If you try entering the U.S. with a DUI and no other serious criminal charges you will likely be able cross the U.S. border so long as you’re obeying all Customs regulations. Overall, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is more tolerant of drinking and driving related charges than their Canadian counterparts when it comes to determining admissibility.
However, you need to know there are stipulations to entering the U.S. with a DUI or impaired driving charge.
U.S. Customs Statement on DUI’s & Travel to The U.S.
According to Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency “A single DUI conviction is not grounds to deny entry into the U.S. However, multiple DUI convictions or a DUI conviction in combination with other misdemeanor offenses can make a person inadmissible and require a waiver prior to entering the United States.”
Questions? For a free phone consultation call us at (204) 453-0099 or (877) 438-7020.
Can I Cross the U.S. Border With A Conviction?
Having a single ‘summary’ offence is sometimes not sufficient grounds for refusing you entry into the United States for offences that are viewed as fairly minor in nature by the US Government. Examples of these types of offences are theft, fraud, and possession of property obtained by crime. However, the onus is on you to provide verifiable documentation that will prove that your offence was a summary offence when crossing.
Entering the U.S. With A Summary Offense & DUI
When crossing the border with a DUI conviction and a minor offense you will often require documentation in the form of court records to prove your one crime (other than the DUI) is a summary offense for the Border Agent to allow you entry, just as above. Should the US Border Agent not feel your documentation is sufficient to prove the nature of the conviction, you would likely be refused entry to the United States.
Video: What is the difference between a summary offense and an indictable offense.
Hassle Free U.S. Border Crossing with A DUI
We almost always recommend applying for a U.S. waiver if you have had any problems crossing the border with regards to a DUI and/or a minor Canadian criminal charge. If you apply and do not require a U.S. waiver to cross the U.S. border, then the U.S. government will provide you with a letter stating so. Presenting this letter to the U.S. Border Agent will allow you to prove your admissibility and gain entry to the United States. Should you need the U.S. waiver due to your convictions then your application will be processed for a waiver, usually valid between 1 and 5 years. Having a waiver in hand will allow you to travel to the United States regardless of what past offences you’ve had. Either way, it’s best to apply if you’d like peace of mind that you will be able to cross when needed.
Questions about applying? Fill in the contact form to the right or call us for a free phone consultation: (204) 453-0099 or (877) 438-7020.
Border Crossing the Hard Way: Without a U.S. Wavier
The following is a scenario we see all too often. You present yourself at the U.S. border and mention you have a criminal conviction for a minor crime (example: shoplifting) that resulted in a summary conviction. You’ll likely be refused entry and told to bring paperwork that proves the minor shoplifting conviction is indeed a summary conviction. On your next attempt to cross into the U.S. you fully explain your situation to the Border Protection Agency agent and present paperwork in the form of a criminal record check. Because the criminal record check does not show that your minor shoplifting conviction is a summary conviction, you might again be refused entry and must present detailed court documents. This cycle can repeat itself several times if the agent is not completely satisfied. This cycle can be frustrating and time consuming to deal with, in which case it would have been simpler to apply to the U.S. government and allow them to issue you a decision, in writing.
Apply for a U.S. Waiver
Pardon Services Ent. MB Has been helping Canadians enter the U.S. for over 20 years. We have always offered a free, no obligation phone consultation to help you get the answers you need to make the right decision. Call us between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at (204) 453-0099 or (877) 438-7020.