A criminal record will likely make you inadmissible to the United States. However, Canadian citizens and permanent residents that have been or are likely to be denied entry may apply for a US Entry Waiver, or just “Waiver” for short.A criminal record will likely make you inadmissible to the United States. However, Canadian citizens and permanent residents that have been or are likely to be denied entry may apply for a US Entry Waiver, or just “Waiver” for short.
A Waiver is a signed, legal document issued by the Department of US Homeland Security which agrees in advance, that the traveller may have unlimited access into the United States throughout the term of the Waiver. The point of a Waiver is to provide full transparency to the United States about who you are, why you are inadmissible, why you no longer pose a threat to reoffend, how you will use your Waiver, and details about your life.
The US waiver application process can be daunting, and much more than filling out some forms. While there is no guarantee that your application will be approved, those with a criminal record are often denied simply because of an incomplete or improperly completed application process.
Rejections at the Border
on the RiseAccording to The Globe and Mail, more than 27,000 people were turned away at the US/Canada in 2016, an increase of nearly 7% over the previous year. The growing number of stories of border guards using their ultimate authority to refuse entry, sometimes without an explanation, is cause for concern for those wishing to travel south to see family or vacation.
Reasons for Inadmissibility to the United States
There are many reasons a Canadian may be refused entry to the USA. The most common reasons being:
● Crimes of Moral Turpitude – If you’ve committed a crime of moral turpitude over the age of 18, you will be inadmissible to the US. These crimes include burglary, fraud, theft, manslaughter, and aggravated battery;
● More than 1 Criminal Conviction – Any individual with more than 1 criminal conviction, regardless of how minor or serious, may be inadmissible to the US
● If You Have a Communicable Disease
● Controlled Substance (drug) Violation(s).
Your ability to travel will depend on the nature of your crimes, your age, and the frequency of your crimes. Obtaining a Waiver will allow you to travel to the USA with a criminal record.
How to Apply for a US Entry Waiver
Obtaining a Waiver to travel to the US with a criminal record involves many steps, including:
● Confirm that you are ineligible for entry (via fingerprinting)
● Request your criminal record from the RCMP
● A signed personal statement describing the circumstances of your ineligibility, your travel plans, and your rehabilitation
● References testifying to your rehabilitation
● Proof of employment and income
● Drug tests (if your inadmissibility is drug related)
● A Homeland Security fee
From there, you will have to fill out the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non Immigrant (form I-192). You must also fill out form G-325A with your biographical information. Your application must be submitted either at an eligible port of entry or at a US Preclearance Office in Canada.
There is no guarantee that your application will be approved; however, the grounds for denial are often as simple as an incomplete application. If you’d like to take the first steps toward obtaining your US Entry Waiver, start by obtaining a free US Waiver Qualification report.
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