What Countries Will Not Let You In With A DUI?

Most countries don’t view a DUI conviction as a reason to refuse entry for tourism, but your DUI will be a problem if you plan to live, work, or study in countries with DUI travel restrictions. So, what countries will not let you in with a DUI?

What Countries Will Not Let You In With A DUI in 2024?

What Countries Will Not Let You In With A DUI

This guide will focus on DUI travel restrictions in popular destinations.

To enter another country, travelers may need to obtain a full visa, a visa on arrival, or an electronic travel authorization. Visitors may also need to complete an entry card.

Questions about criminal history may be asked before these travel documents are issued.

Criminal history questions (when asked) may be limited to information about offenses that led to imprisonment, or they may be broader and ask if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.

Visa applicants may need to supply a full criminal background check or police report.

A DUI won’t always result in being refused entry to a county because some crimes are viewed more seriously than others. The age of the offense will also be a factor.


Canada will not let you in with a DUI unless you apply for permission in advance.

Canadian border officials have direct access to criminal records databases in the United States via the United States National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

To legally enter Canada with a DUI, travelers must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation.

Criminal Rehabilitation will be issued if at least 5 years have passed since all sentencing requirements were completed. This option is a permanent solution and only has to be applied for once.

If it’s been less than 5 years, travelers must apply for a TRP. If issued a TRP is valid for up to 3 years.

See Also: Can You Travel To Canada With a Felony?


In Australia, a DUI is considered a substantial criminal record.

Travelers to Australia with a DUI must obtain a visitor visa; they can’t enter with the Australian ETA (electronic travel authorization).

Immigration officials will consider the time since conviction and evidence of rehabilitation before issuing a visa.

Travelers who aren’t considered a risk to the community will usually be approved for a visitor visa.

New Zealand

Travelers with a recent DUI cannot enter New Zealand using NZeTA, the visa waiver system.

For tourism purposes, travelers will need a visitor visa. Criminal convictions must be disclosed on the visa application.

A DUI won’t automatically result in visa refusal. Immigration officials look at the age of the offense and other factors to determine if you meet the good character requirements.

Visas will be refused for any criminal conviction in the past 10 years resulting in a prison sentence of one year or more.


Travelers from the United States, don’t need a visa to enter Mexico for tourism purposes but must complete a tourist card on arrival. The tourist card doesn’t ask about criminal convictions.

Travelers who require a visa will need to disclose their convictions.

While Mexico will deny entry to persons convicted of serious crimes, a DUI isn’t considered a serious crime unless it’s a felony DUI.


Japan allows visa-free travel to United States passport holders for tourism purposes. On arrival in Japan, travelers must present a completed entry card. The entry card doesn’t ask about criminal records.

Travelers needing a visa to enter Japan could be denied if their DUI resulted in a prison sentence of one year or more.

South Africa

Travelers from the United States do not need a visa to enter South Africa for tourism purposes.

Those wishing to enter South Africa for other purposes must obtain a visa, and criminal convictions must be disclosed on the application form.

A felony DUI may be a barrier to entry depending on its age.

United Kingdom

Is the UK one of the countries you can’t go to with a DUI? Not necessarily.

Entry to the UK for tourism and other short stays is visa-free for United States citizens who won’t be asked about criminal convictions.

Travelers wishing to enter the UK for other reasons need to apply for a visa and disclose criminal convictions.

Visas will be refused to travelers with a DUI if their conviction resulted in a prison sentence of:

  • 12 months to 4 years unless 10 years have passed since sentence completion
  • Under 12 months unless 5 years have passed since sentence completion

Are There European Countries You Can’t Go To With A DUI?

Are There European Countries You Can’t Go To With A DUI?

A DUI won’t be an issue for travelers entitled to visa-free travel to EU member states within the Schengen Zone. Visa-free travel allows short-term visits for tourism and business trips.

While ETIAS, the electronic travel authorization system is due to come online in 2025, a DUI conviction isn’t one of the offenses travelers need to disclose on the ETIAS application.

The application will ask travelers, “whether he or she has been convicted in the previous 25 years of a terrorist offense or in the previous 15 years of any other criminal offense listed in the Annex, and if so when and in which country.

A conviction for DUI isn’t listed in the Annex so travelers shouldn’t face any restrictions once ETIAS is operational.

What Countries Can You Not Go To With A DUI?

Always check the exact entry requirements for your destination before you travel. You’ll find the current regulations on national embassy or immigration websites.

Countries with DUI travel restrictions may require visitors to apply for a visa. Visa approval will depend on the sentence you received and the age of your DUI conviction.