A collateral outcome of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired (DWI), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OMVI), and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) charge is the possibility of exclusion from admission to Canada.
If a person is convicted of DUI, DWI, OWI, OMVI, DWAI in the United States regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor DUI conviction or a felony DUI conviction, that person will likely be excluded from admission to Canada. It also seems to be irrelevant whether the conviction was for a “lesser included” charges like “Wet reckless” in California, or driving while ability impaired in many States.
It is possible that immigration officials may not catch the conviction, however, if they do, the person will not be admitted to Canada.
There are three ways for a person convicted of DUI to enter Canada:
1) Deemed Rehabilitated
A person convicted of a single DUI, DWI, OWI, OMVI, DWAI (or lesser included) who has gone 10 years past the end of their sentence (meaning, 10 years following the termination/completion of probation), may seek admission to Canada either as a visitor or Permanent Resident.
2) Apply for Rehabilitation
A person may apply for “finding of criminal rehabilitation” five years and one day following the successful completion of the terms of their sentence (meaning probation has either been terminated or completed).
3) Temporary Residence Permit
A person otherwise inadmissible may be admitted upon application and granting of a temporary residence permit. This permit may cover more than one visit and may be granted for one or more years. Application is usually made through the Canadian Embassy or Consulate, but may be made at the port of entry.
For additional information on admission to Canada please review: