Every day we get inquiries about being safe to travel to the US with a criminal record. Assault convictions are among the most common criminal charges in Canada.
Once a pardon is granted, you should be safe to travel to the US without a US Entry Waiver (I-192) as long as you have never been stopped by the Americans in the past.
There are different kinds of assault convictions including domestic assault, assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon. You are eligible for a Pardon after a certain period of time depending on the offence.
Even if you have been fingerprinted but your assault charge was later dismissed, withdrawn, peace bond, absolute or conditional discharged or stayed, your prints are still in the system and can be seen when a criminal check is done both by employers and at the US border.
Here is an email we recently received from a person who was charged with assault:
“Hi, I am unsure if I am allowed entry to the US. I am in a situation similar to the one below, only I am a male going threw the court process facing assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm.
I currently have a trip to the US booked in March 2012 and my lawyer says these changes should be dealt with by the end of February. I am confident these charges will be dismissed but possibly not entirely and maybe not until after March.
I am desperate for help. I am 24 years old living in Alberta with my boyfriend. We had a fight in our apartment, it got loud and someone called the police. Because I took the blame I guess they removed me I was put in jail for 9 hours fingerprinted totally humiliated etc. I am not allowed back to where I live, we are not allowed to see each other.
It is totally insane and blown way out proportion. Neither one of us filed charges against each other it was just a fight, everyone has them. A noise violation was all that is what we are guilty of.
My lawyer told me to plead not guilty or I will end up with a criminal record, according to your web page I already have one I cannot afford to go to court and feel I have done nothing wrong to require such harsh punishment.
My biggest concern is having a criminal record. I have never done anything wrong in my life, and we like to travel. Can you advise what the best course of action to take would be.
I am in a nightmare and just want to be able to clear my name. I do not want a record. Can you reply as soon as possible I do not know what to do.”
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons and US Entry Waivers email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-929-6011 or 416-929-6011.