Entering Canada with a DUI

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Entering-Canada-with-a-DUI-How to Enter Canada with a DUI

One of the most common charges that lead to criminal inadmissibility is a DUI charge. Often times, individuals who are charged with this conviction are unsure about how or if they are able to enter Canada. It is important to recognize that having a criminal conviction on your record can affect your entry into Canada and it often leads to being denied entry into Canada. In order to overcome this criminal inadmissibility, there are solutions made for these individuals. Therefore, in this article, I will how an individual with a DUI can enter Canada and the possible solutions for individuals with a DUI.

What is a DUI

A DUI is an abbreviation for Driving Under the Influence. As previously mentioned, this is a common charge that leads to criminal inadmissibility. Furthermore, any individual that is charged with a DUI will inevitably be criminally inadmissible to Canada as driving drunk is a serious offence. Whenever an individual is charged with a crime outside of Canada, it is important to acknowledge the crime in comparison with Canadian law to determine whether the crime is also recognized in Canada. In this specific circumstance, it would be recognized and that is why the individual would be criminally inadmissible. The purpose of comparing the offence made elsewhere to Canadian law is to adequately determine whether the individual should be permitted entry into Canada and whether they pose a threat or risk to Canadian society.

Possible Solutions for Individuals with a DUI

Temporary Resident Permit

In the circumstance where an individual holds a DUI charge on their criminal record and they need to enter Canada for very particular reasons, the best solution possible would be applying for a Temporary Resident Permit. A Temporary Resident Permit is an application that can be filled out and submitted by someone who has either criminal inadmissibility or has not abided by the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). A benefit of applying for a Temporary Resident Permit is that it allows temporary entry to these individuals. However, it is important to realize that five years must have elapsed since the DUI sentence was completed in order to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit.

Criminal Rehabilitation

Another option available for individuals who have a DUI on their criminal record is applying for a Criminal Rehabilitation application. The Criminal Rehabilitation is extremely similar to the Temporary Resident Permit as it helps the individual overcome their criminal inadmissibility. However, in contrast, the Criminal Rehabilitation allows the individual to freely enter Canada in the future without having any issues about their criminal inadmissibility. It somewhat works as a permanent solution to any criminal inadmissibility. Yet, if the individual commits another offence after receiving a Criminal Rehabilitation, it will then become void and they would have to apply for another Criminal Rehabilitation all over again. Keep in mind, in order to apply for a Criminal Rehabilitation, five years must have passed since the completion of the sentence imposed.

Deemed Rehabilitation

This option is available for individuals who have had a DUI offence that was charged over ten years ago. The reasoning behind this is because in order to be deemed rehabilitated, ten years must have elapsed since the completion of the sentence imposed. At this point, the individual would no longer have the criminal inadmissibility on their record. There are other factors that must be met in order to be deemed rehabilitated; for instance, the conviction must not involve any serious property or physical damage and it must not have involved a weapon. Ultimately, the charge must have been comparable in Canadian standards and punishable in Canada by a maximum term of ten years of imprisonment.


This option is only available for individuals who have been charged with a DUI but then proceed to find out that the acquittal finds them not guilty. If the individual is then found not guilty, they would not have any criminal inadmissibility because evidently they would not have a charge on their criminal record. This luckily applies whether the offence was made in or outside of Canada.


Under the Criminal Code, a pardon may be issued to an individual charged with a criminal offence, such as a DUI. Of course, there are certain requirements that need to be met in order to receive a pardon. It is also important to note that a pardon that is issued from another country may or may not be acceptable in Canada. The pardon must be equivalent to Canadian law. Additionally, this also applies whether the offence was made in or outside of Canada. Therefore, it is advisable to research and find out whether the pardon in the foreign country can be recognized by the Canadian government before attempting to enter Canada. If it is not recognized, the individual will be denied entry into Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration before you attempt to apply for any of the previously mentioned applications to overcome your criminal inadmissibility. If you are inadmissible to Canada because of a DUI charge, it is important to note that these previously mentioned applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients that have DUI charges to apply for either a Temporary Resident Permit, a Criminal Rehabilitation or a Pardon. If you believe that you may be eligible for any of these applications, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!