The United States and Canada have a strong trading partnership thanks to their shared border. In 2018, traded goods and services totaled $673.1 billion. With the constant trading of goods as well as services, many individuals from the United States must regularly travel to Canada for business purposes. Even though the two countries are close neighbors, Canada is a separate country that has its own rules and regulations when it comes to crossing the border. For example, before a business traveler is allowed to enter Canada, they must meet a certain set of requirements, such as being in good health, having a valid passport and having a legitimate reason to be in the country.

Can I live and Work in Canada with a DUI?

If an American business traveler has a DUI conviction, or another criminal offense on their record, it can stop them from entering Canada. Even if the person doesn’t plan on staying long or doesn’t intend to drive while in Canada, the DUI conviction is considered “serious criminality,” deeming them criminally inadmissible to Canada. For those who need to travel to Canada for business purposes, criminal inadmissibility therefore becomes an issue.

What Options are Available for Entering Canada for Business with a DUI?

If you have a DUI, DWI or other similar offense on your record and you need to travel to Canada for work-related purposes, you do have options. Business travel is one of the most common reasons why Americans seek entry into Canada, so you are not alone. That said, it’s normal to be nervous about traveling to Canada with a conviction on your record.

Let’s say that you fly into Canada for a business meeting, even though you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol several years ago. You don’t think it’s much of an issue, until you are turned away by the Canadian government. Not only is this scenario embarrassing, but also it can affect your employment and professional reputation.

What is your boss going to think now that you can’t make it to a scheduled meeting? How is your potential new client going to feel knowing that you were denied entry into their country? One single DUI can cause many problems if you do not come to the border prepared with the appropriate paperwork.

To avoid any unnecessary surprises at the border, here are two options that will help you gain entry into Canada for business with a DUI on record.

Apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) grants temporary admissibility into Canada. It does not remove the inadmissibility completely but overlooks it, so to speak. TRPs are commonly issued for work-related reasons because the Canadian government views business as a valid reason to be in the country.

A TRP can be granted for up to three years at a time and allow multiple entries to and from Canada. Furthermore, you can travel for Canada for personal reasons, such as for a family vacation for example, while the TRP is valid. You can apply for a TRP at any point, regardless of when your DUI or other offense occurred, and even if you were only arrested a day before.

Obtaining a TRP ensures that you don’t have problems at the border and can perform your business duties, whether it’s attending a presentation or leading a business meeting. Once a TRP expires, it can be renewed, though a renewal is never an automatic guarantee. For this reason, it’s recommended to apply for criminal rehabilitation as soon as you become eligible.

Apply for Criminal Rehabilitation

Criminal rehabilitation is a permanent solution that allows you to wipe the slate clean and travel freely between the United States and Canada as would anyone else without a criminal record. In order to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation, five years must have passed since the completion of your imposed sentence. All punishments must be completed, including fines, probation and community service. You can apply for a TRP and criminal rehabilitation at the same time, providing that you are eligible for criminal rehabilitation.

If you have questions about entering Canada for business with a DUI, DWI or other related offense, please contact a KLM Immigration attorney at 1-888-603-3003. We can help you determine the best way to enter Canada to carry out your required work actions.