I was convicted of a DUAI in New York. Unlike a DWI or DUI, a DUAI is not a criminal offense, it is a traffic infraction like a speeding ticket. I therefore have no criminal record and can honestly answer "no" if asked by a Border Partrol Agent if I have ever been convicted of a crime. There is plenty of information online about getting into Canada with a DWI or DUI but I can not seem to find any information about crossing into Canada with a DUAI. Would a DUAI prohibit my privilege of entering Canada? Or would it have no bearing since it is not a "crime"?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You are correct that a DUAI is NOT a crime in the U.S. However; when determining the issue of Admissibility into a foreign country such as Canada you must determine if that country would have considered it a crime and the answer is Yes. Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law. Anyone with a criminal record (including misdemeanors or alcohol-related driving offenses) may not be able to enter Canada without first obtaining a special waiver well in advance of any planned travel. So though your DUAI would not be a crime in N.Y., it would be an issue for crossing into Canada without permission.
You did not say when you obtained the DUAI but If 10 years has passed then you can apply for entry. If it's only been within 5 years, you can apply for streamlined entry with proof that you have been what they would call rehabilitated. Lastly; If 5 years has not passed and you're just entering once then you can apply and purchase a Temporary Resident Permit through a Canadian consulate.
I hope this information helps but if you need the assistance of an attorney to assist in your process of gain entry into Canada, then feel free to contact my office and we can talk about your specific circumstances in more detail.