Entering Canada for a visit is something thousands of people do every year from the U.S. and around the world. They cross at border patrols and enter by air. Most people will continue with their holidays or personal visits and the worst they will have to endure is a long line up, or perhaps being inspected by a customs agent. Some visitors, however, will be turned away because of a DUI in their history.
Can a Person Really be Turned Away Because of a DUI?
The Canadian Government often refuses entry to any person with a DUI against his or her name. Not all countries are as strict and might allow entry to a visitor with one such conviction, or they will take note of the age of the conviction when making a decision. In Canada, however, there are rare exceptions, at least not for individuals who have failed to make a prior application to waive the conviction. It is a common story that United States citizens are turned away because they have DUI convictions that are years, sometimes decades old.
There is no appealing rejection at the border. Patrol guards do not make the law. They only enforce it. It is no good having an altercation with one of these individuals, as this will go on record. Think ahead to the appeal you will make when you are home again and feeling calmer. There is a way to get across the border legally, but you need to plan well in advance. It can take several months from the time of your application to crossing into Canada legally, so do not plan any last minute holidays up north. Immigration lawyers indicate that to enter the country from the United States, a citizen needs to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit, available from the Canadian Embassy in the United States (or whatever country you come from where the DUI conviction was instituted). It does not matter if you just want to go shopping, visit the Canuck side of Niagara Falls, or spend a week in Calgary: you need to have this piece of paper before even approaching the border. Rumors abound that Canada will lessen their restrictions in the near future. Before risking a journey, take time to check out the facts.
Avoiding Denial of Entry
Even if you fill out all of the necessary applications, you could still be denied entry into Canada. If this happens and you wish to break down the barrier, you would be wise to seek legal representation. Immigration lawyers handle these kinds of cases all of the time, often enabling foreign citizens to enter Canada legally once more for business or personal visits whenever they want to.