Each day we recieve many calls from Canadians who have been refused entry to the US for old criminal charges. Sometimes even the smallest charge (theft under) can be used as a reason to turn the person away at the US Border.
Even if you have been fingerprinted for a criminal charge but the charge was later dismissed, withdrawn, stayed, absolute or conditionally discharged, the Americans can still see that you were in trouble with the police and refuse you entry.
Once you have been refused entry to the US, you require a US Entry Waiver (I-192 or I-194) to re-enter the US. This process takes time and is complicated. You will also need to do it for the rest of your life.
If you have not been refused entry to the US but do have a criminal conviction or charge, its a good idea to first get a Pardon in Canada then you may not need a US Waiver in the future, depending on the offence.
Here is an email we recently recieved from a person who was denied entry to the US:
“I had plans to travel to Mexico and had to touch down in Houston, Texas. 20 minutes prior to my flight I was pulled away by Homeland Security and put in an office.”
“They asked me if I had been arrested and I had said yes but that it had been cleared up. He told me that I wasn’t able to go to USA. To that my answer was that in 2007 I had travelled to Orlando, Florida and to the Bahamas and had no problems.”
“I don’t understand why now, they felt that I can’t fly with a stopover in the USA. Can you tell me what a reason for this may be.”
“They gave me papers for a Waiver application but on the form itself it states that it can be pulled at anytime and even paying the $500 + dollars to obtain the Waiver it doesn’t mean that it will last. Do I have to apply for both a Pardon and a Waiver before travelling to the USA or what and how long do they last?”
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons and US Entry Waivers email us at [email protected] or call 1-877-929-6011.