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Q & A: Convictions for impaired driving

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Question: I am US citizen who was recently convicted of driving under the influence (D.U.I.). I have heard that this might prevent me from being admitted into Canada. Is this true?

Answer: A conviction for impaired driving may prevent you from entering Canada, even if the conviction or guilty plea was treated as a misdemeanor in the USA. This is not only true if you wish to become a Canadian permanent resident, but it is also the case if you plan to enter Canada as a visitor, student, or on a work permit.

To be admissible to Canada you will have to do one of the following:

• apply before entering Canada for a Temporary Resident Permit, if there are compelling reasons for you to be in Canada, or
• wait 5 years from the completion of your sentence, after which time you may submit an Application For Criminal Rehabilitation to the Canadian immigration authorities, or
• wait 10 years from the completion of your sentence, after which time you will be deemed rehabilitated, if you have not committed any subsequent offences.

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