Canadian Border Crossing Services

2019 Update On Bill-C46 Relax DUI Entry Requirements

There has been a late but welcome update regarding Bill C-46’s tougher penalties for impaired driving that came into effect on December 18, 2018.  It appears the Canadian government is willing to grandfather in DUI charges that occurred before the bill took effect. Essentially anyone previously entering Canada under deemed rehabilitation may still use the clause for entry despite the fact that DUI has been upgraded to a serious crime.

Deemed rehabilitation for DUI’s to be retro-active as of December 18th, 2018.

On the Government of Canada’s website under the Immigration and Citizenship help centre it clearly states that the penalties at the time will determine inadmissibility:

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.

Is This Enough To Guarantee Entry With An Old DUI?

For now it appears it is enough to gain entry except you have to realize one thing. This is simply a policy shift to make up for an unintended consequence of the change made in Bill C-46. It is not a an amendment and it can be changed at any time.

As it outlines on the Government of Canada’s website, a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or a more permanent criminal rehabilitation certificate can be applied for.

Questions?

We recognize every situation is unique and it’s always a good idea to ask questions to get the right answers. For a free consultation give simply call us at (204) 488-6350 or 1-800-438-7020. Alternatively you may complete the contact form on this page.

14 thoughts on “2019 Update On Bill-C46 Relax DUI Entry Requirements

  1. My DUI was in 2016 and it was due to marijuana, not alcohol. I was wondering if I could make a trip to Canada to see a girl I love. Please respond if possible and if you have time. Thank you for your time.

  2. David M Lopez says:

    I had a DUI back in 2011 and have remained out of trouble since. Can I enter Canada without any special paperwork?

    • Hi David,

      At this point you would be considered ‘inadmissible’ and would run the risk of being denied entry. If you’re interested in overcoming this, please call my office: (204) 488-6350, or send me an email: info@bordercrossing.ca.

      Thanks

  3. In Arizona it is common for people to be charged with more than one level of DUI for the same offense. In my spouse’s case she received a DUI for “intoxication to the slightest degree” in addition to one for over being over the legal limit. This resulted in two guilty charges on her rap sheet, stemming from the same incident on the same date. All of this concluded over ten years ago.

    Do you have any knowledge as to whether this situation would nix her eligibility for Deemed Rehabilitation under Canada’s laws? From what I have read she should qualify based on all other circumstances but given that she technically has multiple charges I am concerned (the regs state that a person can only have one conviction).

    • Hi Carrie,

      Two separate convictions that would constitute and indictable offence would make that person not eligible to be Deemed Rehabilitated no matter how long has passed. It’s difficult to say whether both of these convictions would constitute indictable offences in Canada without seeing the legislation however.

      If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me:

      Mitch Jessiman
      (204) 488-6350
      info@bordercrossing.ca

    • Hi Mary,

      If that is the only arrest/charge you’ve had in your entire lifetime and it’s been more than 10 years since you completed all sentencing requirements, then you are able to enter Canada at this point. If you require further clarification please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Mitch Jessiman
      (204) 488-6350
      info@bordercrossing.ca

  4. I had a dui conviction 30 years ago. I want to do a day trip on the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria. Will I be denied access to Canada?

    • Hi Lisa,

      If that DUI conviction is the only arrest/charge you’ve ever had and it’s been more than 10 years since you completed all sentencing requirements then you would no longer be inadmissible to Canada for that offence.

  5. I received a DWAI Infraction on Jan 2007 and all fines/programs were paid/completed by April 2007. Would I still be classified as “inadmissible” at this point or would I be considered “Grandfathered in”?

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