I had a DWI conviction in the USA and my Probation Ended. Why was I Denied Entry to Canada?

Denied Entry to Canada for a criminal offense?

My family and I live in the USA by Canadian Border near BC. My wife is Canadian and my son is Canadian. I am an US citizen. We all reside in the US.All of our relatives live in Canada (in-laws, sister law and nice and more). Now I cannot go see them at all and its been over a year since I been there and my wife’s mom and dad are getting up there in age.

I’m really worried if something ever happen to them I will not be there to support them.I have a criminal offense which is  negligent driving first-degree w/alcohol.I was refused entry into Canada and I voluntary left Canada on Feb 2008. I had to sign a Voluntary Deportation paper allowing me to leave Canada.

The offense was on 10-2004 and the court trial sentencing was on April 2005 with a two-year probation. I plead bargain. I served my probation and paid all fines.Funny, I have been driving back and forth up there for almost 4 years without anybody from the Canadian border stopping me. I walked across and show them my passport more then once without a hitch. I did not know that the misdemeanor offense I obtained in the USA was a criminal offense in Canada. Then one-day I walked across to Canadian border and the world fall apart for my family and me. I had to sign a voluntary removal notice and leave.

When will my 5 years be up for application, 2011?I am so confused on what I have to do. I need help! I have a good reason to visit Canada, my Canadian Family.


When you are Denied Entry to Canada for a criminal offense:

Your situation is very common.  DUIs or DWIs as they are sometimes called, can render you inadmissible to Canada. The fact that you entered Canada in the past without being stopped just means that the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) did not catch you. This may itself pose a problem because under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act , you have an obligation to disclose to Canada customs any material fact relating to your entry to Canada: A criminal record is a material fact. Failure to disclose this information could lead to an allegation of misrepresentation.

In any event, since your probation ended in, it seems, in 2007, you can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation 5 years from the last day you served your sentence which would be around 2012. However, in the mean time you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) which, if approved, would enable to you enter Canada for a temporary period.

For Americans TRPs can applied for at a Canadian/US Port of Entry but more commonly at a Canadian Consulate in the USA. They are complicated applications so make sure you retain adequate counsel to handle them for you.You can get more information on our website regarding  TRPs here and criminal rehabilitation here.

Denied Entry to Canada?

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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

2 thoughts on “I had a DWI conviction in the USA and my Probation Ended. Why was I Denied Entry to Canada?

  1. Sheela S

    Hi I was hoping you could clarify a few points for me. My fiance used to live in Canada. However I beleive got deported back to his country due to immigration issues. I live in England and I was wondering if this event will impact on his immigration clearance when I apply for him to join me in the UK once we are married. I would appreciate if you could clarify the procedure for deportation. Is it possible to get deported for not filling in forms? Please advise.

    1. Michael Niren

      Assuming you are asking about Canadian Immigration, being deported from Canada means that you can never come back to Canada unless you get approved for an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC). If you sponsor him to Canada, you will have to also apply for an ARC as part of the application process to overcome his deportation order


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