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  • Can You Enter Canada With a DUI?

    If you have a DUI and want to visit Canada, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to enter. A DUI may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it could be the difference between you being able to enter Canada and having to turn around at the border. If you’re looking into entering Canada with a DUI on your record, here’s what you should know:

    Can You Enter Canada With a DUI?

    Though you may not think having a DUI on your record is a big deal, it is considered a big deal in Canada. If you’ve had one or more DUI’s, this may prevent you from being able to enter Canada. A DUI is considered an offense punishable in Canada under the Criminal Code of Canada, and having a DUI may restrict you from entering Canada altogether.

    Going to Canada With a DUI

    Many people with a DUI think that they can just fly into Canada rather than driving in and that they’ll be okay. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. Officers at the airport typically have the same information available as a land border officer. This means that if you try and fly to Canada with a DUI, you could be turned away and have to go back home. 

    There have been rare cases where people have “slipped in” to Canada with a DUI conviction or offense on their record, but this doesn’t happen often, and you’ll likely be turned away. Even if you’ve somehow managed to “slip in” to Canada in the past, you could be refused entry during future trips.

    In reality, there are no loopholes when it comes to entering Canada with a DUI. No matter how you try to get into Canada, you’ll want to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit Entry Waiver or Criminal Rehabilitation before your trip so that you ensure you are granted entry.

    The Criminal Code of Canada

    The Criminal Code of Canada forbids driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. The penalties for these offenses range from paying a fine to serving time in prison. Driving while impaired is dangerous to yourself and others on the road and is treated as a serious offense in Canada.

    How to Get Permission to Go to Canada With a DUI

    If you’re looking to get permission to go to Canada with a DUI, you have two main options: applying for Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit Entry Waiver.

    A Temporary Resident Permit Entry Waiver allows you to enter Canada for an allotted period. To do this, you will need to apply at a consulate and wait until you get approved. Please do not try and apply at the border. It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to get your application reviewed at the border, and you could be turned away.

    Another option for getting into Canada with a DUI is applying for Criminal Rehabilitation. To be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, it must have been 5 years since you completed your sentence on any conviction. Once you are approved, you will be able to enter Canada unrestricted. It’s important to note that applying for and getting approved for Criminal Rehabilitation can take up to a year or longer.

    Entering Canada with a DUI may seem like an impossible task. But there are some things that you can do to get granted access to enter the country, even with a DUI on your record. Canada is a magnificent country, and you should visit if you’re able to! If you’re looking to visit Canada and need a passport or have questions about obtaining a passport, please don’t hesitate to contact us. A member of our team would be happy to help!

    6 thoughts on “Can You Enter Canada With a DUI?”

    1. I want to go to Canada to ice fish but I had a DWI 30 years ago can I go to spend money and have a good time?

    2. I have a friend with three dui all close together… battered wife syndrome…any chance she can come visit me in Canada? For two weeks? Then go home?

      1. You would need to contact an immigration attorney in Canada to assist with this, as it would fall under a special circumstance.


      Interesting article. To be more informing, it would be helpful if it included criteria which CBSA officers (border agents) may use to allow or disallow entry into Canada, differences in entering at the border versus an airport, and business versus pleasure travel.

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