Can I go to Canada with a DUI?

A conviction for driving under the influence would make a person unacceptable to Canada.

Under Canadian immigration law, a conviction relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol can make a person criminally inadmissible to Canada. A DUI is considered a serious offense

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Drunk driving charges can be prosecuted around the world under various designations. Examples of charges for drunken driving include:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • impaired driving (DWI)
  • Driving While Impaired (DWAI)
  • Operating while intoxicated (OWI)
  • Drunk driving (OMVI)
  • wet carefree
  • Boating Under the Influence (BUI)

Canada will investigate your criminal record which may include convictions, arrests, warrants and pending charges. What matters for the purposes of immigration to Canada is how your charge or conviction is translated under Canadian law, i.e. what is an equivalent offense under Canadian law.

Canada may allow you to enter the country regardless of your DUI, depending on the type of crime, how many times you have committed it, its severity and when you have served your sentence. For example, if it has been 10 or more years since your sentence was completed, the passage of time may result in an unaccompanied person being considered rehabilitated, although this solution is only available to those who have a single, non-serious Punishment is on his record

Overcoming Rejection

Whether you are coming to Canada to visit, study, work, or immigrate, you will need to address disallowance issues before you are allowed into the country.

There are a few different ways to overcome unacceptableness to Canada:

  • Temporary resident permit
  • Criminal rehabilitation
  • Deemed Rehabilitation
  • Temporary resident permit’

Temporary resident permit

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is an option for a person deemed to be criminally inadmissible because it provides temporary access to Canada for a certain period of time.

If it has been less than five years since the DUI sentence was completed, you must apply for a TRP to enter Canada. To be granted TRP, you must have a reason to visit Canada and it must be determined that you will not be a danger to Canadian society.

A person may be eligible for criminal rehabilitation if it has been more than five years but less than 10 years since the completion of your DUI sentence.

Criminal Rehabilitation

The Government of Canada provides the opportunity to submit a criminal rehabilitation application to permanently clear your past criminal history for the purposes of entering Canada. The Criminal Rehabilitation Application is a one-time solution that does not require renewal. Upon receiving approval for criminal rehabilitation, a person is no longer considered inadmissible and will no longer require a TRP to enter Canada.

If it has been more than 10 years since the DUI sentence was completed, you may be considered rehabilitated.

Deemed Rehabilitation

It is important to note that deemed rehabilitation is not an option for anyone with a DUI after December 2018 due to the Canadian government strengthening penalties for bad driving that year.

You may be eligible for deemed rehabilitation if you have been convicted of a DUI outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would amount to an offense punishable with a sentence of not less than ten years. You must also meet the following requirements:

  • Ten years have passed since your sentence was completed;
  • You have not been convicted of any prosecutable offense or brief felony in Canada in the past ten years, or more than one summary conviction in the preceding ten years; And
  • You have not been convicted of a crime outside Canada in the past ten years, a prosecutable offense if committed in Canada, or more than one summary conviction in the ten years preceding that.

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