If you have been denied entry to the US due to having a past criminal record, you will need a US Entry Waiver (I-192, I-194) and you will NOT be able to obtain a NEXUS pass.
If you have been granted a pardon/record suspension and have never been stopped by the Americans in the past, then you should be safe to travel without the worry of being denied and you should be able to apply for NEXUS as its unlikely the Americans will see anything on the CPIC database.
Do not let the Americans coax you into admitting that you have a pardon, because then they will deny you entry no matter what because they don’t accept pardons in Canada and they are upset that they can’t see the criminal record on the CPIC database.
Here is a perfect example of a recent incident at the US border:
“Hi , I have had a pardon for at least 20 years. ( It was for a possession of stolen property charge.) About a year and half ago , I attempted to drive to the US. At the border crossing , I was asked if I had a criminal record. Not knowing the correct answer , I said no but I had been given a pardon.”
“I was denied access and told I would not be allowed entry without bringing court records for my previous criminal record.”
“First , I would like to know if I can do anything to change / improve my border crossing status other than carry records of that first offense .
And I would like to know if I might be not allowed to even fly over the USA in a direct flight from Canada to Mexico. I was told I would not be allowed , in case the flight might have to do an emergency landing in the USA . ( That is without having applied for any waivers or otherwise . As I stand today.)”
In this person’s case, they will likely need a US Entry Waiver (I-194 or I-192) as the Americans will have denied the individual entry to the US.
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons, Record Suspensions and US Entry Waivers email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-929-6011 or 416-929-6011.