Will a person be excluded from Canada with a DUI arrest or conviction?

The short answer to this often asked question is yes, you can be denied entry to Canada for a single DUI conviction, and sometimes for a single a DUI arrest. Even if your DUI is reduced to Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving in the First Degree, you can still be denied entry to Canada (although the situation is much more complex than if you had been convicted of DUI).

Typically, for the first ten years after the sentencing date for a DUI conviction, the only way to legally enter Canada is to apply, and receive, a a Temporary Resident Permit that allows you to enter Canada for a period of six months. After five years has passed from the end of any probationary period, you can apply for Approval of Rehabilitation that will permanently restore your ability to enter Canada. DUIs typically come with five years of probation, so that is why you would have to wait ten years after the date of your sentence to apply for the Approval of Rehabilitation.

Since this involves Canadian, and not Washington State law, I encourage consultation with a Canadian immigration attorney. I am happy to provide referrals for Canadian immigration attorneys that have successfully helped out previous clients if you contact me.

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