What to do if you have a DUI and want to enter Canada

DUIs are considered serious crimes in Canada, but you may still be able to cross the border.

You may be considered inadmissible to Canada with a DUI conviction. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome inadmissibility. Regardless of whether you are coming to Canada to visit, study, work, or immigrate, you will have to resolve admissibility issues before you begin your journey. Canada strengthened DUI in 2018 when marijuana was legalized as part of an effort to stop people from driving impaired. Canada judges past criminal history by converting the foreign crime to the Canadian equivalent. As of December 18, 2018, the DUI maximum punishment doubled from five years to 10 years in prison. DUI is a hybrid offence in Canada. This means that the government can choose to prosecute it by summary process or by indictment, which is more serious. Canadian immigration law treats hybrid offences as indictable (as opposed to summary). If a person is convicted of DUI abroad on or after December 2018, Canada treats them as having committed an indictable offence. In theory, anyone who has committed an indictable offence is inadmissible to Canada forever due to serious criminality. However, there may be ways around this ban for people entering Canada with a DUI.