A misdemeanor arrest or conviction may make a U.S. citizen citizen inadmissible to Canada. Entry to Canada with a misdemeanor is however possible provided the crime is considered relatively minor. The severity of the crime is judged based on the corresponding punishment in the Canadian judicial system and not the American system. A good example of this is a DUI charge. In the United States a DUI (impaired driving, DWI) a relatively minor crime and considered a misdemeanor in many jurisdictions. Canada on the other hand, considers driving under the influence alcohol or other substances that impair the ability to drive very seriously. In fact, a DUI conviction in Canada carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible to Enter Canada With A Misdemeanor?

A single non-violent misdemeanor with no other charges that has had a sufficient amount of time pass may be eligible for what is called “deemed rehabilitation”. You will have had to complete any required court orders and pay any restitution or fines as per sentencing.

Simple assault requires an application for either a temporary resident permit od criminal rehabilitation.

Entry to Canada With Multiple Misdemeanors or Felony Convictions

Generally speaking, felonies are an equivalent to an indictable offence in Canada and considered a serious crime. No amount of time going to makes a person eligible for deemed rehabilitation. Special permission to enter Canada will be required. This takes the form of 1 of 2 options. You can apply for either a Canada Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation.

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

A  Temporary Resident Permit allows individuals with serious misdemeanors, multiple misdemeanors, and even felony convictions enter Canada for a fixed period of time. Generally speaking, a Temporary Resident Permit is issued for a period of one year but can be issued for up to three years. In emergency situations they can be issued quite quickly. More often there is a waiting period of XX months.

Criminal Rehabilitation

Criminal Rehabilitation is permanent permission to cross the Canadian border despite having misdemeanor convictions. Application for criminal Rehabilitation can take up to 12 months.

Free Admissibility Consultations

We recognize that every case is unique and it’s best to have a professional review your situation. Simply call Mitch at 1-800-438-7020 or use the online form on this page.

16 thoughts on “Can You Enter Canada with a Misdemeanor?

  1. Adam Peterson says:

    I have a misdemeanor assault charge on my record from 2009 and was wondering if I would be allowed to enter Canada on a work trip/retreat happening in October.
    Thank you in advance!

  2. I have several misdemeanor charges1 gross misdemeanor charge, currently on probation and out on bail. Can I travel to Canada

  3. My mom doesn’t have an email so I’m asking on her behalf. She has a disorderly conduct misdemeanor from 2015 but participated in a diversion program and doesn’t have any fees or anything. Can she enter?

  4. I have two DUIs one from about 8 years ago, the other about 7 years ago. Are there any steps I need to take to cross the Canadian border? Obviously this is ignoring all the COVID stuff

  5. a friend of mine wants to come to visit canada after covid is over, she has as she puts it a charge that was dropped to mistaminor burglary. would she be allowed to come visit it was over 6 years old.

    • Hi Dawn,

      She would be considered inadmissible with a ‘burglary’ offence, if she’d like to visit she would first have to apply for an approval to overcome her inadmissibility. If she has any interest, she can feel free to reach out to my office for a more thorough consultation: (204) 488-6350 or info@bordercrossing.ca

  6. Toni Berghoff says:

    Hello, I have 3 speeding tickets. Most recent one was March 2020. All paid for instantly. Just curious if it would be possible to travel to Canada for my birthday in November?

    • If all 3 infractions were called ‘speeding’ then they should not prevent you from being able to enter Canada. Please be advised that there are restrictions on non-essential travel currently and you should look into whether or not they have been lifted before trying to travel.

  7. If someone has a charge of criminal damage to property (despite it being their own property), but someone accused them of breaking something that belonged to them, called the police, and the person accused just ended up paying a fine, as that was cheaper than an attorney, would that be a reason to not be able to visit Canada? This occurred in 2009.

  8. In February 2016 I was arrested for an DUI and later received a CWOF. All classes and fees have been paid and probation ended February 2017. Would I be able to visit Canada without being turned away, or would this still be considered up to whoever is at the border? And is there a difference whether driving across or flying into? I personally would not be driving, as I still have not decided to reinstate my license since the incident.

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