Can you enter Canada from the US if you have a DUI?

edited June 2009 in - Canada
I have heard one cannot enter Canada from the US if they have had a DUI. Is this true?
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  • edited 7:09PM
    ive been arrested 10 times and still go into canada with no problems. of course i dont tell them i have been arrested. i have never been asked about my criminal past either. i have entered canada many times both by plane and car. on the other hand, if you were a canadian going to the u.s. with even one arrest, that could be a problem.
  • edited 7:09PM
    I have a minor criminal record for a few stupid indiscretions as a teenager (trespassing, p.o.m., disorderly conduct, evading arrest, etc.) - no felonies. My first and only time in Canada, flying into B.C., I was detained at the airport after being belittled by some dumbass customs agent who repeatedly kept asking me where I was going to buy my drugs (no, I don't have dreadlocks, nor do I smell like patchouli). I was held in a little room for about two hours where I was repeatedly questioned about stuff that is no longer on my record (deferred to judication), and should be irrelevant. The customs agent questioning me said they had pulled my FBI file, and they knew everything about me. Eventually, they reluctantly let me through, but all in all a pretty f'ed up experience. This isn't just being unlucky, either - same thing happened to my brother and several friends of mine for petty past screw-ups. Maybe this is exclusive to B.C., as I've never been to Quebec or elsewhere. Shortly after this, customs agents at the B.C. airport tazed some helpless guy to death. Cops are all the same, Canada or anywhere else - just pigs with an axe to grind.
  • edited 7:09PM
    dusto...are you serious...with a minor criminal record do they really have an FBI file on you? Is it even worth it to try to get into Canada?
  • edited October 2009
    Can you enter Canada if you are indicted and if you are out on bond and you have court date in 8 weeks, this is an family emrgency and have to go over a weekend.
  • edited 7:09PM
    This is mad funny. I have so many arrests, I can't even count them. I have been convicted of at least 2 felonies, numerous misdemeanors, and even had a warrant for my arrest during the 10 times I went into Canada. I was never once questioned about my criminal activities. I did not even have a job, return ticket, or hotel reservations. I will admit though, Canada is strict for a country that most Americans don't want to live in. They ask alot more questions than countries than are actually desirable to live in. It is hit or miss though. Sometimes, they don't even look at your ID. Other times, you are guilty until proven innocent, but each and every time I was allowed in and never once sent back.
  • edited 7:09PM
    It's amazing how proud Pedro and some of you seem to be about your past convictions. I wish Canada was stricter about letting in the obnoxious criminals - maybe that would prevent terrorists from entering into Montreal and Toronto as well. Although not excusable, I can understand misdemeanors as a kid being let go though.
    A friend of mine was once detained at the airport and prevented from entering into Canada because of a US DUI - thats' kinda silly considering he had a valid diver's license at the time and the incident had taken place years before. No problem driving in though.
  • edited 7:09PM
    I am Latvian Passport holder(citizen) and i do have permamnet green card in U.S..I want to spent my new years in Calgary(my boyfrind will be working there for 2 weeks )Please advice if i need Visa
    Thanks
  • edited 7:09PM
    tdot. why dont you get a reality check. canada would be nothing without america, or american tourists. theres a reason why they call you the 51st state. you know why you let americans in with criminal records? greed. you want their money and dont care if theyre criminals. so stop the charade. canada is already ridiculously strict as it is with their national security, especially for a country that 99% of americans would not live in if given a choice. i guarantee you if we opened the border, half of canada would be gone, and moving to usa, while the americans would not move. you mention terorists, but you need to check yourself first. you are the one going into afganistan and murdering innocent people. and by you, i mean the canadian military, so dont try to act like you are clean and innocent.
  • edited 7:09PM
    What the fuck? First of all, nothing you say holds any water (directed to "God Bless America") because you have an imaginary friend you call "God". Secondly, if any Canadian wanted to live in the states, do you really think the way things are now would stop them? Third, the reason why we're so lenient towards letting people in our country isn't because of greed, it's because we're a friendly country. A DUI is a stupid reason to keep someone out of a country in my opinion. If you enjoy driving drunk, you're going to end up killing yourself anyways, so go right the fuck ahead. Fourth, we all know that you're all assholes, your post just proved that. And what's this about us going into Afghanistan and killing innocent people? Last time I checked, it was your stupid country's idea to go there in the first place, not to mention the fact that your military is fucking retarded enough to start firing on friendlies. Living in the states has obviously destroyed your little mind, stop talking shit as if it was true, oh wait, it's just like a religious person to do that.
  • edited 7:09PM
    @ Pedro.

    Stay homey then. Do us both a favour.
  • edited 7:09PM
    I have to say one thing, (DJ Whyte)-BRAVO!!! I'm a U.S. citizen and I have to agree with you 100% I don't know why people are so stupid to say such meaningless lies about Canada(your country) I Live in the U.S. and enjoy working on my car queit a bit... that being said I go to canada to race, get car parts, and engines all the time. I live just fourty five min away from border in the small stat called Vermont and I have had one DUI in my lifetime in 2001. I have no criminal record and have yet to get any guff from the border patroll. im gong up this coming wednsday and hope it doesn't start then.. I don't drink anymore and have grown up hope they dont hold this against me as i love to go to canada for parts, hockey games, gaming and such. I will hveyou know I support canada and also havemy thoughts about some of the stuff the U.S. does but I love the U.S. weather or not the people who run it have the small brains god bless over there has. hope you can see that not all U.S. citizens are dumb ass idoits! Thanks :)
  • edited March 2010
    You'd better reconsider if you have been convicted of DWI or DUI (Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence) within the last ten years. Any type of impaired driving offence is considered the equivalent to the Canadian Criminal Code offence of impaired driving.
  • edited March 2010
    I have a small chriminal charge I got over 12 years ago and and a DUI
    I got about 5 years ago. I have tried to enter Canada three times in the last 4 years and have detained, handcuffed and verbally abused everytime. As of today I still have never been to Canada.
  • edited 7:09PM
    How do the Canadian border agents know if a US citizen has a conviction? Are they able to access US criminal records or do they just ask you? I have a misdemeanor conviction that is 4 years old--can they find this out in some way?
  • edited 7:09PM
    Okay, I really hope someone can help me, My boyfriend is a US citizen and we are planning on him coming here for a visit soon, entering by car and he has a theft charge from 14 years ago(shoplifting a pack of cigarettes when he was 18) and a DUI charge from 5 years ago he did get his licence back and has not had any other trouble, Would he be able to enter Canada by land??
  • edited 7:09PM
    I WAS DEPORTED FROM THE USA IN THE YEAR 1989 I LIVE IN EUROPE NOW IN HOLLAND AMSTERDAM I HAVE LEGAL TRAVELING EUROPIAN PAPERS I WILL LIKE TO KNOW IF I CAN TRAVEL TO CANADA TO VISIT MY DREAM IS TO GO TO NIAGARA FALL CAN I OR IT HAS TO DO ANYTHING WITH THE USA...
  • edited 7:09PM
    I was deported back from Canada yesterday April 18, 2010. I got a DUI in 2005 which was oly a misdemeanor, but apparantly that's consired a serious crime in Canada. I was going for a two week stay with my relatives who live in Montreal (where I was held at customs). I never thought for one second that a DUI in 05 would grant me a deportation in 2010! This is fucked up, I'm pissed off at the Canadian customs and their bullshit laws. Thanks a lot assholes for fucking up my trip!
  • edited 7:09PM
    Eddie - that is terrible for you, and does seem pretty unreasonable. Was that the only reason they gave?
  • edited 7:09PM
    my boyfriend wasn't allowed into Canada on 4/6/10 because of his past drugs conviction in 1997. They advised him to get help from a politician to try to remove this conviction from his record (uneasy), that's the only way he would be allowed into Canada. They asked him his social security and quickly informed him that he couldn't enter Canada, so yes they keep a FBI file on you for past conviction. I think that he wasn't arrested because he was accompanied by woman with not criminal records who drove us back to NY and they returned back to Canada without any problem.
  • edited 7:09PM
    I WAS DEPORTED TO MY COUNTRY IN 2002, I DO HAVE A FELONY CONVICTION.
    I WANT TO KNOW IF I WILL BE ALLOWED TO MOVE TO SPAIN IF I GET MARRIED, MY SPOUSE TO BE IS A RESIDENT OF SPAIN. WILLING APPLYING FOR FAMILY REGROUPING BY MY SPOUSE ALLOWING TO ENTER SPAIN.
  • edited 7:09PM
    Canada can & has denied entry to those with a DUI on their record. However, there are methods to be granted entry into Canada even with a DUI. You can have access to these methods by applying well before your trip (advised) or on the spot at border. Google "Canada DUI Temporary Resident Permit Approval of Rehabilitation" for more information.

    Bear in mind that entry into any country is a privilege granted at the discretion of any Customs Officer, not a right. I am a US citizen with a well used passport having made well over 20 international trips to Europe, Asia, Canada & Mexico. I have a DUI that is over 10 yr old. I was .08 BAC, pulled at license check, no property/personal damage. In short, the least severe category. I have no other criminal record. The **only** issue I have ever had was in Kelowna, BC when I flew in to compete in Ironman Canada. The DUI was 8 yr old & I had a valid driver's license. I had a return ticket, pre-paid accomodations & proof I was there for Ironman Canada. Still, I was pulled into the back room, interrogated by Customs Agent/Officer, refused entry & put on return flight to Seattle. That same year I was denied entry into Canada, I had traveled to France & Italy without a problem.

    I went to Canada (Niagra Falls) when DUI was 11 yr old & was admitted without question.

    This is an utterly ridiculous reason for deeming one inadmissable. I did research & to the best of my knowledge it appears Canada currently is the only country in the world with this reason for being inadmissable. Most use the reasonable standard that the person not be a threat to national security/society which if they were, they would not be issued a passport from their home country.

    Canada knows about DUI & any minor misdemeanor criminal conviction b/c they have access to your FBI arrest record which is sourced from the state in which you were arrested.

    Of note, the UK will soon have access to these records as will other EU countries. Whether this results in people being denied admission for minor misdemeanors is anybody's guess.
  • edited 7:09PM
    I heard it's harder to get into Canada if your DUI is less than 5 years old? Is that true?
  • edited 7:09PM
    To all of you who are bragging that you enter Canada because of previous DUI or felony convictions. If you were half educated and not so arrogant, you would know that you are illegally entering Canada. The border customs agent does not have to ask you if you have a previous criminal conviction (yes, a DUI is a felony conviction in Canada). You must declare the conviction to the agent whether asked or not. If you do happen to not make such a declaration and then are "tripped up" or questioned after you cross, you will be charged for illegally entering the country, which is much more serious. You will be blacklisted and banned from entering canada again. This will had a far more serious effect on you as it could also prohibit you from entering other countries. BE HONEST, know your responsibilities. It is clearly stated in any travel document that YOU MUST DECLARE any prior arrests/convictions.
  • edited 7:09PM
    Striker is totally correct. In addition to his comments, the Canadian customs and immigration agents do not have direct access to FBI files, besides, the FBI does not maintain files of DUI convictions as those are not Federal charges, they are State, County and City jurisdictional. Canada police and federal agencies (customs, RCMP, etc/) use CPIC (Canadian Police Information Center) which is s database hosted by the RCMP. . CPIC is interfaced with the United States National Crime Information Center and National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System as well as Interpol and other international agencies. I would not recommend Wikipedia as a valid source or quotable reference for scientific research or such, but in this case, wiki does have a fairly good summary of what is contained in the CPIC databases (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Police_Information_Centre)
    If you attempt to enter Canada with a prior conviction such as a DUI, you are taking your chances. You may succeed in crossing, but if you are stopped for any reason in Canada you could face severe criminal charges of illegally entering the country. You may make it past the initial customs check, but if the agent tells you to pull your car over for inspection, and then you are re-questioned, you have already entered the country and now are have a more serious situation as you failed to make that declaration. Yes, you are asked if you have anything to declare: tobacco, alcohol, firearms. They do not have to go through the list of a couple of hundred items or conditions. If you say "NO" and have a DUI, then you have made a false declaration.
  • edited 7:09PM
    If you completed DUI programs then it will be taken off of your criminal record and will only be on your DMV record. I doubt Canada checks US DMV records unless they are alerted of a certain name?
  • edited 7:09PM
    People, people, people. Sugh ignorance! Do a little research!

    Thanks to 9/11 and George Bush, the Canadian Border control has access to your criminal records. This occurred in 2003, and since then, thousands of Americans have been turned away at the border. The border agents have access to the same criminal records as your local cops do.

    If you have even a misdemeanor, (and especially any indictable offense), you can be turned away at the border if the crime occurred within the last ten years. This includes simple theft charges, negligent driving, writing a bad check, drug charges and of course, DUI's. You can apply for various permits to enter the country between five and ten years after the offense...it costs about $200.

    Now, keep in mind..the rules is supposed to be that if ten years have passed, you will be deemed "rehabilitated" but evidence shows people are still turned away when the offense has occured more than ten years ago. That is because it is up to the border agent whether or not he wants to let you in. I read the other day about a MIchigan woman who was turned away at the border because she was on welfare! You can also be turned away if you seem sick, unemployed, unable to support yourself, or if they think you are trying to sneak into their country.

    Basically, it's an absolute mess. Unsuspecting Americans are planning trips to Canada without knowing the new rules and are suprised and embarrassed when they have to turn around and go home. I hear it's worse at the airports in Canada and not as bad at the borders.

    This is effecting people on cruise ships (who aren't allowed to get off the ship when it docks in Canada on a cruise), rock stars, politicians, businessmen----all sorts of people. Here's my best advice:

    If you have a criminal record in the US (and it doesn't have to be a felony...simple crimes count, too) call the Canadian embassy or the consulate and find out ahead of time if you will be allowed to cross the border. When you go, bring documentation of when the crime was committed and that you have paid all fines, etc. If the crime was committed within the last ten years, you'll have to apply for a special exemption which costs $200 and takes many months to complete.

    If you have a DUI within the past five years, forget about going to Canada. If it was between five and ten years, then you can apply for special permit. If it was more than ten years ago, then you may be able to get across, but I'd bring documentation.

    Goggle this subject...there are a lot of stories out there. If worse comes to worse, you can hire an immigration attorney to help you out. You can also google canadain border crossings........ www.bordercrossings.ca. She is an expert on getting you permits to cross.

    Good Luck!
  • edited 7:09PM
    So I have done my research (alot of it!) and have found an inordinate amount of info regarding the laws, but less about the leniency (or otherwise) of border agents when traveling by air.

    I am planning a trip to Canada in the near future, and have obtained many of the necessary docs (FBI cert, court docs, letters of ref, employment history, etc) to apply for rehabilitation. Still waiting on a couple state police certs, though, which makes me ver very nervous, although they can be looked up online.

    My question is- should I declare to the borders agent that I have an old DUI (2001, sentence complete 2002) or simply let them ask the questions and carry on? I would have applied for rehabilitation through the consulate but it takes over 6 months, so there is no point. I would rather take the chance. Of course, if they ask me about criminal convictions, I will speak truthfully and hope they either A) grant me individual rehab by the docs I have, or B) give me a temp permit. I know its risky, but does anyone care to comment HOW risky it is? You'd think they'd be willing to listen, review the docs, and make the determination on the spot. And since I have nothing on my record since, the DUI occurred on a stupid day (21st bday! if you believe it!), and I have never done anything so silly again--- you'd think there'd be reason.

    Any comments? Would be very much appreciated.
  • edited 7:09PM
    Looking for any help regarding this situation. I am a Canadian citizen who received a misdemeanor DUI, in the state of Kentucky. I payed my bond to be released, but I do not wish to head back to appear in court. If I don't go, and they issue a county warrant for my arrest, can this be flagged at US Customs, if I try to re-enter the US?
  • edited 7:09PM
    Take the train. DO NOT TAKE THE BUS, PLANE or DRIVE YOUR OWN VEHICLE. If you have a conviction or DUI they often run your plates and your crim convicts pop up. They usually check the driver's driver's license unless passenger people are acting wonkey. I have been told by attorneys that work near the border that the train is the safest way to get in. Next safest way is to rent a car or take a car that has no convictions attached (that is clean and not a weird art car or something or kidnapper van) and do not drive it yourself. This is the advice I've been given and we'll see if it works. You might not even get stopped. They are asking questions to buy time to check your record, so if the driver doesn't have a record you should be good unless you get weird; don't get weird when there isn't a reason to.

    Only answer what you have been asked in any interrogation by any official in any country for any reason. Period. Never voluneer up anything.
  • edited 7:09PM
    Hello,

    How strict are they if you are simply flying through Canada to connect on an ongoing flight? Will they let you in even if you have a small possession of marijuana charge on your record? I booked my ticket to Hong Kong via Vancouver and then got caught up for a small possession (2 grams) charge. My court date is 6 days before I'm scheduled to leave for Canada and HK. I have nothing else on my record and since possession of that amount of marijuana is a summary offence in Canada would I be ok? I anticipate receiving a sentence of deferred adjudication. Any help is much appreciated!

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