For those with a DUI from the U.S. who want to cross the Canadian border without any hassles or further issues, Canadaduientrylaw.com helps Americans who face the challenge of entering Canada with a DUI on their record find ways to legally enter the country.
1. Don’t just show up at the border.
Regardless of when you were arrested and/or convicted of a DUI, showing up at the Canadian border expecting entry is a big mistake because DUIs are considered a very serious offense in Canada and they treat the person as if they were caught and convicted in Canada, no matter what the state or American laws are. Even if you were just arrested for a DUI with no conviction as of yet, you are still considered inadmissible into Canada and you could risk being turned away for life.
2. Obtain temporary permission to enter Canada.
The great news is, those with a DUI on their record can obtain a Temporary Resident Permit to enter the country. If you have a valid reason to visit the country, you can apply for this permit and it can be good for up to a period of 3 years. They do take some time to process, so best to start preparing and planning as soon as possible.
3. Ask Canada to forgive your DUI conviction.
This is considered to be a more permanent solution, but certain elements must exist in order for your application to be considered. The application is for ‘Criminal Rehabilitation’ and in order to qualify for forgiveness under this status, it must be at least 5 years since the completion of your sentence (whether it was jail time, fines, or community service etc.) at the time of your application.
4. You may be able to enter without applying for a special permit.
If more than 10 years has passed since you’ve completed your DUI sentence, and you have no other convictions on your record, then you will be admissible into Canada at the border without having to apply for forgiveness or a Temporary Resident Permit. If you have two DUIs and/or any other convictions on your criminal record, you will be turned away indefinitely. You must have a legal opinion letter if you wish to enter under the ‘Deemed Rehabilitation by the simple passage of time’ status.
5. Talk to an experienced Immigration Lawyer.
Before trying any of the above, it is highly recommended that you contact a Canadian Immigration Lawyer with experience and expertise within this area of Canadian entry laws. You don’t want to run the risk of being embarrassed, arrested, or permanently banned from Canada. You also want to make sure that you will qualify for any of the possible statuses for entry.