DUI, DUAI, DWI: How they affect your ability to enter Canada and the US
A single DUI, DUAI, DWAI and/or DWI conviction is grounds to deny entrance into Canada. However, you may be eligible for individual or deemed rehabilitation, depending on how much time has passed since the end of the sentence of the conviction. If you have a single conviction and more than 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence associated with the conviction then you should be considered “deemed rehabilitated.” Being considered “deemed” can be as easy as presenting the paperwork to an immigration officer at a port of entry evidencing your arrest, charge, conviction date, sentence and proof that you carried out all aspects of the sentence. If the end date is more than 10 years ago you should be considered deemed rehabilitated. If you have a single conviction and more than 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence associated with the conviction then you are eligible to apply for rehabilitation at a case processing centre.
If more than 10 years since the end of the sentence has not passed, or you have multiple convictions, another option may be a Temporary Resident Permit or TRP. If you are otherwise inadmissible but have a reason to travel to Canada, you may be issued a TRP. To be eligible for a TRP, you need to have a valid reason and your stay in Canada must not subject Canadian society to any health or safety risks. These items are ultimately weighed and determined by immigration or a border services officer.
A permit is usually issued for the length of your visit to Canada. Some examples include a weekend to attend a wedding, one week to attend a conference, the length of a gig if you are a member of a band, a week to attend funeral or up to one year if you are entering to live with a spouse or immediate relative.
You must leave Canada by the expiry date of the permit, or get a new permit before your current one expires. Each permit requires a nonrefundable fee to be paid upon admission. The permit is no longer valid once you leave Canada, unless you have specifically been authorized to leave and re-enter.
Under some circumstances, you may also be offered a fee-exempt temporary resident permit for one visit to Canada under CIC’s new policy on criminal inadmissibility. These circumstances include but are not limited to, it is your first TRP, there was no jail time associated with the charge, and the charge was alcohol related. Also, if you are filing for a work permit and a TRP simultaneously, you need only pay for the work permit. A temporary resident permit can be filed at a case processing centre or can be attempted at a port of entry.