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I was convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Can I enter Canada?

If you’ve been convicted of driving while impaired, you may be inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality. This means that you generally can’t enter Canada. If that’s the case, there are options for you to enter Canada temporarily, or to become admissible again.

To enter Canada temporarily

A temporary resident permit (TRP) could allow you to enter Canada temporarily.

To get a TRP:

  • you must prove that your reason for travelling to Canada is justified.
  • you’ll have to pay the C$200 processing fee.

There’s no guarantee you’ll be allowed to enter or stay in Canada.

To become admissible again

There is a way you may be able to become admissible to Canada again. If you’re no longer inadmissible, you could enter Canada without having to get a TRP every time you want to come back. This is called criminal rehabilitation.

You can apply for criminal rehabilitation if:

  • you meet the eligibility criteria and
  • at least 5 years has passed since you completed your sentence or committed the crime.

If you committed an impaired driving offence before December 18, 2018

Tougher penalties for impaired driving came into effect on December 18, 2018. If you committed an impaired driving offence before this date, we’ll determine if you’re inadmissible based on the penalties in force at the time.

This means you may be inadmissible for criminality, and not serious criminality, unless you received a prison sentence in Canada longer than 6 months.

If you’re inadmissible for criminality, you may be eligible for deemed rehabilitation if at least 10 years has passed since you completed your sentence.

Find out more about overcoming your criminal inadmissibility.

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