Canada with DUI

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DUI Canada entry

Canadian immigration lawyer focused on Canada DUI entry from USA. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike most companies who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Can You Go to Canada with a DUI?

Unfortunately, getting into Canada with a DUI is not as simple as showing up at the border with a valid United States passport. If you have ever been arrested or convicted for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, regardless of whether it was a misdemeanor or felony offense, you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada and denied entry. Even if you do not have any intention to drive while in the country, a DUI (including civil infractions and "Physical Control" violations) can cause you to get turned away at the border and can impede your eligibility across all Canadian immigration programs.

How to Obtain Permission to Enter Canada with DUI

Most people reading this want to learn how to get into Canada with a DUI as simply and easily as possible. To overcome criminal inadmissibility to Canada, a person must correctly apply for and then successfully receive permission from Canadian legal authorities to visit the country. Getting such permission to enter Canada can be a highly complex legal process that could easily overwhelm someone without professional assistance. Criminal inadmissibility to Canada as a result of a DUI or DWI can be overcome in two different ways:

Temporary Solution
The first option is a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), which can allow a person to enter or stay in Canada for a specific period of time provided they have a valid reason to visit. A Temporary Resident Permit can be extremely helpful for individuals who are not yet eligible for the permanent solution of Criminal Rehabilitation, and it is possible for a TRP to be valid for multiple visits for as long as three years provided the individual's application is strong enough. A Canada TRP can take a while to obtain, so it is best to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.

Permanent Solution
The second option is Criminal Rehabilitation (CR), which is an application process whereby a person petitions Canada immigration authorities to forgive their prior DUI conviction forever. To be eligible to apply for Criminal Rehab, five years must have passed since the sentence was fully completed including payment of fines, community service, classes, probation, and any other conditions which may have been imposed by the court. Successfully completing the Rehabilitation process gives an individual a fresh start and allows them to enter Canada freely again. Unlike a Temporary Resident Permit, which is only good for a fixed amount of time, Criminal Rehabilitation never needs to be renewed and can provide access to Canada for life. Whether traveling primarily for business or pleasure, the peace of mind and convenience of being able to go to Canada any time without ever worrying about being denied entry makes this solution especially attractive to eligible individuals.

Deemed Rehabilitation
An American may be "deemed rehabilitated" if they only have a single conviction that is not considered serious criminality in Canada and enough time has passed since completion of all sentencing including payment of fines and probation. Prior to December 2018, if a visitor could prove it had been more than ten years since the sentence was finished, and he or she had no other convictions, Canadian authorities may disregard an old DUI and grant the person entry into the country. This policy has since changed! As of December 2018, a DUI is a serious crime in Canada and such an offense no longer qualifies for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation after ten years. This significant change is due to the Government of Canada implementing new DUI laws that increased the maximum length of imprisonment to a decade. Consequently, impaired driving offenses are now considered too serious to qualify for Deemed Rehabilitation due to passage of time, and an American with a single DWI can now be denied entry at the Canadian border even if the incident happened more than ten years ago.

If an offense occurred before December 18th, 2018 (when the law changed) and it has been more than ten years, it may be possible to claim "grandfathered" Deemed Rehabilitation but you should always consult with a Canadian immigration lawyer to determine your eligibility. Now that impaired driving is considered a major crime in Canada, it is advisable that any American with a DUI, DWI, OWI, OVI, DWAI, wet reckless, or any other intoxicated driving arrest or conviction in their past speak with a professional about their admissibility before attempting to enter Canada. If you have two or more drunk driving violations or other excludable criminal convictions on your record, you will never be deemed rehabilitated by virtue of time and may be refused entry at the Canadian border without a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation even 20+ years later.

To maximize your likelihood of success, it is important to consult with an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer who can help you take the necessary steps before and during your application to have the highest possible chance of being approved. Why risk having to explain to friends, family, or co-workers that you were denied entry to Canada? Our Canadian immigration attorney has extensive experience helping Americans overcome criminal inadmissibility issues so that they can successfully travel to Canada with a DUI or similar offense in their past. Let us take care of the hard work for you; we are excellent at this! Contact our team today for a free consultation!

Coronavirus Update (October 19th 2020)

Due to COVID-19, the Canadian border is currently closed to all non-essential traffic until November 21st. It is very possible that border restrictions will be extended beyond this date! Americans may travel to Canada for essential reasons such as work or school. Examples of essential business travelers include truck drivers, merchant mariners, flight crew such as pilots and flight attendants, medical professionals such as doctors and nurses, individuals holding a valid Work Permit, and experts providing critical infrastructure support or important economic or supply chain services.

US citizens and Green Card holders may now visit immediate family in Canada, and as of October 8th may cross the border to see their Canadian girlfriend or boyfriend if they have been in a serious relationship for at least one year (supporting documentation should be brought to the border). Americans driving through Canada to or from Alaska are not permitted to make unnecessary stops along their way (a violation of Canada's Quarantine Act can be punished by up to six months in prison) and are limited to a few border crossings in Western Canada. Anyone with COVID-19, or COVID-19 symptoms, will not be allowed into Canada with no exceptions! The Canadian consulate is still active and accepting applications for special permission to enter Canada with a DUI. Our Canadian immigration law firm is also open and offering free consultations.

Why Exactly Does Canada Deny Entry to People with a DUI?

In Canada, indictable offenses are considered serious criminality while summary offenses are considered less serious. If an American wants to visit Canada but has ever committed an act that could be considered an indictable offense in Canada, they may be classified as criminally inadmissible. In Canada, driving under the influence of alcohol is a hybrid offense, which means it can constitute a summary offense or an indictable offense depending on the situation and how the prosecutor wishes to proceed. Although most DUIs in Canada are summary offenses, the potential for one to be an indictable offense makes driving under the influence a potentially excludable act for foreign nationals.

Many Americans are shocked to learn how difficult entry into Canada with DUI charges can be. The Canadian border now has full access to the FBI criminal database via the country's CPIC database, which is operated by the RCMP and interfaced with the United States National Crime Information Center (NCIC). In fact, even a not guilty verdict (acquittal) may sporadically help cause a US resident to be rejected at the Canadian border since the original DUI arrest will still be visible to border staff and the visitor may need to prove his or her admissibility. Section 36 of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) says that persons are criminally inadmissible to Canada if they are "convicted of an offense outside of Canada which if committed in Canada would be an offense under the Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years." This allows Canada to keep out foreign nationals who have been charged with a potentially indictable offense such as assault, fraud, or drug trafficking, but also allows them to deny entry to people charged with impaired driving. For this reason, many Americans are stuck researching "DUI Canada entry" on the Internet only to learn one of the inherent consequences of a having a criminal record is inadmissibility to Canada without Rehabilitation or a TRP.

Since Canadian immigration regulations view DUIs as serious offenses, a single impaired driving charge in the United States can bar a person from visiting Canada even more than ten years later regardless of how inconsequential it was where it happened. Even after pleading a DUI down to a minor charge such as dangerous or reckless driving, an American may still not be eligible to cross the Canadian border without risk of an entrance denial. When determining eligibility to travel to Canada, it is not the status or seriousness of the crime in the USA that matters; it is what the crime equates to under Canadian law. The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is the legislation that determines whether entry into Canada for a non-Canadian may be denied on grounds of inadmissibility. According to this Act, a pending DUI charge is treated as "under indictment" and potentially excludes the person from entry. Even a reduced DUI charge does not guarantee smooth sailing when entering Canada. The reduction of charges from drinking and driving to some lesser charge such as reckless driving can still cause you to be denied entry at the Canadian border even though the plea agreement reduced the severity considerably.

If you have any criminal record at all; a bounced check, possession of a controlled substance, disorderly conduct, a fishing or hunting violation, domestic violence, even some types of marijuana possession offenses, you might not be admitted to Canada. Your DUI also does not have to be alcohol related in order for the border to deny entry for criminality. People are frequently charged with driving while intoxicated because they were on prescription medication such as painkillers or "stoned" from consuming marijuana. You can be charged for driving under the influence of drugs regardless of whether or not the drug is legal. Even if you have been prescribed medicine by a doctor, if the substance "could affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair" it is illegal to be operating a motor vehicle while on it. Consequently, it is possible to get a DUI by driving while on prescribed drugs that can impair, and a criminal conviction of this type can mean a person is no longer welcome in Canada without special permission. If you were charged with boating under the influence of alcohol, or even some obscure charge such as operating a motorized lawn mower while intoxicated, your ability to travel to Canada can also be effected.

Can you Enter Canada with a DUI If You Will Not Be Driving?

A person with an impaired driving record may still be inadmissible to cross the border into Canada even if they will not be driving a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, airplane, or any other motor vehicle during their visit. Some people who are criminally inadmissible due to DWI think that if they fly into Canada and do not intend to drive while in the country they will be granted entry without a problem. Canadian immigration regulations do not distinguish whether a person intends to drive while visiting or not. Consequently, foreign nationals may require Criminal Rehabilitation or a TRP in order to travel to Canada with a DUI appearing in their criminal history, regardless of their intended transportation plans once in the country. Even if you will only be using Uber or public transit, if you are inadmissible because of a DUI there is a substantial chance border security will forbid you from entering. When traveling to Canada by car, for example, just because you are a passenger in the vehicle not the driver does not mean border agents will overlook a past DUI.

Some also believe that you can enter into Canada with a criminal history as long as you do not disclose it at the border. This is absolutely false, as the Canadian border has unlimited access to US criminal databases and a past charge or conviction can instantly flag a visitor upon landing at an airport in Canada. You should always be honest and forthcoming with border authorities, and attempting to mislead immigration officials can lead to serious consequences such as being banned from crossing the border for several years. It also does not matter how long you plan to be in the country. Even for a short visit to Canada of less than 24 hours, such as a quick business trip, border security can still block a foreign national from coming into the country because of a past DWI or reckless driving conviction.

Does It Matter Which State the DUI Occurred?

One of the major reasons why many United States residents seek assistance from experienced immigration lawyers before trying to enter Canada with a DWI is to determine the exact criminal equivalency and excludability of their specific offense in Canada. The procedure for determining equivalency was determined by the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal, which held that the essential elements must be determined by the precise statutory words used. Since DUI laws (including underage DUI laws) and the precise wording of each statute vary from state to state, the Canadian admissibility of an individual can also depend on the US state in which the offense happened. The precise wording of acquittal documents, absolute discharge and conditional discharge documents, criminal diversion documents, deferred adjudication documents, or pardon documents can also vary from state to state. The exact details of a deferred disposition (suspended sentence) or adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD) can vary by region as well.

The Canadian equivalent of other driving violations an individual may have pleaded their first DUI down to, such as dangerous or reckless driving, can also vary at a state or county level. Other violations that are often added to impaired driving charges can further complicate matters. Examples include driving with a suspended license, no car insurance, damage to property, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding, or refusing a breathalyzer, chemical test, or blood test. If you are concerned you may be criminally ineligible for international travel, it is always good to consult with a licensed immigration attorney in Canada about your particular situation.

Our team has assisted hundreds of US citizens from several different states with Canada DUI entry. Concentrating on helping Americans travel to Canada with a DUI, our Canadian immigration lawyer is licensed and qualified to provide legal assistance to residents of the following states: Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Montana (MT), Nebraska (NE), Nevada (NV), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), Vermont (VT), Virginia (VA), Washington (WA), West Virginia (WV), Wisconsin (WI), and Wyoming (WY). Not only do we accept clients from every US state, we are also familiar with the DUI laws in many of these states. The exact process of retrieving all the documents required for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation application can also differ by state and county. Our team of experts can help make crossing the border into Canada with a DUI as easy as possible!

Will the People I Am Traveling with Find out I Have a DUI?

Entering into Canada with a DUI first offense is stressful enough by itself, but worrying that bosses, coworkers, employees, business partners, girlfriends/boyfriends, or other people traveling alongside you will learn about your impaired driving charge at the border can be intensely disconcerting. Most people flying into Canada for business are traveling with at least one other person that they work with, and chances are this individual is not aware that their coworker has a criminal record. The good news is that in many circumstances it is possible to keep your DUI a secret from your boss when entering Canada with him or her.

The easiest scenario in which to keep your DUI private from those you are traveling with is to procure a Canada Temporary Resident Permit prior to your date of travel. A TRP can be obtained in advance of a trip to Canada, and once you have a valid waiver in your possession it is notably easier to cross the border discreetly. If a TRP application is sent to an appropriate Canadian Consulate in anticipation of future travel, the reviewing officer will have more time to inspect the file, and if a person is approved they will ordinarily be able to traverse the border with minimal delays and in many situations without ever having to mention their criminal history. Applying for a T.R.P. via a Canadian Visa Office commonly takes three to four months for government processing, however, which is too far in advance for many Americans interested in getting into Canada. Since many people, especially business travelers, are given at most a few weeks advance notice of a trip to Canada, their only option may be to apply for a TRP at a Port of Entry (POE) which is not ideal.

If there is not enough time to secure a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit in advance on travel, it could still be possible to keep a DWI a secret from co-workers as long as the person is flying into Canada and not driving across the border. Individuals presenting a TRP Canada application at the border will customarily be asked to proceed to secondary inspection for their file to be reviewed in detail. Consequently, the actual TRP evaluation and personal interview will likely be done far away from fellow passengers, so it is only the initial conversation when you disclose your DUI to the officer and present your TRP application that needs to be obscured from your boss. If you are flying to Canada, it can be remarkably easy to do this since people typically go through border control in airports as individuals unless they are traveling as a family. At almost every international airport in North America, border service officers are spread out far enough apart that you will very likely be out of earshot of any coworkers when you announce your TRP application. Since visitors are routinely flagged for additional inspection, fellow travelers may not be overly suspicious as to why a co-worker disappeared for a while. The considerable amount of time it can take for a TRP to be issued at the border may raise questions, however, so setting a plan to meet at the destination rather than have business associates wait at the airport may be wise.

If you are traveling by car, however, you may have to present your TRP application to the border agent in front of your fellow passengers, so please take this into consideration when planning your trip. One technique to make the best of a bad situation is to quietly give your T.R.P. application to the border guard when you first pull up and everyone hands over their passports, and in some cases you will be moved to secondary inspection without any mention of a DUI or criminal record. An American can require a TRP to overcome a previous overstay or because of a health problem, so notifying the officer that you have a TRP application without explicitly referencing criminal inadmissibility due to a DUI will not necessarily get the office rumor mill chattering. If you need to go to Canada for work and your coworkers are driving, another strategy is to make up an excuse on why you will be traveling on your own and meeting them there. A family commitment or even an important doctor or dentist appointment could easily explain why you will be flying to Canada instead. Fortunately, a majority of corporate travelers fly into Canada instead of driving, so keeping your criminal past a secret from your co-workers may be possible in many circumstances. Because we focus primarily on DUI and Canada entry, we have a plethora of experience on how to keep a DUI a secret from work associates when entering Canada with a drinking and driving conviction. Phone us today to discuss how we can put this experience to work for you!

Can I Submit My Own TRP Application?

While individuals are permitted to submit their own TRP application at a Canadian visa office or Port of Entry, it is advisable to seek professional help. Canadian immigration regulations are very specific, and an individual whose expedited TRP application is not properly prepared carries the risk of being denied entry to Canada. Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit on your own is often compared to representing yourself in court, you can do it, but it is probably not a very good idea.

One of the many reasons why people can be denied a TRP is because they lacked knowledge of the pertinent immigration regulations and overlooked relevant evidence that could have or should have been provided to Canadian immigration officials. The TRP application process is not simple and a qualified Canadian immigration lawyer advocating on your behalf can be very beneficial. Furthermore, a TRP application must essentially explain why someone should be allowed into Canada. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), "to be eligible for a Temporary Resident Permit, your need to enter or stay in Canada must outweigh the health or safety risks to Canadian society, as determined by an immigration or a border services officer. Even if the reason you are inadmissible seems minor, you must demonstrate that your visit is justified." A Canada immigration lawyer or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) is qualified to prepare an application that will maximize the chances of success. If an application is not strong enough, immigration officials may determine there are insufficient grounds to merit the issuance of a permit, and the applicant will have lost all the money they spent on the government processing fee. Mailing a TRP application to the wrong immigration office can also result in it not being processed, and applying directly on your own can even require a personal interview.

If you are going to fly to Canada and apply for a TRP at the border, it is essential that you understand the possible ramifications of not having a strong enough Temporary Resident Permit application. Although several Canadian airports operate USA preclearance facilities, the reverse is not true meaning it is not possible to clear Canada Customs and Immigration while at a US international airport. For this reason, a person's application for a Temporary Resident Permit will not be adjudged by immigration officials until they land at an airport in Canada. At this point, if their application does not satisfy the Canadian official enough for him or her to issue an entry permit, the person may be denied entry to Canada and flown back to the United States on the next available flight. When evaluating whether or not you should pay a lawyer to professionally prepare your application vs saving money by attempting to do it yourself, consider factoring in the consequences an inadequate application can have.

If you need to enter Canada on an emergency basis due to urgent circumstances, there are options that make possible entry into Canada for pressing reasons such as a family emergency. Our team can prepare an application that will make the most compelling case possible for you to be permitted entry on an expedited basis. If you need to enter Canada ASAP, our Canadian immigration lawyer has considerable experience preparing TRP applications for urgent entry, and our team is available most evenings and weekends because emergencies do not always arise during standard business hours. Want to know just how fast we can prepare a TRP application for your emergency entry? Phone our team today for a free consultation!

How Long Does Criminal Rehabilitation Take?

Canada Criminal Rehabilitation processing times are typically between six and twelve months through conventional consulate channels. However since a Temporary Resident Permit can be issued much quicker than Criminal Rehab, it is very common for people to apply for both at the same time which may allow them to visit Canada immediately with the TRP and then enjoy permanent admission once approved for Streamlined Criminal Rehabilitation. Many of the same documents are required for both the Temporary Resident Permit and Criminal Rehabilitation applications, so it is always smart to ask if these cost savings will be passed along to you the client!

Refused Entry to Canada?

If you have already been denied entry to Canada, it is very important to not return until legally able to do so. It is advisable in these circumstances to consult with a qualified Canadian immigration attorney to ascertain the best means of ensuring successful entry into Canada. If you attempt to enter via another Port of Entry without first addressing your inadmissibility, denial is almost certain and an outright ban from Canada can result. Once you have received an official refusal of entry to Canada, it is advisable to consult with a Canadian immigration legal professional before attempting to cross the border again. Any form of perceived non-compliance can significantly reduce your odds of being granted permission for DUI entry in the future, so it is important not to make any rash decisions while still angry about being bounced at the border. In many cases, an individual denied entry to Canada is permitted to withdraw their application for admission officially. For more serious cases, border officials will issue a Section 44 Report and the case will be forwarded to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). There will then be an Admissibility Hearing in which a judge will determine if the Section 44 Report's allegations are true and if so a Removal Order may be given.

There are a number of reasons why someone visiting Canada can be refused entry. Grounds for refusal include misrepresentation or presenting fraudulent documents at the border, general health risks to other Canadians, past criminal offenses, a lack of financial resources, or any other breach of The Immigration & Refugee Protection Act. For Americans traveling to Canada, the most common reason for refusal of entry is the existence of a prior criminal record, specifically drunk driving. Many American citizens do not have any idea that a police record for driving while impaired can prevent them from being admitted into Canada until after they reach the border. American residents can be even more surprised when their underage or new driver DUI violation is the origin of their Canadian DUI entry difficulties. In urgent circumstances, US citizens, or people from other VISA exempt countries, can attempt to overcome criminal inadmissibility at the Canadian border by requesting a TRP on the spot for economic, social or humanitarian reasons. Temporary Resident Permits will be given based on a variety of factors including the seriousness of the offense rendering the person inadmissible, evidence that an individual has reformed or rehabilitated, completion of all sentences and payment of all fines and restitution, pattern of criminal behavior, time elapsed since the offense occurred, and potential risk of the person entering Canada. If an individual is medically inadmissible but is a medical tourist, the availability of the treatment in Canada will also be scrutinized. In general, applying for a TRP in person at a land border crossing or airport is only for emergencies. For advice related to your specific situation, always consult with a qualified immigration lawyer.

So who exactly is not permitted to enter Canada? The Immigration Act may deny admission to anyone recently convicted of driving while intoxicated (D.W.I.) or driving under the influence (D.U.I.), both of which may be considered an indictable offense in Canada (similar to a felony in U.S.A.) and punishable by a term of imprisonment for up to five years. Other criminal offenses that can cause someone to be denied entry to Canada include theft, assault, reckless driving, possession of stolen property, shoplifting, fraud, driving while license suspended, extortion, battery, domestic violence, misdemeanor drug possession, and any felony such as breaking and entering or armed robbery. White collar crimes can also affect a foreign national's Canadian excludability. Some people may need the services of a qualified immigration professional to determine if they can legally enter Canada. Other people may already know that they criminally inadmissible but require help from an attorney to come up with a workable plan for how to cross the Canadian border successfully. A criminal conviction does not necessarily mean a person cannot enter Canada ever again; it simply means they may require special permission to enter and therefore should prepare an acceptable application before visiting. Canada Temporary Resident Permit eligibility requirements and document requirements have recently changed. This is one of the many reasons it may be important to work with an immigration lawyer familiar with the 2020 Canada DUI Entry rules (as well as any scheduled Canada DWI entry 2021 or 2022 changes).

Another reason why some US DUI offenders are denied entry to Canada is that they do not realize that a person may be criminally inadmissible to cross the border while waiting for legal proceedings. Once a person has been arrested for an alcohol-related driving violation, he or she may not be permitted entry into Canada without special permission until a court disposition determines "no conviction" on all DWI charges. If the court judgment is delayed because of deferred sentencing, the accused may need a Canada Temporary Resident Permit to visit the Great White North in the meantime. Once an individual has fulfilled all the conditions of their deferral program and has docs proving that the legal court finding was "no conviction" they may be once again allowed to enter the country without a TRP. Paying a court-imposed fine in installments can delay a person's ability to apply for Canada Criminal Rehabilitation since eligibility does not begin until five years after completion of your full sentence including payment of all fines and restitution and in some cases reinstatement of driver's license. After five years a person is given the ability to submit an application for Canadian Rehabilitation, and provided officials are satisfied that the individual has reformed their personal and professional life they may be forgiven of their past crimes and permitted enduring access to the country.

TRP applications can be submitted to specific Canadian visa offices in the United States, and can even be presented at the US-Canada border or Port of Entry in a crisis. The instant adjudication of the application is a major perk of applying at the border, but the risk of refusal leading to the applicant being turned away is a major downside of this method. The only downside of applying for a Temporary Resident Permit at a Canadian consulate or visa office is the long processing times that can occasionally run over six months in some cases. With the exception of emergency situations, this is the application method that should be used. In our experience, standard processing times are typically as fast as 3-4 months. An efficient way of applying for a TRP ahead of time is with the help of an experienced Canada immigration lawyer. An attorney can help you apply for a Temporary Resident Permit in an effective manner, while letting you sleep easy at night knowing you have a trained professional advocating on your behalf. If you suspect you may encounter an inadmissibility issue when attempting entry into Canada, we encourage you to contact our team as early as possible before your scheduled visit to Canada!

Other Common Reasons Americans Are Refused Entry

Having a criminal record is a major reason why US citizens are refused entry into Canada. Other common reasons are no proof of income, no proof of employment, no proof of sufficient funds, no proof of residency in the USA, no proof of ties to the USA, and no international health insurance. To avoid being denied entry into Canada for "not enough ties to home country," it is important to bring supporting documentation to prove you do in fact have sufficient ties to your home country such as family, a house or apartment (mortgage or lease), enrollment in a school, or a job. To avoid being denied entry for not enough funds, ensure that you have enough money in your bank account to sustain yourself for the entire duration of your trip, and bring supporting documents or have the ability to log into your online bank account on your mobile phone.

Having insufficient funds is one of the more frequent reasons why people are denied entry into Canada, so it is very important for people to take extra steps to be able to prove they can afford their trip, and obviously the longer the scheduled visit, the more money an individual will be required to have. Even if you will be "getting paid" or "receiving money" in the near future, if your bank account is depleted when you attempt to cross the border you risk being refused entry. It might sound ridiculous that Canada requires residents of a country as rich as the United States to prove they can afford a trip. The Canadian Government is simply trying to prevent certain foreigners from entering the country that they deem are likely to either work illegally or strain the country's social programs (such as homeless or unemployed Americans potentially attracted to Canada's socialism or oil money). It is also important to have health insurance coverage valid in Canada, also called Canadian travel insurance, before attempting to visit the country, and border officers will often ask about this. A lot of traditional American health insurance plans do not cover out of country medical expenses. Consequently, if you do not have a MasterCard or VISA credit card that offers emergency medical coverage you might have to purchase insurance before visiting Canada, especially if you are a senior.

A little known reason for some Americans to be denied entry to Canada is because of gang ties. Anyone who is deemed to be associated with organized crime, even loosely, can be refused entry into Canada. This has happened to numerous US musicians over the years, and many rap concerts have been canceled because the performer was not allowed to enter the country. Protesters and activists coming to Canada may be forbidden entry at the border if it is suspected that they may cause public disorder. Also, being denied a NEXUS card can bring your criminal past to the attention of the Canadian border, which could lead to you being denied entry on your next visit. Visiting Canada even after receiving a pardon or discharge for a crime can still be tricky. Occasionally, a state or county where you were convicted "pardons" or "discharges" your crime. This does not automatically mean you can enter Canada normally, however, and you should still contact a qualified legal professional to see if Canada will accept your pardon. At the end of the day, you can Google "can you go to Canada if you have a DUI?" and read all the information a million times, but ultimately the answer is at the total discretion of the border agent who considers the person's unique situation particularly how long ago the DUI transpired and the reason for traveling to Canada. The legality of DUI travel to Canada is the exact same regardless of what method of transportation you use, and flying into Canada with a DUI does not increase a person's probability of getting in. There is also no sex preferential since both males and females are equally capable of drinking and driving while visiting Canada. In summary, "can you travel to Canada with a DUI?" is not a yes or no question, "it depends" is the correct answer. Travel to Canada with DUI on your record is possible as long as you are not criminally inadmissible, but as explained above Canadian admissibility can be tricky to determine. Although these migration decrees can be bona fide annoying for folks with a USA DWI, always remember Canada is simply trying to keep out potentially objectionable tourists and is not trying to punish inadmissible individuals personally for having made a blunder in life.

There are examples of people being denied entry even after participating in an expunging program, as well as the refusal of entry of individuals who have been officially pardoned by the local jurisdiction. Americans can still be considered inadmissible to Canada even after their DWI conviction has been pardoned or expunged. Although getting into Canada after a DWI expungement is often possible with the right documentation, not all United States expungements are considered non-convictions under Canadian law. If you have ever been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while impaired, it is always advisable to speak with a lawyer before traveling to Canada even if it has been properly expunged. In situations where the expungement is no longer treated as a conviction by Canada, a legal opinion letter can help explain to the CBSA exactly why a person is legally admissible to the country under Canadian law. It does not matter if a person is traveling with a tour group to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side, to a wedding in Toronto with their husband or wife, or even if they are traveling solo to go fishing or hunting in Canada's backcountry wilderness. Any crime on a foreign national's record, even just a misdemeanor DUI/DWI/OUI/OWI, could potentially result in the individual being refused entry into Canada.

Other impaired driving charges that can potentially make someone inadmissible for international travel are OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated), OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), DUIL (Driving Under the Influence of Liquor), DUII (Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), DWUI, DUBAL, and wet reckless driving. Travel to Canada from US with DUI or similar charges appearing on your file can sometimes be hard, so the best strategy if you do not actually have a criminal conviction is usually to carry paperwork with you that proves you are admissible to the country. Even a person living in Canada on a Student Visa or Work Visa can become ineligible to freely leave and re-enter the country if their admissibility status changes due to an impaired driving arrest. Whether you have a first-time DUI with no injuries and need to travel to Canada for business, or you are an individual with permanent residency status who needs to return to their job in Canada, phone our team today to see how our seasoned immigration lawyer can help.

Some of the supporting documents that may be required to support a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation application are multiple letters of recommendation, a drivers abstract, federal and state police records, and a letter written by the individual explaining why they did what they did and how they have changed and no longer pose a risk to society. Applicants may also need a document from their local Police stating that there is not a warrant out for their arrest. As part of the approval process, the Canadian consulate may perform a deep background check on the individual in an effort to find any other crimes they have ever committed. This can include crimes such as mischief, reckless driving, assault, battery, child abuse, drug trafficking, fraud, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, domestic violence, firearms offenses, or even writing a bad check. Possession of a controlled substance is one of the more common crimes in America, and similar to a first offense DUI can render a person inadmissible to Canada. People occasionally get discouraged believing that they are banned from Canada for life because of their past crimes. It does not matter what crimes a person has committed in the past, if they successfully petition the Government for entry permission, visiting Canada with a DUI or criminal record is possible.

After an individual completes their drunk driving sentence, there is sometimes conditions imposed on them in order for them to reinstate their driver's license. Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device or IID is a common one, as are conditional licenses which set restrictions on the driver such as not having any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood when driving, or only being in their vehicle to and from their place of employment. If your license is still suspended, you will obviously not be permitted to drive across the border even if you have a valid 2021 DUI entry Canada TRP. Without a driver's license, your only options will be to fly to Canada or have someone else do the driving.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can turn away any non-Canadian citizen or permanent resident who wants to visit Canada for a large number of factors such as health problems, financial issues, past criminal convictions, or because they pose a general risk to security. Immigration officials determine the admissibility of travelers seeking to enter Canada on a case-by-case basis. Some of the factors used to determine admissibility are health, serious or minor criminality, security, human or international rights violations, misrepresentation, noncompliance, and even if any family members are inadmissible. The CBSA is not stupid! If you show up at the border with a U-Haul trailer packed full of all your belongings and tell them you just want to "visit" Canada, they are obviously going to be very suspicious of your true intentions. DUI entry into Canada can be a lengthy and complex process for individuals who would be refused at the Canadian border without Rehabilitation or a TRP waiver. Even though reports of famous celebrities such as Chris Brown being stopped at the Canadian border and sent back to the United States have made the news (including celebrity gossip website and TV show TMZ), public knowledge in the USA about Canada DUI entry laws is still fairly low. A significant percentage of Americans who are criminally inadmissible to Canada are completely unaware that there are DWI and DUI travel restrictions, and many people have no idea that the Canadian border can potentially see your US DUI punishment thanks to criminal database sharing between the two countries. Even people that live close to the Canadian border such as residents of Northern Washington State who regularly cross the border into BC are not always aware of Canada's DUI entry laws, rules, and restrictions.

An abounding variety of recent criminal convictions can render an individual inadmissible to Canada, including a conviction for drunk driving (DUI or DWI). In some cases, even crimes such as disturbing the peace or mischief are enough to cause someone to be refused entry. A person may be automatically considered rehabilitated ten years after full completion of sentencing for a minor crime, but can apply to be considered rehabilitated after only five years. People who have been convicted of a serious crime, defined as one that could result in a ten year prison sentence or longer, are never automatically deemed to be rehabilitated and must explicitly apply for Criminal Rehab (also called "Individual Rehabilitation"). In Canada, many crimes have a maximum prison sentence of 10+ years to give the judge some leeway, so always consult with a qualified Canada immigration attorney before assuming your crime is not considered to be serious in Canada. Remember, if you show up at the Canada-USA border with a conviction that is more than ten years old but is considered a serious offense in Canada, you may still be refused entry since you will not automatically be deemed rehabilitated! It is also important to remember that the time-period does not start until you have finished serving your sentence (including all jail time and probation) and paid all fines.

DUI Entering Canada

Going to Canada with a DUI for work or even leisure can potentially be easy if you plan ahead and get a permit issued in advance of your travel. Unfortunately, many American citizens and residents do not realize that a DWI can result in Canada denying them entry. Even if you ask the average DUI attorney in the United States "can you get into Canada with a DUI?" some of them will not know the answer. If you are criminally inadmissible because of a DUI but you only learn about the Canada DUI entry laws shortly before your trip, you will have no choice but to cancel your travel plans or apply for a TRP on the spot while crossing the border. The second option is potentially a risky manoeuvre. When it comes to crossing into Canada with a DWI, a foreigner's TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation application should contain details of what lead to the initial arrest. For example, being stopped at a random police roadblock is different than if a state transportation authority police officer or county sheriff identified the person's vehicle as traveling at excessive speed or crossing double lane lines and consequently performed a traffic stop and standard field sobriety test to determine if they were drinking and driving. If a person has any type of DUI or DWI on their record, they potentially risk getting stopped at the Canadian border and denied entry to the country. If you have two DUIs and get a third, of if one of your two DUIs was the result of a car accident or even just a small fender bender, you may get charged with a 3rd degree or felony DWI which can make DUI Canada travel even more difficult. For people wondering how to enter Canada from USA with a DUI, it is imperative to recognize that a second offense DWI often makes it much more difficult to be approved for a Temporary Resident Permit since it will be harder to convince immigration officials that you have reformed.

DUI Entry Canada - Temporary Resident Permit

You can only go into Canada if you have a DWI causing you to be criminally inadmissible if you are issued a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or are considered rehabilitated by the appropriate government office. Restrictions on entry to Canada prohibit foreign nationals from crossing the Canadian border with a criminal record that renders them inadmissible due to criminality. Canada denying entry for DUI is commonplace, so it may be smart for select people to avoid such an endeavor unless they have a plan to fix their admissibility troubles. One repeatedly asked question is "can I fly through Canada with a DWI?" When it comes to Canadian immigration and drunk driving admittance, equivalent Canada DWI laws is the only factor that can differentiate a person's eligibility to cross into Canada. When it comes to criminal inadmissibility, there is no difference between driving to Canada, flying to Canada, or flying through Canada; in fact, non-admissible individuals could run into problems during even a short layover at any Canadian airport while in transit between countries unless the Government sanctions it.

If you were refused entry to Canada at a border crossing but are unsure why, it may be possible for a Canadian immigration attorney to request on your behalf the notes that accompany your file via the Global Case Management System (GCMS). In countless situations, a person with a DWI conviction applying for a Temporary Residence Permit Canada at the border may be refused a permit and denied entry to the country because they do not have a valid enough reason for visiting the country or because of another immigration violation. To justify receiving an emergency TRP at the border, a person's circumstances for requesting criminal entry should be dire and the individual should otherwise be admissible to the country. In some cases, officials may have been willing to issue a Temporary Resident Permit had the person otherwise been eligible for entry. Reasons other than criminality can also cause an individual to be denied entry however. Examples include intending to work in Canada without the required consent, or other potential concerns of immigration staff such as lack of funds or lack of ties to the United States.

Anyone inadmissible to Canada for health, criminal, or security reasons may only be permitted to enter Canada with special permission. For visitors entering Canada with a Temporary Resident Permit, it is not possible to renew a TRP once the validity of a permit is finished. Since there is no such thing as a TRP renewal, individuals who require future admittance to Canada but are not yet eligible for Rehabilitation can reapply for another permit. Since reapplying for a TRP can be burdensome and success is never guaranteed, the permanent solution of Streamlined Rehabilitation is very attractive once eligible.

DUI Canada Immigration Success Rates

No Canadian immigration law firm or consulting firm should ever speculate on the exact percent chance someone has of being granted a TRP. Doing so would not be reputable, and is typically against Canadian bar society rules. Each and every case is different, and it is very possible for one American with four DUIs to be granted entry, and another on the same day at the same border with only three DUIs to not be approved for entrance. An incomplete CIC application form, lack of supporting documents, or the officer's personal opinion or gut instinct can all have a sizable impact on the final outcome. A person's reason for coming to Canada can also play a decisive role. If you are an artist, actor, professional athlete, musician, or entertainer, or are traveling to assist one, phone our team today to learn how you can apply to be granted entrance to Canada with a DUI via a "national interest" narrative. Tour managers, security personnel, stage hands, publicists, band members, light or sound technicians, coaches, and documentary filmmakers can all potentially apply under this narrative. Canadian entry with DUI is often required by people whose occupation sometimes demands they travel north of the border. From a California computer programmer needing to attend a mobile app development conference in Vancouver, to a New York investment banker trying to land a deal with a Bay Street hedge fund in Toronto, there are thousands of reasons for crossing the Canadian border with a DUI as a business professional. Our team also has experience helping airline staff fly to Canada with a DUI and commercial truck drivers cross the border with a criminal history. We have also helped many entrepreneurs travel to Canada with a DWI, as well as people that own real estate in the country.

How to Get a Temporary Resident Permit

There are several reasons why a TRP application may be refused. Your DUI could have occurred very recently, the immigration official might believe you will re-offend, or you might have overstayed on a previous visit to Canada. You may also be inadmissible to Canada for a reason other than the ones you listed on your TRP application. Your passport could also be expired or expiring soon, or you have may failed to disclose your criminal record at the border during a previous attempt to visit. The punishment for overstaying a Canadian visit can be severe, so whether or not you are traveling on an issued TRP make sure you do not stay in the country for longer than authorities will allow you. If you have already had a TRP issued in the past, it can become increasingly difficult to justify why you need another one. Even if you upheld all the conditions and obligations of your previous TRP, getting a second or third permit can be tough so aim to have your first document cover you for as long as possible if you plan to enter and exit Canada several times in the not too distant future. If you are eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation (application form IMM1444), immigration officials will not be as inclined to issue you a long-term TRP. The CIC procedure manual states "officers should not consider issuing permits if they believe that frequent travelers, or persons likely to return to Canada in the future, are eligible for Rehabilitation and have not applied for Rehabilitation."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (C.I.C.) staff who work at inland offices have policy and procedural guidelines that they must follow. These policies cover issuing Temporary Resident Permits to allow Americans who are inadmissible to enter or remain in Canada. The policies also cover the cancellation, expiry, or extension of permits, as well as granting permit holders with permanent resident status. Ports of Entry and Canadian visa offices abroad handle the issuing of a Temporary Resident Permit. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) enforcement division handles the removal of persons from Canada, such as wanted fugitives or individuals whose TRP or Canadian residency status has been canceled by authorities. Any persons who do not meet the requirements for entry into Canada can be refused a visa or permit abroad, denied at the border, or refused processing within Canada. Unless an officer has a compelling and credible reason to issue a facilitation travel document they likely will not and they have absolutely no obligations to legally do so. The CIC website offers a permit extension kit, and TRP extensions cost the same fee as the original permit ($155USD, but this fee amount may change in the future depending on the USD/CAD exchange rate). Getting into Canada with an old DUI is possible in 2021 if a person takes the proper measures to collect access privilege from the jurisdiction. Temporary Resident Permits can be applied for through the Canadian visa office in Los Angeles or New York City, or can be presented to the CBSA at the Canadian border in emergency circumstances.

If you are scanning documents to be included in a IRCC application, it is important to use a decent quality scanner to ensure document integrity. It might be tough to receive a favorable decision from an administrator if they cannot even read your biographic information because the image quality is terrible. There are rare examples of TRP fee exemptions which include cases of a lost or stolen permit. Anyone caught smuggling goods across the border not only risks becoming unwelcome in Canada; it is very feasible that the vehicle owner will additionally face criminal charges. TRPs are usually not needed after you expunge a DUI, but you should always consult with a qualified Canadian immigration lawyer to find out for certain because Canada still considers some expunged DUIs to be convictions. While a record clearing hearing expungement document can help prove to immigration officials that you are now admissible to Canada, admittance is invariably at the unexpurgated discretion of the border security officer. While it may be feasible for an individual to go to Canada with a sealed DUI expungement, a legal letter of opinion can help justify to Canadian border guards why he or she should be admitted to the country with an expunged DUI conviction.

If you are a foreign student with a "Driving Under Influence" conviction, you may need Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit that gives you permission to be in Canada long enough for you to finish your course. Since TRPs are issued for a pre-determined length of time, you need to think about how long you plan on studying in Canada when applying for one. It may be possible to require both a TRP and a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) if you are criminally inadmissible to Canada and a citizen of a country that does not enjoy visa-exempt status. The only visitors permitted to work or study in Canada are those who have been issued a Work Permit or Study Permit, all other foreign nationals are unable to seek employment legally or go to school while in the country. Americans who were issued a TRP that will not be valid for much longer may be reading this wondering if they can get into Canada with a DWI if their TRP is expiring. The answer is yes, as long as they will be leaving Canada again before the permit expires. If you are in Canada and cannot leave until after your Temporary Resident Permit expires, you must apply for a TRP extension. Depending on the application form you use, you may need to select the "extension of temporary resident permit" option. If you do not leave Canada in time, you will be considered unlawfully in the country which is a violation that can affect your future ability to cross the border.

If you booked a vacation to Canada, such as a fishing trip, hunting trip, or skiing trip, without realizing that you were barred from going into Canada due to your record for driving under the influence, then you may be interested in fast legal help. This can be particularly true if the vacation is non-refundable or you paid a substantial deposit. In situations like this, economic considerations can come into play potentially helping to improve the chances of a candidate being permitted entrance. Rather than fear or threaten border officials, there may be a legal way to potentially travel into Canada with a DWI when you have already pre-paid for a Canadian vacation without realizing you were criminally inadmissible. The most effective way is to politely present a well-prepared and fully compliant TRP application submission to the visa officer that mentions these circumstances and then just relax and answer their questions honestly. Anger management and charitable donations are sometimes part of a DUI plea deal, but not all creditable charities are happy to accept money if the donation is the result of a court order. One famous United States based charity, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), is known to often refuse donations made by any donor officially associated with alcohol (such as a bar, pub, or nightclub owner).

For a resident of the United States to have their driving privileges reinstated after they have been suspended due to drunk driving, an SR-22 form may be required. SR stands for "safety responsibility," and the document simply verifies that the person has car insurance and is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) directly by the auto insurance company. Although the SR-22 certificate does not cost much, insurance companies typically only charge a small filing fee of $50 or less, requiring one can often lead to higher insurance rates. This is because the SR-22 requirement is often seen as a "red flag" by insurers, and consequently such a prerequisite when shopping for car insurance coverage can raise your risk profile and increase the price of auto insurance quotes you receive.

If you are a criminal, especially if you are classified as a felon, infiltrating another sovereign nation might be impossible depending on which country you desire passage into. Drunk driving penalties vary from one state to another, as do the probation requirements for individuals who have been offered deferred prosecution since it was their first alcohol-related driving offense. In many international travel situations, however, the exact statute you have been convicted under in the United States of America as well as the terms of your sentence do not matter much; it is the local equivalent law that affects border adequacy. If you are unsure of your suitability for visiting a country with a criminal record, an attorney with competence in that country's immigration laws can likely help you prepare for a fruitful entrance.

People who drink and drive and then are arrested may be ineligible to travel through the border regardless of whether it was a first-time DUI or a repeat offense. Even if you avoid a conviction because a field sobriety exercise or breath test was not administered correctly, the original arrest may still be visible to border staff, and you may be required to prove that you are eligible to enter. It does not matter if you were drunk on beer, vodka, scotch, rum, whiskey, rye, wine, or simply stoned on legal marijuana edibles, driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance is illegal in every state and can create problems when flying to Toronto or other Canadian airports. If you have one misdemeanor on your record that Canada considers an excludable offense, ten years must pass from the time you completed your sentence to potentially not require a TRP to cross the border, and even then you may incur difficulties. A United States resident with a felony record or a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th DUI may never be automatically deemed rehabilitated by virtue of time, and could still require entrance permission decades later.

Can You Get a Canadian Work Permit If You Have a DWI?

Criminal records can prevent a foreign national from becoming authorized to work in Canada unless he or she can overcome their criminal inadmissibility by way of a TRP or Rehabilitation. Even a crime that occurred 30 years ago can impede an American's ability to obtain a Work Permit unless they have first obtained criminal entrance permission from IRCC. In addition to Study Permits and Work Permits, a DUI can hinder a person's Express Entry application even if they are highly skilled and have received a job offer in the country already. The only way a foreigner who is ineligible to enter Canada due to criminality can legally work in the country is to obtain both a permit to work as well as a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation.

What Are the Chances of Entering Canada with DUI?

When evaluating whether or not to bother applying for a TRP, many people ask themselves "what are the chances of entering Canada with a DUI?" Every person's situation is unique, and no reputable professional will ever be able to provide an exact probability of success. Another important question is, what are the consequences of being denied entry to Canada? If a person is just taking a short vacation across the border, perhaps they are willing to accept the risk of being refused entrance. If a person wants to go to Canada with a DUI to attend a business function, however, their risk tolerance likely goes way down. If you wish to secure admittance before attempting to cross the border, the lowest stress route is obtaining advanced entry permission from the Government via a TRP or Rehab.

Canada and DUI Entry

Many people search the Internet for DUI and Canada entry in an effort to figure out their chances of getting into Canada with a criminal record. We not only offer free consultations to people looking to fly into Canada with a misdemeanor or felony intoxicated driving conviction, we can help foreign nationals with just about any Canadian criminal inadmissibility issue. Whether a person has a conditional discharge drug possession or is a Temporary Foreign Worker wondering how a DUI in Canada will affect their immigration status, call us today for a free consultation. An experienced Canadian admissibility lawyer can help Americans with excludable offense admission to Canada by assisting them with the procurement a Temporary Resident Permit.

We update this website weekly, so if you are yearning to learn about Canada DUI entry 2021 changes as soon as they happen, we suggest you bookmark our website and refresh it regularly. The US dollar is now extremely strong compared to the Canadian dollar (at the current exchange rate, 1USD is worth about 1.35CAD) making trips to the country notably cheaper than they have been for almost a decade. An increase in American visitors, however, does not make it any more likely that border officials will stop denying entrance to inadmissible people with DUIs. Boating while intoxicated is akin to drunken driving when it comes to Canada's immigration policies for foreign nationals with a criminal record.

If you have ever been charged with intoxicated driving, you could be barred from Canada on the grounds of criminality. In addition to drunk driving, other crimes such as writing a bad check, public intoxication, possession of stolen property, petty theft, assault, trespassing at night, disorderly conduct, possession of a controlled substance and filing a false police report can also impact a person's ability to cross the Canadian border. Temporary entry can be granted to foreigners who have been charged with such criminal offenses thanks to a special "waiver" or permit called a Canada TRP. Requesting a blanket waiver valid for multiple entries spanning a 24-month window is possible at a Canadian consulate in the United States. In urgent cases, a request for instant relief can be made directly at a land border or a Canadian airport. Even if you "beat" your case and the criminal charge was subsequently dismissed, it is critical to have robust paperwork to substantiate your Canadian admissibility.

The inability to fly to Canada to attend a trade show due to a DUI allegation can jeopardize a person's employment. Consequently, it may be wise to attain legal help from a licensed practitioner when applying for a Canada DUI entry waiver. Our core practice area is admissibility, so we are very familiar with the immigration regulations that can bar you from traveling to Canada. Never underestimate the complexity of determining how a crime committed in the United States translates to the Criminal Code of Canada. For example, there is not always an equivalent offense under Canadian federal law. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty, a core judicial principle in both the United States and Canada, also does not apply as the Canadian border. As a result, law-abiding citizens with pending charges for an offense that could be considered indictable north of the border could be barred from entry into Canada even in the absence of a conviction.

Does Retaining a Canada Immigration Lawyer Guarantee Success?

As the old saying goes, the only true guarantees in life are death and taxes. While Canada immigration lawyers can help inadmissible individuals gain entry to Canada by preparing an effective IRCC application under the circumstances, no legal professional has complete control of whether or not an individual is successful in entering Canada. Several factors can come into play such as the interview process with Customs or Consulate officials as well as complicating circumstances. Examples of circumstances that can complicate things include having been already denied at the border, multiple DUIs or other criminal history, or a car accident causing personal injury or property damage; all of which are ultimately up to the discretion of immigration officials. In other words, a licensed Canada immigration attorney can prepare a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation application that maximizes their client's chance of success, but whether or not the person is granted DUI entry as a result of that application is a decision that is solely up to government authorities.

This being said, a professionally prepared application by a qualified Canada immigration lawyer will ensure the highest probability of victory possible for an American with a DWI who wants to visit Canada. While admission is never assured when traveling internationally, qualified Canadian immigration lawyers can prepare an application that will maximize the chances of a successful result. No Canadian immigration law firm can guarantee success, however, and any lawyer or consultant that promises you 100% guaranteed successful entry into Canada should not be trusted.

When selecting a legal professional to assist you, keep in mind that Canadian immigration is a tremendously broad field of law and that many Canadian immigration lawyers may have never worked on a criminal inadmissibility or Canada DUI entry application before. This is one of the many reasons why you may consider choosing a legal professional who practices Canadian immigration law and has experience in assisting Americans enter Canada with a DUI or other criminal record. To maximum your chance of being approved for special permission to cross the border, it is paramount to always disclose pertinent information to your Canadian DUI entry attorney.

DUI and Entering Canada

If you have a DUI can you get into Canada? It is one of the most popular questions our law firm is asked, and it is a common reason for American tourists to research travel restrictions to Canada. Admissibility is a complex matter, however, and factors such as how long ago the drunk driving offense occurred play a role in determining if a person is eligible to cross the border. A "Canada DUI Waiver" or TRP can enable a guest to visit the country with a criminal history that would otherwise constitute them as ineligible. Without one, foreigner visitors risk a border refusal if they are inadmissible due to criminality. Anyone immigrating to the country can also be rejected due to intoxicated driving because criminal ineligibility blocks suitability across all of Canada's immigration programs.

Foreigners who are not allowed to go to Canada because of a DUI can even run into issues if they have a connecting flight through Canada. DUI Canada travel restrictions apply to all foreign nationals including American citizens and US Green Card holders. Canadian citizens, on the other hand, can always enter Canada with a DUI without worrying about being blocked by border security. A DUI can affect a Canadian permanent resident's ability to travel internationally, however, and can even affect their ability to become a citizen and obtain a Canadian passport. Likewise, foreign nationals with a criminal record for driving while impaired can be refused a Canadian Student Visa or Work Permit, and can have their Spousal Sponsorship or Express Entry Canada PR application rejected.

Border requirements for aliens visiting Canada endeavor to control the introduction of people with a history of illicit behavior into the country's society. DUI entry Canada rules are essentially the same for all alcohol-related motor vehicle convictions including DWI, OVI, OWI, DWAI, DUID (DUI drugs) as well as wet reckless driving. Even a driving without due care and attention, dangerous driving, or improper driving on your record could be an obstacle at the Canadian border especially if alcohol or drugs were involved. DUI Canada entry may only be possible with an authoritative endorsement from the IRCC unless it has been longer than ten years since an individual got done probation for their one and only non-violent misdemeanor conviction. A DUI entering Canada without permission does not just jeopardize the offender's admission, all related parties traveling with that person may also be denied entrance.

Not all alcohol-related driving violations or DWIs are equal. A basic driving while intoxicated charge that was pleaded down to reckless driving is generally much less serious than DUIs that involve motor vehicle collisions, especially ones attached to additional charges such as dangerous driving causing death. Previous immigration violations, such as multiple border denials, can also make it more problematic to collect Canadian entrance permission successfully by virtue of a Canada TRP. Violent criminal offenses such as assault, or drug related crimes that culminated in prison time, can also make getting into Canada a more tenacious process.

Does OB 389 Make It Easier to Visit Canada with a DUI?

Canada enacted temporary policy Operational Bulletin 389 beginning March 1, 2012, as part of their "Tourism Facilitation Action Plan" (TFAP). OB 389 is a policy exemption that may allow some Americans into the country via a free one-time Temporary Resident Permit. While receiving a TRP via the new legislation would save a US traveler the normal CAD $200 government fee, the criteria for getting approved for the permit is still as strict as always. To be eligible for a TRP, "your need to enter or stay in Canada must outweigh the health or safety risks to Canadian society, as determined by an immigration or a border services officer." OB 389 does not make it any easier to justify to border agents why Canada should let you visit, but it can potentially make your trip cheaper if you are willing to gamble and apply for a permit at the border. For the most part, OB 389 is rarely applied if the person was aware of their criminal inadmissibility before reaching the border.

There are inherent risks to applying for a TRP at the border instead of applying for one beforehand. First and foremost is the fact that if your Temporary Resident Permit application is not approved, you may be denied entry to Canada. This can be remarkably shameful, and can also result in mortifying ramifications for people traveling for their vocation. Missing an important meeting or business conference in Canada, or not being able to fulfill employment duties in Canada can potentially result in being fired from your job. If you are traveling with family, being refused entry at the border can also potentially render all family members traveling with you to be considered inadmissible to Canada and denied from entering (this can apply to a person's spouse or common-law partner, and any dependents). To mitigate these risks, many American travelers hire a Canadian immigration lawyer to prepare their TRP application professionally. When possible, it is also advisable to apply for a TRP before your intended date of travel so that you know in advance whether or not you will likely be permitted entry. If you live in Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo, or another US city that is extremely close to Canada, or you cross the border frequently, definitely consider applying for Criminal Rehabilitation in addition to a TRP if you are eligible. Since CR is permanent, you will not have to keep paying money every time you want to visit Canada, and you never have to worry about being approved for a new permit either since it never expires.

Does It Matter Where in Canada You Intend to Travel?

Successfully entering Canada with DUI charges does not necessarily depend on where in Canada you plan to visit, nor does it depend on your First Port of Arrival (FPOA). Since the admissibility of someone from the United States of America attempting to enter Canada is determined by Canada's federal criminal and immigration laws, it does not matter which province an individual intends to visit. If you plan to use an experienced attorney to assist you in entering the country with a DWI, you may be happy to know that we have provided our services and legal advice to hundreds of Americans interested in Canada immigration with a DUI. Our Canadian immigration lawyer is licensed to practice in Canada and can help people enter every province & territory in Canada including British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), Saskatchewan (SK), Manitoba (MB), Ontario (ON), Quebec (QC), New Brunswick (NB), Nova Scotia (NS), PEI (PE), Newfoundland (NL), Yukon (YT), Northwest Territories (NT), and Nunavut (NU). This means the team and our Canada immigration lawyer can help you with DUI travel to Canada regardless of your destination. It also does not matter which specific Port of Entry you arrive at, whether it be by car or bus at a land border, by plane at one of the many Canadian airports, or by cruise ship in Vancouver or Halifax.

If you are sitting there reading this wondering "can I enter Canada with a DUI?" we encourage you to call us today to get real answers to your questions thanks to our free 1 on 1 consultations. Our goal is to help make traveling to Canada with DUI as easy as possible!

List of United States Alcohol Related Driving Infractions That Can Render a Person Inadmissible to Canada:


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