Important Border Information for Montreal-bound American Bachelor Party Goers


Whether it’s due to the proximity to the US border, the perceived image of an exotic alternative to Las Vegas or the enduring legacy of a sin city earned during the US prohibition era, Montreal has become a favourite destination for Americans looking to throw unforgettable bachelor parties. Unsurprisingly, the market has responded to this increasing demand for unparalleled party weekends with dozens of hybrid party-travel agencies emerging in recent years. However, while such party planners may be meticulous in their itinerary-scheduling, they may not be as well-equipped to handle matters concerning Canadian immigration. This lack of immigration knowledge could result in friends being left at the border and unable to partake in the much looked-forward-to celebrations.  

To prevent such complications, travelers to Canada must inform themselves of the immigration rules governing who can and who can’t be permitted into the country, regardless of whether a trip is professionally organized. While most Americans have taken note of the recent changes requiring them to present their passport at the Canadian border, whether by air, land or water, many remain unaware of the additional required documents for those deemed criminally inadmissible.

How is one deemed “criminally inadmissible” to Canada?  To determine if a person is criminally inadmissible to Canada, his or her criminality must be evaluated. Criminality is assessed by taking several factors into consideration, namely: the crime the person committed, the crime’s severity, how long ago the criminal act was committed, and whether or not it was an isolated event, among other things.

Entering Canada with a DUI, or other types of criminal offenses, is possible but will require additional documentation. The first step in the process is determining whether the crime(s) in question is considered criminal in Canada. If the crime is not considered criminal in Canada, such as underage drinking or driving without insurance, further action need not be taken as the individual can enter Canada requiring only his/her passport.

For convicted offenses which are seen as federal crimes in Canada, such as driving under the influence or assault, the individual will require a temporary resident permit (TRP) in order to enter the country. Applications for TRPs are sent to a Canadian consulate in the United States and can take anywhere from one to twelve months to process. While retaining the services of an accredited Canadian immigration consultant or immigration lawyer will significantly improve the chances of an application being accepted, it can still be refused as the decision to accept is ultimately at the discretion of an immigration officer. If successful, a TRP will allow an individual to travel to Canada with a DUI, or with similar types of criminal histories.

While TRPs allow temporary entry to Canada, a more permanent solution is available to those who have completed the conditions of their sentence at least five years ago. Criminal rehabilitation is an option to permanently change one’s criminal status for the purposes of entering Canada. While this is a long term solution, it can take six to twelve months to process, so applying for a TRP at the same time is often recommended when entry to Canada is needed sooner. 

For more information concerning criminal admissibility as well as all matters pertaining to Canadian Immigration please visit