Immigration lawyer Andy Semotiuk: Americans planning to travel to Canada should be aware that a DUI, or impaired driving conviction, could block their plans.
Canada did recently pass a law exempting an applicant with a DUI from the Temporary Resident Permit requirement on a one-time trip to Canada for hunting or fishing. Generally speaking, however, if you have a DUI, you need to apply for a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit.
This is especially important for anyone planning to marry a Canadian, or to have a wedding in Canada. If you have an American DUI on your record, you should contact a lawyer to clean up your case so that it never causes a problem for future trips to Canada.
Canadians with a drunk driving conviction do not need to obtain a waiver to visit the USA, but anyone with any other criminal conviction should consult a relevant immigration lawyer before attempting to cross the border. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.