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Three Ways to Enter Canada If you have a DUI

Margaret Cooley

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Canada DUI

Undoubtedly, it is difficult to enter Canada with a DUI conviction. However, there are various ways to overcome inadmissibility. Regardless of why one is traveling to Canada to visit, study or work, or even settle permanently, you need to work to resolve admissibility issues to start your journey.

Canada made the DUI rules stringent in 2018 when marijuana was legalized in a quest to restrict people from driving impaired. DUI is considered a hybrid offence in Canada which means that the government can select to prosecute it by summary process or by indictment, which is more serious.

Canadian immigration law serves hybrid offences as illegal. If a person is convicted of DUI overseas on or after December 2018, then Canada considers it an indictable offence. In Canada, anyone who has committed an indictable offence is inadmissible to Canada due to serious criminality. Although, there are certain ways around this to enter Canada with a DUI.

Temporary Resident Permits

In case you are inadmissible but have a pressing reason to travel to Canada, then you may cross the border with a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). For instance, you need to come to Canada to work, attend a business conference, or attend a family wedding. TRPs are generally valid for the length of a person’s visit and the visitor is required to leave Canada by the expiry date or get a new one before it expires.

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To get a TRP, an immigration official will determine that your reason to visit Canada outweighs the risks to Canadian society. There are no guarantees that an inadmissible person will be granted a permit. Canadian officials have all the rights to dismiss the permit at any point in time and the holder will have to leave the country immediately.

Criminal Rehabilitation

In case it has been more than five years, but less than 10 years since completion of a sentence, then one may be eligible for criminal rehabilitation. The approved application permits an applicant to enter Canada with a clean slate. There will be no hurdles of the previous conviction during the process. The person will be allowed to enter and leave Canada provided they do not commit any crime. DUI is considered a serious crime in Canada, it is no longer stand eligible as a crime that is automatically deemed rehabilitation after 10 years. If the person is rehabilitated before December 2018, then one must still be allowed to enter Canada. It is best to consult an immigration consultant before visiting Canada with a DUI.

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Legal Opinion Letter

If you have recently faced a charge of DUI with no criminal history, then you must not consider inadmissible to Canada. Canadian immigration officers have the right to decide whether to permit you in the country or not by weighing the risks and benefits. A legal opinion letter from a Canadian immigration lawyer is very helpful if you are looking to enter Canada with a pending charge.

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