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In most cases, a simple DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while impaired) will render a foreigner “inadmissible” to Canada. This includes any alcohol-related reckless driving offences such as a “Wet Reckless.”

A great number of DUI-convicted believe they are inadmissible because they think this is a felony offence in Canada. However, as in the United States, the majority of DUI dispositions in Canada consist of misdemeanor (summary) convictions. What makes a person inadmissible to Canada is not found in the criminal code but in our immigration rules whereby all misdemeanor and felony convictions are treated as a felony offence for the purposes of determining admissibility.

By far, a DUI and their equivalents – DWI, DWI, OVI, OVU – represent the most common cause for denied entry at the border or airport in Canada. In the majority of cases, a DUI conviction will render a foreign national “inadmissible” to Canada.

As a DUI is not considered to be extremely serious, when compared to a sex offence of aggravated assault, one of the short-term relief mechanisms available may include a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) which can override your “inadmissibility” for a specific period of time based on a narrow set of circumstances. These could include important family or company business or if a traveler is entering Canada for tourism and wasn’t aware of his inadmissibility. If you think you fit in any of the above, schedule a consultation to determine your eligibility for a waiver.