Tips for Traveling Abroad With a DUI Conviction

This upcoming summer provides many opportunities for weekend getaways and extensive travel. In order to make your experience go as smoothly as possible make sure you have all the necessary documents and information when planning a trip abroad. One important thing to remember is that holding a criminal record may bar you from visiting some nations. A DUI is a criminal charge and certain countries will not let you enter their borders if you have a DUI on your record. This simple mistake can render you criminally inadmissible to foreign nations.

In order to not let travel opportunities pass you by, it is important to have all the information before making plans. According the United States Department of State, Canada is one of the nations that does not allow U.S. citizens with a DUI conviction across their boarders without first obtaining a special waiver. Canadian law is more severe than American law for first time offenders, as according to their laws a first time offender must pay $1000 fee and are subject to a 12 month driving suspension. A DUI is considered a felony in Canada whereas in the United States a first time offense is a misdemeanor.

The Department of Canadian Citizenship and Immigration also advises travelers that those who were convicted of a criminal offense may not be able to receive a waiver to enter their country for travel purposes. Their laws require at least five years to have passed before you can submit an application for pardon. Ten years to have passed before a pardon can be issued without an application but the individual must have been convicted of only one offense. The process of applying for a pardon is extensive and requires you to work with a Canadian immigration representative as well pay a $200-$1000 application fee depending on the severity of the crime.

If you have been convicted of criminal activity that is classified as a misdemeanor, it may be considered a felony in Canada. While not all nations have such restrictive rules regarding entrance into their borders, if you have been convicted of a DUI or have been charged with any other crime that is a misdemeanor traveling abroad may be more difficult for you. Getting a pardon is an extensive and time consuming process, your travel plans may be put on hold with the time it takes to get a pardon. Do not let a DUI drastically interrupt your life!