How to Enter Canada with a DUI

(Below is a transcription of this video)

Hi, my name is Michael Niren. I’m an immigration lawyer, founder of I’m here to talk today about individuals who unfortunately have a DUI and who are interested in coming to Canada to cross our borders and potentially visit, work, or study.

Entering Canada with a DUI

A DUI is considered a serious offense in Canada and could potentially prevent you from entering Canada. The situation for those individuals could be a problem if they don’t have the required permit to cross into Canada.

Temporary Residence Permit

So, how it works is that if you have a DUI, depending upon how old the offense is, how long ago it was, you may need a special permit.They’re called a Temporary Residence Permit or TRP. If you’re an American, for example, you can potentially apply for a TRP at the border. There are pros and cons to doing this. Obviously, the pro is to get one right away. The con is that if you’re refused, you’re going to be turned back.

Applying for a Temporary Residence Permit

The more standard approach to applying for a TRP is at an embassy, a Canadian embassy or consulate. However, that could take a number of months. Regardless, when you apply for a TRP, you need a lot of paperwork. You have to have copies of your offense, a personal statement, for example, as to what happened, supporting documentation showing that you have been rehabilitated, and reasons for your entry into Canada.

Seeking Rehabilitation

Now, if your offense was really old, say, 5 or 10 years ago, there’s a possibility you can apply for what is called Rehabilitation, Criminal Rehabilitation. What that really means is that you’ll get a special certificate from the Canadian government that will allow you to enter Canada like a regular person without any special temporary permit. The Rehabilitation application can take a long time, six months, in some cases even longer, and it’s applied for at the Canadian embassy, not at the port of entry.

Are You Interested in Entering Canada with a DUI?

So, if you have a DUI and you have an interest in coming to Canada, you have to likely consider applying for either a TRP or a criminal rehabilitation application. In some cases, you can apply for both.

If you have an urgent need for crossing through border and you want to apply for criminal rehabilitation because you actually qualify for it, please give us a call. If you need help, we process a lot of TRPs and criminal rehab applications. You can go to our website at, and we’ll be happy to discuss your case in confidence. Thank you and have a great day.

Contact our experienced team today, and let us help you with your Temporary Residence Permit or  Rehabilitation application.

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

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