Due to increased security and border regulations in the United States, any Canadian with a criminal record will likely require a U.S. Entry Waiver to legally cross the border, explains Pardon Applications of Canada, an accredited Canadian Pardon & U.S. Entry Waiver application completion firm.
A U.S. Entry Waiver is a legal document issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security which awards an applicant with advance permission to enter the United States for a period of time. Once a Waiver is acquired, no customs Officer can deny a traveller access into the United States via air or land, for a reason based on their criminal record. In essence, a U.S. Entry Waiver is the only way to ensure 100% freedom into the United States for those with a criminal record.
Christopher Heringer, Senior Compliance Officer with Pardon Applications of Canada, explains that unless Canadians looking to travel to the U.S. are also a U.S. citizen, have registered Native status, or already have a valid Waiver in their possession, attempting to cross the border without a U.S. Entry Waiver will likely result in being turned away – or worse. Every day, Canadians are also arrested, detained, and have personal property seized by border control.
How the U.S. learns about a Canadian’s criminal record is actually fairly straightforward, but it still surprises attempted travellers who try to sneak by either through the airport or border, Heringer explains.
When you attempt to entire the United States, U.S. Customs Officers have access to the same criminal database the RCMP utilize in viewing your criminal record. As long as you’ve been charged with an offence (convicted or not), and fingerprinted, your name and record produces a fingerprint number which will be visible to the U.S. when you attempt to cross. Therefore, it is highly likely that the U.S. will be aware of your criminal record if you attempt to enter the United States without a Waiver.
Another common misconception is that a Canadian Pardon (now known as a “Record Suspension”) assists with travel freedom to the United States. But according to Heringer, that’s not the case.
“The United States does not officially recognize a Canadian Pardon, or Record Suspension, as any form of restitution. Although it is generally advisable to obtain a Record Suspension before you attempt to enter the United States, you will likely require a U.S. Entry Waiver regardless of your Pardon status”, he explained.
The Department of Homeland Security also has complete authority and discretion in determining the length of a U.S. Waiver, but generally speaking, they are not permanent. An applicant acquiring a Waiver for the first time will likely get a shorter term (1-3 years) as they begin to build a relationship with the U.S. Upon renewal of the first Waiver, and assuming the applicant hasn’t caused the United States any grief in the meantime, generally a longer term is awarded. Whatever the term of the U.S. Entry Waiver, an applicant has unlimited access into the United States for that specific period of time.
Heringer also explained that some Canadians feel a false sense of security because they’ve been lucky at the border.
“While it’s possible to enter the United States by answering a few basic questions, inevitably, a U.S. Customs Officer will perform a search of your name when scanning your Canadian Passport. Once your criminal record comes to light, you may be denied entry, detained, arrested, fingerprinted, and/or have your personal property seized. Regardless of how old or minor your criminal record, it is absolute essential that you apply for a U.S. Entry Waiver to ensure your travel freedom to the United States and begin building a relationship with Homeland Security”, he said.
Pardon Applications of Canada is a private application completion firm which successfully completes the complex legal steps of a Canadian Pardon (also known as a Record Suspension) and U.S. Entry Waiver (also known as a “I-192”) application. Every year, Pardon Applications of Canada serves thousands of Canadians in opening doors for future employment opportunity, travel freedom and more.
Through it’s Canadian Pardon Application Services, Pardon Applications of Canada serves Canadians in one of the lowest application/client rep ratios in Canada. Individual attention is provided to each application. Pardon Applications of Canada offers on-going email and website updates to ensure applicants are made aware of where their application is at any time.
For more on Pardon Applications of Canada, contact:
Pardon Applications of Canada
World Exchange Plaza
45 O’Conner Street, Suite 1150
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4
Tel: (866) 383-9744