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What is a U.S. Entry Waiver Application?

A U.S. Waiver (also known as a “Waiver” or “I-192”) is a legal document issued by a division of U.S. Homeland Security which awards you advance permission in writing to enter the United States for a given period of time. Once you have a valid Waiver document, you may legally cross the border into the United States via land or air an unlimited number of times, even with a criminal record.

Why is Having a U.S. Waiver Important?

Without a valid U.S. Waiver, it is illegal for a Canadian or resident to attempt to cross the border into the United States with most criminal records. Attempting to enter the U.S. by land or air without a Waiver could result in denial of entry, arrest, detainment, or even confiscation of personal property in your possession. For more travelers, taking such a risk is not an option.

Approved Waiver Timelines (Typical Results)

Customs & Border Protection (CBP) will grant you a Waiver for a specified period of time.
The chart below shows typical Waiver term approvals:

# of Waivers Previously Approved Term of Waiver
1st Ever Waiver Usually 1 Year
Subsequent Waivers Usually Multiple Years (up to 5)

Therefore, for your first Waiver, it is not uncommon for the traveler to receive a 1-year term. This means you can enter the United States an unlimited number of times for the period of 1-year, by showing your Passport & Waiver document upon entry. The reason CBP often grants 1-year terms for an initial Waiver is a matter of trust. The United States wants to give you the opportunity to visit successfully (not have any criminal issues) inside the United States. Once that trust is earned and developed, subsequent Waivers often have extended timelines. The maximum term granted for a Waiver is 5-years.

How Much Does a U.S. Waiver Cost?

The Pardon Applications of Canada service fee is $900 which includes all taxes, or 6 payments of $160. Not included in this fee is the U.S. government filing fee of $585 USD as well as the cost of fingerprinting (approx. $75). If you are also applying for a Canadian Pardon, the cost could be amalgamated to save money.

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U.S. Waiver 1-192 Fees

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$80 /month

    Plan Features

  • Unlimited Entry into the U.S. Upon approval of your application, throughout the Term of your Waiver (typically 1-5 years)
  • 100% Guaranteed Processing
  • RCMP Fingerprint Instructions
  • Dedicated Client Care Support
  • Free Email, Phone & Text Updates
  • Clear Your Criminal Record Forever
  • Pardon Confirmation Letter
  • Priority Option Priority Applications are completed 2-3 months faster and include unlimited Client Care support — add $95.
  • 100% Confidential
  • Nationwide Privacy Policy
  • A+ Accredited via BBB

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+ADD PARDON(Best Value)

$20 /month

    Plan Features

  • Unlimited Entry into the U.S. Upon approval of your application, throughout the Term of your Waiver (typically 1-5 years)
  • Clear Criminal Record Forever
  • RCMP Fingerprint Instructions
  • FREE Employment Letter
  • 100% Guaranteed Processing
  • Personalized Client Care Support
  • FREE Email, Phone & Text Updates
  • Priority Option Priority Applications are completed 2-3 months faster and include unlimited Client Care support — add $95.
  • 100% Confidential
  • Nationwide Privacy Policy
  • A+ Accredited via BBB

When Should I Apply for a U.S. Waiver?

You can apply for a Waiver at any time, even a short period of time after your last conviction. Unlike a Pardon (Record Suspension), there is no legal “wait period” after your last conviction before you can apply.

However, you must be aware that there are factors that could affect the potential that a traveler’s Waiver application is approved, and the length of its term, including:

  • The length and severity of your criminal record;
  • How much time has passed since your most recent offence;
  • Positive steps you’ve taken in your life since your record;
  • The overall quality of your U.S. Waiver application (this is Pardon Applications of Canada’s job!).

Pardon Applications of Canada has completed thousands of successful U.S. Waivers for travelers in Canada since 2011. Apply Now or call 866-383-9744 to maximize the opportunity for acceptance of your Waiver and length of the term.

How Long Does the U.S. Waiver Application Process Take?

From the first time you contact Pardon Applications of Canada until you have a valid U.S. Waiver document in your hands, you can expect a timeline of 8-12 months. This includes the legal application process and U.S. government approval timeline. However, timelines cannot be guaranteed and generally, you should start your U.S. Waiver application as soon as possible before reserving any travel plans.

There is no “shortcut” in the U.S. Waiver application process, and any service or advertisement which offers an “expedited” Waiver is not credible. However, Pardon Applications of Canada does offer a Priority status for urgent applications which can improve the timeline for internal steps in Canada. However, no service, company or individual can expedite the United States’ review process once the application is submitted.

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I Only Have a Single DUI on My Record. Do I Need a Waiver?

The United States does allow some exceptions to criminal inadmissibility, for example, a record containing only one non-conviction charge, or a single DUI. However, in practice, the enforcement of the Waiver requirement is handled inconsistently by the United States. Some travelers may be let through, whereas others are denied. With any criminal arrest history at all, regardless of how minor or old the record, you are ultimately placing your admissibility in the hands of the Border/Customs Officer without a valid Waiver.

I Don’t Have a Criminal Record but I Overstayed or was Deported. Do I Need a Waiver?

Yes. Although criminal inadmissibility is the most common reason to apply for a Waiver, there are others. If you overstayed your visitation rights or were otherwise removed from the United States, you will likely require a Waiver. The good news is that Waiver applications without a criminal record can be completed faster. Contact Pardon Applications of Canada at 866-383-9744 for more details.

I Crossed the Border Without Issue Even Though I Have a Record. Why?

You were fortunate. Although you crossed the U.S. border previously when Customs & Border Protection Officers did not perform a search of your history, the very next time you attempt to cross could be another matter. Border Officers can do a more thorough check and scan of your passport. When they find your criminal record, you could be barred from entry, arrested on the spot, detained at the border and/or face confiscation of personal property in your possession. Further, if CBP Officers determine that you were fully aware of your inadmissibility and still attempted to cross the border, your denial could be treated more seriously. Never assume that because you entered the U.S. once, you are free to do so in perpetuity.

I’d Like to Learn More About Waivers

Great! Here’s some education links below:

Real Reviews of
Pardon Applications of Canada

Below is just a few real applicant reviews of Pardon Applications of Canada via BBB (Ottawa). Check it out for yourself and get PAC working for you today.

1. What is a US Waiver?

A US waiver is an application submitted to the Department of Homeland Security that attempts to gain you entrance into the United States even though you’re not a citizen or permanent resident of the country. Waivers can also be used by those who have otherwise been denied entry due to their immigration status, including students and tourists. These US waivers also allow entry into the country if you have a prior or existing criminal record; however, a few conditions apply.

2. Can I travel to the USA from Canada if I have a criminal record?

For the vast majority of criminal records, you will be denied entry to the states via traditional methods. However, you can still apply for a US waiver, which upon approval will grant you full access to the country during the term of the waiver, typically 1-5 years.

3. How much does it cost to get a US waiver?

There is a variable cost to complete the waiver application process itself related to obtaining fingerprinting, court records, certified documents and more. Generally speaking, the longer the criminal record the more this cost will be. When it’s time to submit the application to the U.S., a $585 USD filing fee is immediately payable by every applicant.

4. Who needs a US waiver?

Canadians and residents use waivers most typically because they have a criminal record. There are other waiver classifications too which are specific to individuals who do not have a record, but they overstayed their visitation or immigration privileges and were deported from the U.S., either by order or voluntarily.

5. How long does a US waiver take?

The average time for processing the US waiver application is between 3 to 8 months. That follows a submission process and review by the Admissibility Review Office, which can also take 1-3 months. However, this timeline could vary depending upon the complexity of your case and the availability of all the required documents.