Region I: North America

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Past DUI Convictions May Keep Pilots Out of Canada

Updated July 23, 2012

Business aviation operators flying into Canada should be aware of that country’s strict immigration policy regarding U.S. citizens entering the country who have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, which is a felony in Canada.

Bill Stine, NBAA’s director of international operations, said that the Association receives several complaints each year from NBAA Members who have been denied access into Canada.

“Anyone who is convicted of a felony is considered ‘criminally inadmissible’ into Canada under its Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,” Stine said. “However, there are provisions that render someone eligible for ‘deemed rehabilitation’ for entry purposes into Canada if the DUI happened 10 or more years ago.”

Application for deemed rehabilitation can be made at any Canadian Port of Entry, or at the nearest Canadian Visa Office/Consulate.

For those with DUIs that occurred between five and 10 years ago, the process for entry is a bit cumbersome under what’s referred to as the “rehabilitation” process. The application can be processed only at a Canadian Visa Office/Consulate or at Citizen and Immigration Canada National Headquarters. It also requires the authorization of the manager or the minister's delegate. Fees for the rehabilitation process vary.

“U.S. residents filing for rehabilitation should file with one of the consulates rather than the Canadian Embassy, due to the embassy’s work load, which can lead to extensive delays in processing rehabilitations applications,” said Stine.

Additional information, including application forms for “Rehabilitation for Persons who are Inadmissible to Canada Because of Past Criminal Activity” and a directory of Canadian Consulates worldwide, is available on the CIC website.