Having a criminal history, particularly a conviction for a DWI or DUI, can affect your travels to Canada. By having a conviction for either of these offenses, a person will become criminally inadmissible, and therefore, not allowed to enter Canada.
The Canadian Immigration Refugee Protection Act, in Section 36, lists the ways a foreign national can become criminally inadmissible into Canada. One of these ways in which a person may be refused admittance into Canada is if the individual has been convicted of an offense that has an equivalent offense in the Canadian Criminal Code.
The Texas Penal Code offense of Driving While Intoxicated is an offense that does have an equivalent offense in the Canadian Criminal Code, §253 “Operation While Impaired.” In addition, due to the Canadian offense of “Dangerous Operation of Motor Vehicles,” the problems with admissibility into Canada will remain even if someone charged with a DWI or DUI pleads guilty to a reduced charge.
There are avenues of relief for inadmissibility if an individual has been convicted of a DWI or DUI in Texas. One of these avenues is to argue against the equivalence of the Canadian and Texas offense.
An individual may also solve their admissibility problem by getting a Temporary Resident Permit. This can be done by showing a significant reason for the person to be in Canada. In addition, a person may find permanent relief from criminal inadmissibility by Criminal Rehabilitation. This permanent solution can only be done five years after all of the terms of the sentence have been completed.