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Will a DUI Stop Me from Travelling to Canada?

There are a number of reasons to travel to Canada, such as Vancouver, Toronto, Banff, Quebec City, Montreal, Victoria & Vancouver Island, Jasper National Park and so much more. If you’ve been planning on travelling to Canada for business or pleasure, a DUI conviction can get in the way of your travel plans.

Have you been convicted of DUI? If so, you may have difficulty travelling to Canada unfortunately, especially if you were convicted of DUI in the last 10 years.

Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, certain individuals are “inadmissible” and therefore cannot enter Canada. This pertains to individuals, including foreign nationals who have been convicted of a criminal offense, that would have been considered a felony if committed on Canadian soil.

Like in California where we have “wobbler” offenses that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, Canada has similar offenses that can be prosecuted as either a felony or misdemeanor. These are sometimes referred to as “hybrid offenses.”

Under Canadian law, a DUI is considered a hybrid offense. Since it is possible that a DUI in the U.S. could be prosecuted as a felony in Canada, individuals convicted of DUI in the U.S. are considered inadmissible under Canadian law. But, there is hope.

Entering Canada After a DUI Conviction

While Canadian border officers will often turn people with DUI convictions away at the border, there are ways to get around this, including: temporary resident permits, criminal rehabilitation, and deemed rehabilitation.

Temporary Resident Permits: These are provided to individuals who want to visit for a short period of time based on an extraordinary circumstance, for example, the individual’s parent is on their death bed.

Criminal Rehabilitation: If it’s been five years since your DUI sentence was completed, you may apply for what’s called “rehabilitation.” If this is granted to you, you will no longer be considered inadmissible to Canada.

Deemed Rehabilitation: If it’s been 10 years since you completed your DUI sentence in the U.S., and you have no other criminal history, you will be considered rehabilitated simply by the 10 years passing.

Are you facing DUI charges in Orange County? Or, have you been convicted of DUI recently, but need to travel to Canada? To learn more about the laws that apply to your situation, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today!

Schedule your FREE case evaluation with OC’s DUI Queen!