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 Canada See US Criminal Records from a Long Time Ago?

If you have a really old DUI conviction and are interested in traveling to Canada, you may be wondering how far back the Canadian border looks for criminal offenses. There is no limit to how long ago Canadian border officials can see USA criminal offenses, and we have worked with clients who were denied entry to Canada because of convictions from as far back as the 1960s and 1970s. If the misdemeanor or felony conviction appears on your FBI police report, you can almost guarantee it will be fully visible to Canada Border Services Agency officers when you attempt to enter Canada. In general, if the offense occurred in the United States in the last 50 years the Government of Canada will know about it due to information sharing between the two countries.

Can You Go to Canada with an Old DUI?

If you only have one DUI or DWI on your criminal record from a very long time ago, you may be "deemed rehabilitated by the passage of time" ten years after sufficient completion of all sentencing requirements including probation. Drunk driving is now a serious crime in Canada punishable by up to a decade in jail, so Deemed Rehabilitation is no longer available for DUI convictions or other offenses related to intoxicated driving such as DWAI, OVI, or OWI (including non-criminal violations). Offenses that occurred before Canada updated their DUI laws may be grandfathered in under the old laws, however, although it would be advisable to contact a Canadian immigration lawyer to discuss your eligibility for grandfathered Deemed Rehabilitation before attempting to cross the border.

If you have more than one impaired driving conviction, you may never be automatically deemed rehabilitated and could be denied entry at the Canadian border even 40 years later. If you have a felony conviction, this is also true; deemed rehabilitation usually only applies to foreign nationals with a single non-violent misdemeanor on their record that does not constitute serious criminality in Canada. Americans that are criminally inadmissible to Canada can obtain permission to cross the border via a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation.

A Temporary Resident Permit or TRP can be obtained quickly, but requires a legitimate reason for travel and is valid for a maximum duration of three years. Rehabilitation is a permanent fix, but is only available to Americans who finished their entire sentence including probation at least five years ago. Similar to impaired driving, crimes such as restricted drug possession, assault, theft, and fraud can also cause a visitor to get flagged at the Canadian border. In addition to causing people to be refused admittance at the border, a criminal history can also impede eligibility across various Canadian immigration programs, even if it happened decades ago.

Have a criminal history from a long time ago and want to visit Canada? Phone us today for a free consultation. If you have questions about how far back Canada looks for a criminal record, or crossing the border with a DUI conviction, our law office would be happy to give you answers.

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If you have a DUI arrest or conviction on your record and need to enter Canada, call us now or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!