Can I Get to Canada with a DUI?

Are you planning a trip to Canada but have a DUI on your record? If so, you may wonder if entering the country is possible. It isn’t very easy. Factors like the offense, time passed, and rehab matter in deciding the answer. This article will explore the question, “Can I get to Canada with a DUI?”. We’ll look at the steps you can take to improve your chances of crossing.

The Short Answer

You can enter Canada with a DUI, but it’s not always guaranteed. Canadian border officials can refuse entry to those with a threat or criminal history. Just because you qualify to enter Canada doesn’t guarantee entry.

Factors That Determine Entry

To enter Canada with a DUI, certain factors are considered, such as:

  1. The nature of the offense: Canada may allow entry if DUI is a first-time or misdemeanor charge, unlike repeat or felony charges.
  2. The length of time since the offense: If your DUI was several years ago, you might have a better chance of being allowed into Canada than if it was more recent.
  3. Rehabilitation efforts: If you’ve taken steps towards rehabilitation, such as completing an alcohol treatment program, Canadian border officials may view you more favorably.
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The Criminal Inadmissibility Rule

The Criminal Inadmissibility Rule is one of the primary factors determining whether you’ll be allowed into Canada with a DUI. This rule states that anyone with a criminal record may be denied entry into Canada. This includes offenses considered minor in the United States, such as a DUI. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Temporary Resident Permit

You may be allowed entry if you have a DUI but need to go to Canada for work or a family member’s wedding. In that case, you can obtain a Temporary Resident Permit. This permit allows you to enter Canada despite your criminal record for a specific period.


You may qualify for rehab if your DUI was 10 years ago and you have committed no other crimes since. Rehabilitation is a legal way for people with criminal records to clear them. If your application is approved, you can enter Canada without any issues.

Understanding the Canadian Laws Regarding DUI

If you have a criminal record, entering Canada is hard because their laws are strict. If you get caught driving under the influence in Canada, it’s a crime and can make you ineligible to enter. In Canada, impaired driving is a serious offense, the same as DUI.

Temporary Resident Permit

A DUI record doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t go to Canada. You can get a Temporary Resident Permit to visit for up to three years. You need to show why you need to be in Canada, like for work, school, or family, to get a TRP.

Criminal Rehabilitation

Another way for individuals with a DUI to enter Canada is through Criminal Rehabilitation. This process is for those who have completed their sentence, including any probation or parole, at least five years ago. Individuals can apply for Criminal Rehabilitation by providing documents that show they are rehabilitated and have not committed any offenses since their DUI.

Deemed Rehabilitation

Individuals with only one DUI offense and who have not committed any other offenses may be rehabilitated and allowed to enter Canada after ten years of their sentence completion. This process is automatic, and individuals do not need to apply for it.

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Applying for Permission

To apply for permission to enter Canada with a DUI, individuals must fill out the necessary forms and provide all required documents. It can take months to decide on applications due to a lengthy process.

Documents Required

When applying for permission to enter Canada with a DUI, individuals must provide the following documents:

  • A copy of their passport
  • A police certificate or criminal record check
  • Court documents relating to their DUI offense, including the sentence and any fines or penalties
  • Documents relating to their rehabilitation, if applicable
  • Any other documents required by the Canadian government

Why Exactly Does Canada Deny Entry to People with a DUI?

Canada denies entry to people with a DUI due to the country’s strict immigration policy, which prioritizes public safety. Individuals with a DUI on their record are deemed criminally inadmissible, as the offense is considered a serious crime in Canada.

Can You Go to Canada If You Have a DUI Charge Pending?

No, individuals cannot enter Canada with a pending DUI charge. Canada’s immigration law prohibits entry for those with criminal charges, including DUI.

Can You Enter Canada with a DUI If You Will Not Be Driving?

Even if individuals with a DUI are not planning to drive in Canada, they are still criminally inadmissible. You need permission from the Canadian gov to enter their country. You can’t enter without it.

Can I Get Into Canada with a DUI for Drugs (No Alcohol)?

If you’ve got a drug or alcohol-related DUI, you can’t enter Canada. Thus, individuals with a drug-related DUI cannot enter Canada without obtaining special permission from the Canadian government.

Does It Matter Which State the DUI Occurred in?

It does not matter which state the DUI occurred in. If you have a DUI on your record, Canadian immigration law considers you criminally inadmissible, no matter where it happened.

If You Have a DUI Can You Go to Canada for Business?

Individuals with a DUI cannot enter Canada for business purposes without obtaining special permission from the Canadian government. To legally enter Canada, they must apply for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation.

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What Are the Chances of Entering Canada with DUI?

The chances of entering Canada with a DUI are quite low, as Canada has strict immigration policies regarding individuals with a criminal record. If someone wants to enter Canada, they can apply for a TRP or CR to boost their chances.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Enter Canada?

A lawyer can assist individuals with a DUI entering Canada by guiding them through the Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation (CR) application process. They can also provide legal advice on preparing for the application and what documents are required to increase the likelihood of a successful application.

I was convicted of DWI by alcohol or drugs. Can I enter Canada?

If you got caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need Canada’s permission to visit. To enter Canada legally, they need a TRP or CR, which they must apply for. The chances of entering Canada are low without obtaining special permission.

Traveling to Canada with DUI Expungement

Individuals with a DUI conviction on their record may still be able to travel to Canada with an expungement or record suspension. Keep in mind clearing your record doesn’t guarantee entry to Canada. Canadian border officials can still access an individual’s criminal record, including expunged or suspended convictions and deny entry to Canada based on the nature of the crime.

DUI Entry Canada with Multiple Convictions

Individuals with multiple DUI convictions face greater scrutiny at the Canadian border, and their chances of entering Canada are significantly lower. People with multiple DUIs can enter Canada legally by applying for a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. Whether their application succeeds depends on factors like the crime nature, the time since the last conviction, and their circumstances.

Success Rates for Traveling to Canada with a DUI

Whether or not you can travel to Canada with a DUI depends on factors like the crime, time since conviction, and your situation. People with one DUI are likelier to succeed than those with multiple DUIs. Moreover, the chances of success increase if more time has passed since the conviction. Whether someone with a DUI can enter Canada depends on proving they’re rehabilitated and won’t pose a risk. Getting a TRP or CR can boost success chances.


If you’re wondering, “Can I get to Canada with a DUI?” the answer is that it’s possible but not guaranteed. Your chances of entering Canada can be affected by offenses, the time elapsed, and rehabilitation efforts. If you’re worried about being denied entry, ask an immigration lawyer for help and ideas.

DUI on your record does not necessarily mean you cannot enter Canada. There are still ways for individuals to obtain permission to enter Canada with a DUI. It is important to understand Canadian DUI laws and follow the necessary steps to apply for permission. Individuals with a DUI can still travel to Canada for work, school, or leisure by obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit, Criminal Rehabilitation, or Deemed Rehabilitation.

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