Entering Canada with a DUI or DWI
If you have a DUI or DWI conviction, you may be inadmissible to Canada. It all depends when the conviction was entered, how many convictions you had, the surrounding circumstances and the reason why you wish to enter Canada.
But generally DUI charges are a reason for being refused at the border
How do I enter Canada with a DUI charge?
If you have a DUI charge and wish to enter Canada, the first thing you should do is get a copy of your conviction papers. You may be able to obtain this at the court house that issued the conviction. If it is an old conviction, the file may be in archives. But you should obtain your court records.
You should also prepare a personal statement about the circumstances surrounding your charges. This is important because you may require a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) from the Canadian government in order to be admitted to Canada. A TRP is a permit that will enable you to enter Canada for a temporary period if you are inadmissible. As part of the TRP application process, you are required to prepare a personal statement.
You should also be able to clearly explain why you wish to enter Canada, how long you intend to stay and further details of your visit. If your visit is for business purposes you should clearly show you are not working in Canada but rather just entering as a business visitor. However the only acception to this is if you have a Canadian work permit.
Where do I get help?
If you have a DUI charge or a criminal record, you may want to seek the assistance of an immigration lawyer experienced in inadmissibility issues. Your lawyer should be able to advise you as to what documents are required, prepare your TRP if necessary and give you advise as to how to conduct yourself at the Canadian border when you cross into Canada.
Canadian regulations are restrictive when if comes to criminal offences even minor ones.
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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