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CA Misdemeanor DUI Conviction & Travel To Canada

If you have a driving under the influence conviction in San Diego County, or anywhere in California, and you want to enter into Canada you may be denied entry whether the conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony.

Canada may refuse entry to any person who has a criminal record. The United States is now sharing driver’s license and court record databases with Canadian immigration officials. Therefore, it is likely that if you chose to attempt to enter into Canada, the Canadian government will find out about it. It is a crime to enter Canada without a valid permit if you are inadmissible. If you violate the law, you can be arrested, imprisoned, and/or deported.

Criminal inadmissibility makes it illegal to enter Canada for any reason without prior authorization from Citizenship and Immigration of Canada. You can overcome the criminal inadmissibility by obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation.

Criminal Rehabilitation is a permanent solution, allowing the applicant a clean slate. To be eligible, the crime must have been committed outside of Canada, there must have been a conviction or an admission to the crime, and 5 years must have passed since all sentence requirements have been completed.

Once outside the ten year period from the date of completion of your entire sentence, including probation, and assuming you only have the one conviction, you may be Deemed Rehabilitated without filing any documents with the government. If 5 years have passed since the completion of your entire sentence, you can apply for a finding of Criminal Rehabilitation. If 10 years have passed, and you have more than one conviction, you can also apply for Criminal Rehabilitation, as such a person cannot be Deemed Rehabilitated.

If you are not eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, you may be eligible for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP), which will be discussed in the next blog entry.

The above blog article is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws can change. For information about a specific DUI case, speak to a drunk driving attorney in your area. For the most up-to-date information on Canadian immigration, contact a Canadian immigration lawyer.


The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman offers a free telephone consultation. If you have a pending drunk driving charge or questions about your case after sentencing, contact our office at 619-260-1122, or use the “Contact Us” form on this page.