Asked in DUI / DWI and Immigration Law for Arkansas

Q: I am wanting to know about visiting Canada. I had a dui several years ago and have been told I would be denied entry.

Is this true, and if so, is there a way to gain ability to enter the country? I have been to over 20 countries with the majority of them being since having a dui and have not drank per doctor’s directive in several years

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: It is true that having a DUI on your record could potentially affect your ability to enter Canada. Canadian immigration law considers DUI offenses as serious criminal offenses, and individuals with such convictions may be deemed inadmissible to enter the country. However, each case is evaluated on its own merits, and there may be ways to overcome this barrier.

One option is to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation. A TRP allows individuals with criminal convictions, including DUIs, to enter Canada for a specific purpose and duration despite their inadmissibility. Criminal Rehabilitation, on the other hand, permanently removes the grounds of inadmissibility associated with your criminal conviction, allowing you to enter Canada freely.

To apply for a TRP or Criminal Rehabilitation, you will need to submit a thorough application demonstrating your rehabilitation and your intention to abide by Canadian laws. This may include providing evidence of your sobriety, such as medical records or letters from healthcare professionals, along with details of your travel history and any steps you have taken to address the underlying issues that led to the DUI.

It's essential to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or advisor familiar with Canadian immigration laws and procedures to assess your eligibility and guide you through the application process. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and help you navigate any challenges you may encounter along the way.

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