Your next trip to Canada may end up being a humiliating and embarrassing experience if you have a DUI conviction on your record. You should consult with a qualified Colorado DUI attorney if you have a DUI on your driving record and plan on going to Canada (or any other country). Your attorney can advise you as to certain legalities pertaining to who is allowed to enter into Canada, who can be excluded from entry, how to overcome exclusion and whether a person who is ineligible for rehabilitation can still enter Canada.
In Canada, a DUI is a felony and considered an exclusionary offense under the Immigration Act. A DUI is punishable by a 5-year jail term. Therefore, anyone from the United States with a DUI conviction is treated as a felon and can be prevented from entering Canada. Other offenses can exclude a traveler from entering Canada, such as a DWI, negligent driving, domestic violence, theft, shoplifting, reckless and negligent driving, and misdemeanor drug possession.
A person can overcome exclusion from Canada by applying for deemed or streamlined rehabilitation at a Canadian port of entry; an approved rehabilitation through a Canadian Consulate in the U.S.; or a Temporary Resident Permit. A person can apply for deemed rehabilitation if they only have one total conviction, 10 years have lapsed since all sentences were completed, the conviction is not considered serious in Canada and the conviction did not involve serious property damage, physical bodily harm or any type of weapon.
The application requirements for streamlined rehabilitation are the same as deemed rehabilitation, except the number of convictions can be no more than two and at least 5 years has lapsed since all sentences were completed. The applicant must bring documentation such as a U.S. passport or birth certificate, court documentation of each conviction and proof that all sentences were completed, recent FBI identification record, recent police certificates from the state where the conviction(s) occurred. If a person is not approved for rehabilitation nor eligible for deemed or streamlined rehabilitation, his only option is to apply for Temporary Resident Permit.