilitation?

To request deemed rehabilitation at a Canadian port of entry, you must have the following documents:

  • Your passport or birth certificate plus photo identification
  • A copy of  all court documents for each conviction, and proof that all sentences were completed
  • A recent criminal record check
  • A recent police certificate from the country where you were convicted and from anywhere you have lived for six (6) months or longer in the last 10 years.

What if I am not deemed rehabilitated?

If upon review of your documentation you are not found to be deemed rehabilitated, you will need to apply for criminal rehabilitation.

If you have a past criminal conviction of any type, you should verify the impact on your ability to travel to Canada.

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