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).

NEXUS Card and DUI

Canada and the United States have a program called NEXUS to expedite the border clearance process for pre-approved individuals who are considered low-risk. Members of the NEXUS program have reserved lanes at land border crossings allowing them to avoid long waits especially at peak hours, and also have self-serve kiosks and a separate line at airport security allowing them to pass through the airport screening process significantly faster. In addition to being much faster, people going through the PreCheck lane at airports (members of Global Entry, NEXUS, and Sentri programs) can also leave on their belt, shoes, light jacket, and do not have to remove any laptops from their carry-on bag. These are just some of the reasons why NEXUS is extremely popular amongst frequent travelers in both countries, especially business travelers.

NEXUS Eligibility for US Citizens - Can You Get a NEXUS Card with a DUI?

If you are criminally inadmissible to Canada, you may not qualify for NEXUS. This means that any American with a DUI on their record may not be eligible for the NEXUS travel program since an impaired driving offense can render a person inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of criminality regardless of which state it occurred in. A DUI is a serious criminal offense in Canada that can be punished by as much as a decade in prison. Consequently, alcohol-related driving offenses no longer qualify for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation after ten years because of their seriousness and can cause an American to be turned away at the Canadian border or rejected for NEXUS even if it happened a long time ago.

Americans with a single impaired driving offense that occurred before Canada changed their DUI laws could still qualify for "deemed rehabilitated" status after ten years due to grandfathering but should always speak with an immigration attorney about their specific situation. Impaired driving traffic violations and civil infractions, such as DWAI in New York and DWI in New Jersey, can still render a person inadmissible to Canada and ineligible for NEXUS despite the offense not being a criminal conviction.

Even a DUI that was reduced to wet reckless driving or dangerous driving can be problematic, since the equivalent crime in Canada is still classified as serious. There is also no presumption of innocence for the purposes of Canadian immigration, which means a drunk driving arrest can also render a person inadmissible to cross the border and not eligible for NEXUS even though he or she has not yet been convicted of any crime in the court of law. If a person is arrested for drunk driving while a NEXUS member, they risk having their card revoked and may be denied a NEXUS card renewal. According to the official NEXUS website, NEXUS members need to visit an Enrolment Centre in person to report any changes that could affect membership status "such as an arrest, a criminal charge, a conviction or a customs or immigration violation in Canada or the United States."

Denied a NEXUS Card and Now Denied Entry to Canada

If you apply for a NEXUS Card and are denied because you have a criminal history that renders you inadmissible to Canada, you could be refused entry to Canada on your next visit too. We have received several calls from people who had been crossing the border problem free for years and then all of a sudden after being denied a NEXUS card due to a past criminal incident are denied entry to Canada on their next trip. For individuals who do have a criminal history that makes them inadmissible to Canada, the NEXUS application process can essentially bring it to the attention of border officials. As soon as a person is arrested and fingerprinted for DUI or DWI they can be considered inadmissible to Canada, but applying for NEXUS may ensure that the Canadian border will be well aware of this fact when the individual tries to enter the country next.

If your NEXUS application was refused due to criminality, and you still want to cross the Canadian border, you will likely need to overcome your criminal inadmissibility with a Canada Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. If you would like to learn more about entering Canada after being denied a NEXUS card because of a DUI, phone our team today for a free consultation! We can lay your Canada DUI entry options on the table, and can even help you get your ducks in a row so you can reapply for a NEXUS card in the future with a clean slate.

How Can We Help?

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!