Entering Canada with a DUI FAQ

Did you know?

What is criminal inadmissibility?

If I was charged with a DUI but was found not guilty and never convicted can I enter Canada?

I need to enter Canada with a DUI for emergency purposes, please help?

What happens if I don’t disclose my DUI, when attempting entry to Canada?

Can I apply for a Temporary Residence Permit?

Will my inadmissibility go away with the passage of time?

If I was convicted of a DUI in Canada, am I criminally inadmissible?

Do I need to apply for criminal rehabilitation every time I enter Canada?

If my spouse, common law partner or family member is criminally inadmissible to Canada, will I be also?

If I plead down from a DUI to a lesser charge (e.g reckless driving) am I still inadmissible?

Did you know?

In order for an offense to constitute a DUI under Canadian law, an individual must have a blood alcohol level higher than .08. Many places outside of Canada consider anything above .00 a DUI. If we are able to demonstrate a blood alcohol level of .08 or less, there may be grounds to contend that the offense should not be considered a DUI and Canada entry will be permissible.

Drunk driving charges are processed under a variety of names worldwide, but they all equally have the potential to create issues of criminal inadmissibility for foreigners entering Canada. Drunk driving charges that can make an individual criminally inadmissible include, but are not limited to, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving While Impaired (DWI), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OMVI), and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

Americans should note that Canadian immigration law does not use the misdemeanour and felony offence system. Instead, there are summary offences (quite minor), indictment offences (more serious), and hybrid offence, which means that the violation can go either way depending on context. Therefore, determining if your offence outside of Canada makes you criminally inadmissible, you need to convert the same charge into the Canadian system and see whether it was a summary, hybrid or indictment offence.

Criminal inadmissibility can be overcome permanently by Criminal Rehabilitation or temporarily by obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit.

What is criminal inadmissibility?

Criminal inadmissibility is a designation that describes an individual who is not permitted visitation or even entry to Canada, due to the commission or conviction of an offense outside of Canada of a certain severity. Refusing entry to Canada because of DUI’s is one of the most common instances of criminal inadmissibility. For a free consultation about DUI Canada entry, click here

If I was charged with a DUI but was found not guilty and never convicted can I enter Canada?

Yes. If an arrest results in a non-conviction, you are innocent and should not be denied entry to Canada on that basis. In cases where an individual is arrested but found not-guilty of a DUI, Canada entry should not be a problem, however mistakes still happen and people are wrongly refused. FWCanada generally recommends a legal opinion letter to explain precisely why an individual in this situation is not criminally inadmissible, despite the entry on their arrest record.

I need to enter Canada with a DUI for emergency purposes, please help?

Special considerations may be given to individuals who have a valid emergency justification, for entry to Canada with a DUI. The lawyers at FWCanada, have years of experience in dealing with criminality issues as they relate to Canadian immigration. Contact FWCanada for a free consultation

What happens if I don’t disclose my DUI, when attempting entry to Canada?

It is routine for Canadian immigration officers to ask, upon entry to Canada, if you have ever been convicted of a crime? Always answer this question honestly. Failure to do so can complicate future plans to be in Canada, as you may be charged with misrepresentation. If you have lied in the past, please contact us, as your entry to Canada with a DUI could now be a more complicated process.

Can I apply for a Temporary Residence Permit?

If you have a DUI, Canada entry can be facilitated with a Temporary Resident Permit. When assessing an individual’s DUI for Canada entry purposes, the immigration officer will closely examine the reason one has for entering Canada. If someone is eligible for the criminal rehabilitation process, Canadian immigration may insist on the submission of such an application before they will issue a TRP. In certain circumstances, TRP’s can be applied for at a port of entry (POE).

Will my inadmissibility go away with the passage of time?

If you only have one DUI on your record, and no other convictions, you will be deemed rehabilitated after a period of ten years have passed from the completion of all sentences, fines and probationary periods. FWCanada always recommends the use of a legal opinion letter whenever a conviction has been entered on record. For more information on DUI Canada entry, click here

If I was convicted of a DUI in Canada, am I criminally inadmissible?

Yes. Even with a previous Canadian DUI, Canada entry is prohibited. A drunk driving offense committed in Canada requires a pardon from the Canadian government, even if ten years have passed.

Do I need to apply for criminal rehabilitation every time I enter Canada?

No. You only need to undergo the criminal rehabilitation process once. Once the Canadian government has approved your application, you have a clean slate for the purposes of entry to Canada. For any questions on DUI Canada entry or criminal rehabilitation click here.

If my spouse, common law partner or family member is criminally inadmissible to Canada, will I be also?

No. As long as the individual is not traveling with you at the time, you may proceed to enter Canada with no special considerations. For a free consultation about your DUI and Canada entry, contact FWCanada.

If I plead down from a DUI to a lesser charge (e.g reckless driving) am I still inadmissible?

The answer to this question depends on the State statute under which you were convicted. Please contact FWCanada for more information about this and other DUI Canada entry questions.

For more information click here for a free assessment.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on FacebookTwitter, and Linkedin.