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November 16, 2020

Can You Go to Canada if You Have a DUI?

Many Americans are surprised to learn that entering Canada with a DUI can be extremely difficult. This is because a DUI is a felony north of the border, and can consequently result in a visitor being considered “criminally inadmissible” and denied entry at the Canadian border. In December 2018, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Government of Canada implemented new DUI laws that made driving under the influence a serious crime that can be punished by a jail sentence of up to 10 years. Consequently, a US citizen who gets a DUI or DWI in the United States can now be banned from Canada for life. Even a DUI that gets reduced to a reckless driving or dangerous driving conviction can be a major issue at the Canadian border.

If an American wants to get into Canada with a DUI, they can request special permission to enter by applying for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation. A multiple-entry TRP can be requested for up to 3 years, but an applicant must show an important reason for needing to visit. Canadian Rehabilitation is a permanent fix, but is a much slower and more extensive process that is only available five years after a person completed their entire sentence including probation. If an American needs to enter Canada quickly, but also wants to fix their border problems forever, it is common to apply for a TRP waiver and Criminal Rehabilitation pardon at the same time.

Can I Get Into Canada with a DUI?

Every situation is different, and some people will have a much easier time getting into Canada with a DUI than others. For example, an American with a single DUI from many years ago is typically going to have a better chance of being allowed to enter Canada than a person with several DUI convictions that are recent. A visitor’s reason for travel can also play a crucial role in whether or not they will be granted entry by Canadian authorities. In general, an individual hoping to travel for business or work purposes is going to have a stronger case than a tourist. Contacting a Canadian immigration lawyer that specializes in DUI Canada entry is a great way to find out if your past drunk driving arrest could cause you trouble at the border. If you are wondering can I go to Canada if I have a DUI and are interested in learning more about your options, this link goes to Clear Access Law firm which offers free consultations to Americans interested in entering Canada with a DWI.

Can You Move to Canada if You Have a DUI?

Not only does a driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence conviction potentially prevent a US citizen from being allowed to visit Canada, it can also block them from moving to Canada. After the contested US Election in 2020, many Americans expressed an interest in moving to Canada. Those with a criminal conviction for driving while impaired were often considered ineligible for immigration to Canada, however, and would need to get approved for Criminal Rehabilitation in many cases before they would ever be allowed to move to Canada or obtain Permanent Residency there.

In addition to DUI convictions, other impaired driving offenses in the USA such as OVI in Ohio, OWI in Wisconsin, DWAI in New York, DWI in Texas, and wet reckless in California can result in a border refusal when driving or flying into Canada. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can see the criminal record of all American visitors thanks to information sharing between the RCMP and FBI, and even old DUIs from the 1980s and 1990s can be problematic. If a US citizen has a misdemeanor or felony conviction in their past and is concerned about traveling to Canada, they should consider contacting a Canadian immigration lawyer to discuss their admissibility and available solutions.

 

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