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Steps to applying to a US entry waiver or I-192

February 27, 2024
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Andrew Tanenbaum
Pardons Canada

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Traveling to the United States with a criminal record from Canada, specifically Ontario, requires navigating through complex legal procedures to ensure smooth entry at U.S. borders. One of the pivotal steps for individuals with past convictions looking to enter the U.S. is applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver, formally known as Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-immigrant. This document is crucial as it provides legal entry to the U.S. for individuals who may otherwise be deemed inadmissible due to their criminal record. Pardons Canada (pardons.org), a leading non-profit organization offering support and guidance in clearing criminal records and obtaining U.S. Entry Waivers, provides valuable insights into this process. This article outlines the essential steps and considerations involved in applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver, drawing on information from Pardons Canada (pardons.org).

Steps to applying to a US entry waiver or I-192

Understanding U.S. Entry Waivers

A U.S. Entry Waiver allows individuals with a criminal record, among other inadmissibility reasons, to travel to the United States for a specified period. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issues these waivers after a thorough evaluation of the applicant's background, the nature of their offense(s), and their need to enter the U.S.

Who Needs a U.S. Entry Waiver?

Individuals with a criminal record in Canada may be deemed inadmissible to the United States. This includes a wide range of offenses, from minor infractions to more serious crimes. Even if you have received a Canadian pardon (Record Suspension), the U.S. does not recognize this as grounds for admissibility, making the U.S. Entry Waiver essential for legal entry.

Steps to Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver (I-192)

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying, ensure that you require a waiver. Not all criminal records result in inadmissibility to the U.S. Consulting with an organization like Pardons Canada (pardons.org) or an immigration attorney can provide clarity on your admissibility status.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Documentation

Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver requires compiling extensive documentation, including:

  • Proof of Citizenship: A valid passport or birth certificate.
  • Criminal Record: Obtain a copy of your criminal record from the RCMP via fingerprinting.
  • Court Documents: For each conviction, gather documents detailing the charge, the verdict, and proof of sentence completion.
  • Personal Statement: A letter explaining the circumstances of your convictions, steps taken towards rehabilitation, and the reasons for your travel to the U.S.
  • Supporting Documents: Letters of reference, employment records, and any other documents that demonstrate your stability and positive contributions to society.

Step 3: Complete Form I-192

Form I-192 is available through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) websites. Fill out the form accurately, providing detailed information as requested. Misinformation or omissions can lead to application denial.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fee

There is a significant fee associated with the U.S. Entry Waiver application, which must be paid at the time of submission. Check the latest fee on the USCIS or CBP website, as fees can change.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

The completed application package, including Form I-192, supporting documents, and the application fee, can be submitted either in person at a U.S. port of entry or through the mail, depending on the current procedures outlined by USCIS and CBP.

Step 6: Attend an Interview (If Required)

In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. During the interview, be honest and forthright about your past and your reasons for wanting to enter the U.S.

Step 7: Wait for a Decision

The processing time for a U.S. Entry Waiver can be lengthy, often taking several months or more. Patience is key during this period. You can check the status of your application online through the USCIS website.

How Pardons Canada Can Help

Pardons Canada (pardons.org) offers invaluable support and guidance throughout the U.S. Entry Waiver application process, including:

  • Determining Eligibility: Advising on whether you need a waiver based on your specific circumstances.
  • Documentation Assistance: Helping gather and prepare the necessary documentation for your application.
  • Application Support: Providing guidance on completing Form I-192 accurately and effectively.
  • Emotional Support: Offering support and understanding throughout the often stressful process of applying for a waiver.

Additional Considerations

  • Reapplication: U.S. Entry Waivers are granted for a specific period, after which you must reapply if continued U.S. entry is desired.
  • Changes in Circumstances: Inform USCIS of any changes in your circumstances or additional convictions after your application has been submitted.
  • Legal Consultation: Considering consulting with an immigration attorney for complex cases or if your initial application is denied.

Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver is a complex but necessary process for those with a criminal record wishing to enter the United States legally. By following the outlined steps and leveraging the support and resources provided by organizations like Pardons Canada (pardons.org), applicants can navigate this process more smoothly and increase their chances of obtaining approval. Preparation, patience, and attention to detail are key to successfully securing a U.S. Entry Waiver.

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