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 I Travel to Canada with a DUI?

As soon as a potential trip to Canada comes up, the first thing an American with a DUI arrest or conviction typically thinks is can I even travel to Canada if I have a DUI? Intoxicated driving is a serious crime in Canada that can result in a jail sentence of up to ten years, so even a single DUI can make a US citizen inadmissible to the country forever. Basically, Canada views a DUI or DWI similar to a felony and denies entry to thousands of Americans every year due to such offenses. Fortunately, it can be possible to travel to Canada with a DUI by filing paperwork with their Government to request special permission to cross the border.

So I Can Travel to Canada with a DUI?

Yes, an individual can travel to Canada with a DUI by getting approved for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation (CR). This typically involves convincing the Government of Canada that you are safe to let in and will never drink and drive again.

How to Travel to Canada with DUI

Millions of Americans travel to Canada each year, but those with a criminal history for driving while intoxicated must take extra steps to avoid the risk of being turned away by authorities at the border.

Temporary Resident Permit - Obtaining a TRP is often the fastest method of traveling to Canada with a drunk driving conviction. A TRP is only a short-term fix available for a limited duration, however, and an applicant must provide evidence of an important reason for traveling. It is possible to request a Canadian TRP for up to three years, and such a waiver can be good for several trips, but eventually the document will expire and the person may no longer be allowed to travel to Canada.

Criminal Rehabilitation - Once approved for CR, an American citizen or Green Card holder can travel to Canada with a DUI as frequently as they wish. Since it is a permanent solution for criminal inadmissibility, Canadian Rehabilitation is the ideal route to clearing up a past misdemeanor but in order to be eligible to apply all sentencing including any probation must have ended a minimum of five years ago. An administrative driver's license suspension from the DMV may not be viewed as part of a person's sentence if it was not court-ordered, but even non-reporting probation is considered a sentencing requirement and consequently can delay Rehabilitation eligibility. Criminal Rehabilitation also takes a long time to attain, and as a result some people apply for a TRP congruently with the goal of being able to travel to Canada with a DUI quickly while also fixing the problem permanently.

Grandfathered Deemed Rehabilitation - If a person has a solo DUI, DWI, DWAI, OWI, OVI, Physical Control under the influence, or wet reckless driving conviction, and the incident transpired before Canada updated their DUI laws, they may be "grandfathered in" under the old laws and assumed safe if they can prove their sentence was done more than ten years ago. Before traveling to Canada with an old DUI, however, it is always advisable to contact an experienced Canadian immigration attorney to discuss your eligibility. A DUI in conjunction with other charges could be excluded, and if the offender has prior criminal offenses they will likely not be eligible.

Wondering if you can travel to Canada with a DUI? Concerned you may be denied entry? Phone our legal team today for a free consultation!

Can I Travel to Canada with a DUI Without Doing Paperwork?

Unfortunately, traveling to Canada with a DUI can be a huge headache as applying for a TRP or Rehabilitation are both complex legal procedures. For example: it is not possible to apply online, such applications must be submitted by an authorized representative (such as a Canadian immigration lawyer) or mailed away to an appropriate Visa Office. This leads to the question, is it possible to travel to Canada if you have a DUI without first obtaining special permission? Entry into Canada is at the full discretion of front-line border agents, and occasionally a person traveling to Canada with a DUI is granted access despite being inadmissible on grounds of criminality. This being said, trying to travel to Canada while ineligible due to a DUI or DWI is a massive gamble that may not end well.

Most people have no interest in rolling the dice at the Canadian border, and consequently many Americans with a DUI either avoid the nation or request an entry waiver or pardon. The FBI shares their National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database with Canada, and consequently officers at the Canadian border can immediately red-flag a traveler if they have ever been charged or convicted of driving under the influence. Even if a person has traveled to Canada in the past without being stopped by border control, if they are inadmissible because of a misdemeanor DUI conviction there is a substantial chance they will be refused entry.

How Can You Travel to Canada If You Have a DUI?

If an individual has a DUI or DWI in the United States that makes them inadmissible, and plans on traveling to Canada in the future, they can apply for TRP access or Rehabilitation well in advance of any travel. Once approved for either, they can then relax knowing there is no risk of their previous conviction causing them to be refused admittance upon driving to Canada or flying into a Canadian airport. Due to the complexity of obtaining permission to travel to Canada with DUI charges or convictions in the past, people frequently cancel trips unless they have a great reason for wanting to travel such as business or family. In rare cases, such as a DUI-related charge getting amended to negligent driving or after a conviction is expunged, a USA citizen may already be allowed to travel to Canada with a DUI history but a qualified attorney should always be consulted.

Want to know if you can travel to Canada with a DUI? Our law office would be happy to provide a no-cost consultation!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
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