Can I Enter Canada If I Have A DUI?

Entering Canada with DUI or DWI

If you are attempting to enter Canada and you have a previous conviction, you may or may not be already aware that you may be considered inadmissible to Canada.

Having a DUI is a serious offense in Canada and can be translated into Canadian law as a hybrid or indictable offense.

There are three types of offenses in Canada:

Summary offences: These are less serious offences. The maximum penalty for a summary offence is usually a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail. Some summary offences have higher maximum sentences.

Indictable offences: These are more serious offences and include theft over $5,000, break and enter, aggravated sexual assault and murder. Maximum penalties for indictable offences vary and include life in prison. Some indictable offences have minimum penalties.

Hybrid offences: These are offences that can be dealt with as either summary or indictable. Crown counsel makes the decision about how the offence will be handled.

Depending on the severity of your Driving While Under the influence conviction is, it will have an impact on your ability to acquire a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. These are the only two ways that you will be able to overcome your criminal inadmissibility and be considered admissible to Canada.

A Temporary Resident Permit is a temporary document, meaning that it has an expiry date, which will allow you to overcome your inadmissibility for a period of time to allow you to enter Canada.

A Criminal Rehabilitation is the permanent version of a Temporary Resident Permit which allows you to overcome your inadmissibility once and for all, provided that you do not reoffend or become inadmissible to Canada for another reason.

When attempting either of these applications, you will need to be able to accurately translate your foreign offense against Canadian Law. For example, a conviction of Driving Under Influence (DUI) is called Impaired Driving in Canada. However, international criminal charges and Canadian Law do not always so easily align and will take some legal knowledge to understand how they compare to one another. You do not want to interpret your conviction into something that may be worse in Canada.

If you are facing criminal inadmissibility, contact us. We will help you every step of the way towards achieving your goals in Canada.

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