U.S. Entry Waiver Details
The last few years have seen the U.S. Department of Homeland Security take measures to increase border security. If you have a criminal record, you can be denied entry to the U.S. To ensure successful entry, you will need a U.S. Entry Waiver issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Here are some basic facts about waivers:
- U.S. Customs and Immigration Officers now have computer access to the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database.
- If you attempt to enter without a waiver, you not only risk being denied entry but you can be arrested, detained and deported.
- Customs agents may confiscate your property and vehicle.
To avoid the risk of embarrassment and humiliation of having to endure these hassles, you need a U.S. Entry Waiver. If you're planning on traveling to the United States, it's important that you apply for a waiver well in advance of your trip.
Unlike a pardon, there is no specified eligibility period for a waiver. A waiver is granted at the discretion of a U.S. Immigration Officer taking the following into consideration:
- The significance of your criminal record.
- What risk of harm you pose to the United States if you are admitted.
- Your reason for entering the U.S.
Once you've signed an authorization allowing us to gather the required documents on your behalf, we can get started on obtaining your waiver. The documentation required may vary, but will include some or all of the following:
- Court information
- Criminal record
- Personal statement
- Doctor's letter
- Letter from employer
- Reference letters
Once we've compiled the necessary information, we petition the Department of Homeland Security on your behalf. Waivers are valid for periods ranging from 1 to 5 years. Once a waiver expires, you must go through the same process again and apply for a new waiver.
Processing a waiver can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months from the time the application is filed, so start your waiver application now!