Canada with DUI

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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 Visit Canada with a DUI?

Thinking about visiting Canada but have a past arrest related to drinking and driving? You are likely wondering if you are allowed to visit Canada with a DUI. Above the border, driving under the influence is a serious crime that can cause an offender to be locked up for as long as ten years. For this reason, a DUI conviction can cause a US citizen or permanent resident to become banned from Canada for life. Even a DUI arrest with no conviction can be problematic when trying to visit the country. If an American wants to visit Canada with a DUI, rather than avoid the country, it may be possible for him or her to obtain permission to cross the border by petitioning the Government of Canada.

So I Can Visit Canada with DUI?

Yes, you can visit Canada if you have a DUI by getting approved for special entry permission. If a foreign national attempts to visit Canada with DUI arrests or charges in their past, they may be denied entry unless they have obtained such permission. Canadian border patrol essential treat a misdemeanor DUI like a felony, and consequently thousands of United States citizens are turned away every year.

How to Visit Canada If You Have a DUI

There are two potential options for visiting Canada with a DUI from USA.

Temporary Option - It is possible to visit Canada with DUI charges or convictions in your past by acquiring a Temporary Resident Permit or TRP. This involves mailing away paperwork to Immigration Canada to convince them your need to visit Canada outweighs any potential risk you pose to Canadian society. It can take a few months to obtain a TRP via a Canadian consulate, so it is best to apply well in advance of any planned visits. In an emergency, it is also possible to bring an expedited Temporary Resident Permit application with you for evaluation at the border but this should only ever be a last resort. It is possible to request a multiple-entry TRP for up to 36 months.

Permanent Option - People interested in visiting Canada with a DUI or DWI as often as they wish going forward can apply for a permanent fix via Criminal Rehabilitation (CR). Since Rehabilitation never expires, it can be highly desirable to any US citizen or Green Card holder who wants to be able to visit Canada several times over the years. In order to be eligible to submit a CR application, however, a person's entire sentence including any loss of license or probation must have ended at least five years ago. Rehabilitation also takes substantially longer to obtain than a TRP, so some people apply for both especially if they have a visit to Canada already scheduled.

Wondering if you can visit Canada with a DUI? Questions about your specific situation? Phone our law office today for a free consultation!

Can I Visit Canada with a DUI Without Special Permission?

A DUI, DWI, DWAI, OVI, or OWI in the United States can equate to a potentially serious crime in Canada and thus render a foreigner inadmissible to the country. Americans with a civil DWI (traffic offense not a criminal conviction) or a misdemeanor reckless driving conviction can also be considered inadmissible. Even if a DUI charge gets reduced to careless driving or dangerous driving, with no mention of alcohol or impairment in the statute, it can still equate to serious criminality above the border.

It is not a guarantee that a US citizen who is inadmissible to Canada because of a criminal history will be refused entry, however, it just means they are at substantial risk of getting denied. Ultimately, who is allowed to visit and who is not is decided by front-line border agents. This being said, criminal inadmissibility is grounds for a border denial, and border security has access to a visitor's criminal history through the FBI, so visiting Canada with DUI charges appearing on a background check is a recipe for trouble unless the visitor has secured the proper permission to cross the border.

Can You Visit Canada If You Have a DUI That is Old?

If a citizen of the United States of America has a solo DUI from a long time ago, it may be possible for them to be "deemed rehabilitated by virtue of time" and assumed safe by Canadian border patrol. This only applies to people with a single offense that took place before Canada strengthened their drunk driving laws, however, and visitors will often be required to prove all sentencing was completed more than ten years ago. Before trying to Canada visit with an old DUI, it is advisable to talk with a qualified legal professional to discuss your eligibility as not all offenses will qualify. If a person has more than one DUI, other criminal history, or their impaired driving incident involved a car accident, visiting Canada may only be possible with a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation.

Pondering whether or not you can visit Canada with a DUI? Questions about visiting the country? Contact our Canadian immigration lawyer and his team now!


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