Andrew Tanenbaum - Pardons Canada

How to apply for a US waiver

January 31, 2024
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Andrew Tanenbaum
Pardons Canada

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Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver from Canada is a significant process for Canadian citizens or residents with a criminal record who wish to enter the United States. A U.S. Entry Waiver is a document issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), granting temporary permission to enter the U.S. despite having a criminal history or other inadmissibility reasons. This article provides a legal perspective on the process, requirements, and implications of applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver from Canada.

How to apply for a US waiver

Understanding U.S. Entry Waivers

An entry waiver is necessary for individuals deemed inadmissible to the United States due to past criminal offenses, certain health issues, or previous U.S. immigration violations. The waiver allows for legal entry into the U.S. for a specific period, usually between one and five years, after which it must be renewed.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility for a U.S. Entry Waiver is primarily determined by the grounds of inadmissibility. Common reasons include:

  • Criminal convictions, particularly those that are considered moral turpitude crimes.
  • Previous violations of U.S. immigration laws.
  • Certain health-related grounds.

Preparing for the Application

  1. Criminal Record Check: Obtain a copy of your criminal record. In Canada, this is typically done through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
  2. Gather Supporting Documents: Collect documents relevant to your inadmissibility, such as court records, police reports, rehabilitation evidence, and character references.

Application Process

The application process for a U.S. Entry Waiver involves several steps:

  1. Form I-192: Complete the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant (Form I-192), available through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Biometrics Appointment: Applicants must attend a biometrics appointment at a designated U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) location or a U.S. consulate or embassy in Canada.
  3. Pay the Application Fee: As of 2023, the fee for Form I-192 is $930, subject to change. This fee is non-refundable, regardless of the application outcome.
  4. Submit the Application: Forward the completed Form I-192 along with all supporting documents and the application fee to the appropriate USCIS office or through the Electronic Secured Adjudication Forms Environment (e-SAFE) if applicable.
  5. Adjudication Process: The application will be reviewed by USCIS. This process can take several months and may include requests for additional information.

Legal Considerations

  • Accuracy and Completeness: Ensure all information provided is accurate and complete. Misrepresentation or withholding information can lead to denial of the waiver and future inadmissibility issues.
  • Scope of Waiver: The waiver allows for temporary entry into the U.S. and does not change one's criminal record or inadmissibility status permanently.
  • Renewal: Waivers are typically granted for a limited period. Applicants must reapply for a new waiver upon expiry.
  • Legal Advice: Given the complexity of U.S. immigration law, consulting with an immigration attorney experienced in U.S.-Canada immigration issues is advisable.
  • Impact on Travel: Holding a U.S. Entry Waiver does not guarantee entry into the U.S., as border officers have the final say based on the specifics of each case.

The process of obtaining a U.S. Entry Waiver from Canada involves navigating complex legal and administrative processes. It requires thorough preparation, understanding of U.S. immigration law, and often the support of legal professionals. A U.S. Entry Waiver provides an opportunity for individuals with certain inadmissibilities to legally enter the United States, balancing the need for security with the acknowledgment of rehabilitation and change. This process underscores the importance of precise legal compliance and informed preparation in matters of cross-border mobility.

You may consider using Pardons Canada (pardons.org) to assist in the pardon, file destruction and US waiver application process. Pardons Canada (pardons.org) has been helping Canadians for over 35 years and has an expert staff of over 25 employees at their head office to gather and prepare all of the necessary documentation for the application process.  You can speak to any counselor at 1877-929-6011 extension 1 and they would be happy to provide a free consultation on your specific case.

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Andrew Tanenbaum
Pardons Canada

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