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Can I enter the United States with a DUI?


It is not always clear what kind of criminal convictions will result in your being denied entry to the United States. A DUI, in particular, can result in your inadmissibility to the United States, especially if there are additional criminal convictions or multiple DUI offenses on your record.

Entering the United States with a DUI

When someone is denied entry to the United States, it can be highly embarrassing and distressing. You will not be allowed to enter the country even if you have plans or people waiting for you, and you will have to return back to your home country either by turning around or waiting for the next flight home.

Waivers for being denied entry to the United States

If you intend to travel to the United States and are concerned about being denied entry because of a DUI, there’s good news! There is a special document you can apply for that will allow you into the country. This document is called a United States waiver of inadmissibility, and this document allows you to overcome your inadmissibility for the duration of its validity.

Speak to an immigration expert about obtaining a United States Waiver of Inadmissibility

Obtaining a United States waiver of inadmissibility is not an easy task. Applicants must go through a lengthy wait period of between six to nine months on average, which is why it is so important to speak to a licensed immigration lawyer or immigration attorney in advance of your travel to see if you are inadmissible to the United States and obtain expert assistance with your application.

Applications for a waiver of inadmissibility can be overwhelming, so it is best to seek expertise from a immigration professional to ensure your application is prepared properly and you don’t risk a denial for a mistake or omission. Do you have a DUI and need assistance entering the United States? Please give us acontact us!

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

6 thoughts on “Can I enter the United States with a DUI?

  1. Syed haider

    I am a green card holder. If I leave usa and cone back, will I have any issues. In the past, they referee me to secondary inspection but ultimately I was let in. However all these travels were before the new memo which came on nov 20 2014, where a dwi is a significant misdemeanor. So I am worried. I have to travel for work so s little concerned. It was simple dwi and over 16 years ago.

    Appreciate the help

    1. Muga Rajbhandari

      Hello Syed. You are correct. The changes that have currently been made may may it more difficult for some people to cross the border. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you given your situation and travel history. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-416-410-7484 or online at
      Regards, Muga

  2. Mira Freiwat

    Hello Jagjit,

    Thank you for your inquiry. If it is a single DUI offence, meaning, she only has that one charge on her entire record and there are NO other charges or convictions, then luckily she should have no issues traveling into the US. BUT, if she has ANY other charges even if they did not lead to convictions and she should be stopped for a random check she is subject to have her entry refused at any port of entry and will need to then apply for a Waiver. MF

    1. A

      Hey Mira,

      If someone has been convicted of only one DUI and have no other charges, are they eligible to apply for the NexusCard? Also, if its only one DUI with no other charges, does the person travelling have an obligation to declare their conviction? Or must thy only disclose upon request?



      1. Vahe Mirzoyan

        You will need to get a US Immigration Waiver to enter the US. A NEXUS card does not make you exempt from inadmissibility.
        One of our immigration professionals will be contacting you shortly to see how we can help you.
        Best regards,

  3. jagjit singh

    my sister has dui in canada and wants to visit fam in california.she is flying can she pass through the immigration rules in order to fly to california.


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