Denied entry to Canada? Entering Canada with a DUI?

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Are you inadmissible to Canada?

Every year, Canada welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world, with many coming directly from the United States. However, to ensure the security of Canadians and those entering the country, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) has a responsibility to screen incomers for any potential criminal background that would make them inadmissible, and hence, prevent them from entering Canada.

If you are concerned that your criminal record could prevent you from entering Canada, know that there are solutions available.


Entering Canada with a DUI

Having even one DUI on record can prevent you from being allowed to enter Canada.

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Temporary resident permit

A Temporary Resident Permit, also referred to as a TRP is a temporary solution to overcoming one’s inadmissibility to Canada.

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Criminal rehabilitation

Criminal rehabilitation is a process, much like a “pardon”, by which you can overcome your inadmissibility to Canada permanently.

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Legal opinion letter

There are three situations when a person is deemed rehabilitated and where a Canadian immigration attorney’s Legal Opinion letter can replace the necessity to obtain a temporary resident permit (TRP).

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Meet our lawyers

KLM Immigration is a boutique law firm located in Montreal, Quebec, and in Los Angeles, California which practices exclusively in immigration law. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in both Canada and the US and focus on all matters relating to immigration law. We offer our clients tailored help and support throughout the immigration process. Whether you need to enter Canada, but have a criminal record, were denied entry to Canada, or wish to apply for a Canadian pardon or a US Entry Waiver, we can help. Our attorneys also offer assistance with student, work, investment and sponsorship visas and permits to Canada and the US.


What is criminal inadmissibility?

Criminal inadmissibility is a situation whereby an individual is denied entry into Canada because of their criminal record. If you’ve committed an act, which is a criminal offense in the United States or in another country, you may be criminally inadmissible to enter Canada. Americans wishing to travel north of the border need to be aware that offenses committed in the United States or elsewhere can impact their ability to enter Canada as a tourist or as a permanent resident.

Some offenses that could make you inadmissible to enter Canada include:

  • Reckless Driving
  • Drug related offenses
  • Assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Fraud
  • Theft
  • Etc.

Inadmissible to Canada: solutions to overcome criminal inadmissibility

Not all hope is lost simply because you have a criminal record. You might be wondering, is it possible to enter Canada if you’ve been charged with a DUI? What about an assault charge from ten years ago? Depending on the type of offense committed and the time elapsed since the conviction, you may benefit from one of the several options available to you.

It’s important to remember that being inadmissible to Canada does not mean a lifetime ban. There are several solutions available to gain entry into Canada despite having a criminal record.


Criminal Rehabilitation

If it has been at least five years since you’ve completed all the conditions of your imposed sentence, then you may be eligible to apply for criminal rehabilitation, the permanent solution. Once granted, this will allow you a lifetime entry into Canada.


Temporary Resident Permit

A temporary resident permit can be requested at any time, even if you were only recently arrested or are still completing any conditions of your sentence. It allows you multiple entries into Canada for a specific period of time, from a couple of days to a maximum of three years. Anyone inadmissible to Canada can apply for a TRP with the Canadian government.


Deemed Rehabilitation

Depending on the offense committed and the length of time since your conviction, you might qualify as a deemed rehabilitated individual. Although there is no formal application, you’ll need to assemble a file to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements by way of requesting a Legal Opinion letter to be drafted by a Canadian Immigration lawyer.

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