For the majority of Canadians, crossing the border into the United States has only one real obstacle. It’s the wait for the line at customs in an airport or at the border itself for people driving across. Usually, all that’s required once a Canadian traveller is in front of a Customs & Border Patrol officer is an official passport.
For other Canadian travelers, things get much more difficult and complicated. Most people don’t realize it, but the Canadian Border Patrol (CBP) have the legal authority to make on-the-spot decisions about granting entry into the USA, and they can do this for any number of reasons. They may have evaluated you as a security risk, or they have conducted a criminal background check and discovered you have a criminal record. Or they may simply be following established protocol because you have already been denied entry into the USA for another reason and are trying to “sneak in” again.
However, there are ways to regain entry into the US even after you have been denied. The most common and effective way is by applying with Application Form I-92, and receiving a US entry waiver. But before we get into using this form, let’s first look at why you need it in the first place.
It’s More Than Just Crime
The most common reason people will not be allowed to enter the USA is because a background check was conducted, and a criminal record was found. However, that’s not the only reason that people get blocked from re-entering the USA. If you were caught with false documentation, you have been deported, you worked in the US illegally, or you overstayed your legal period in the US as a tourist or employee, these all show up on a background check.
Even if it is strictly for security reasons, such as a CBP officer decided you were suspicious looking and barred you entry, this can also go on your record, and the next you time you attempt to enter, it will show up. Of course, if you are caught with contraband that you’re trying to smuggle into the US that’s also definite grounds for marking your record as not allowed to enter the USA.
A US entry waiver is a document that is issued by the Admissibility Review Office of the United States. If you have such a document, you present it immediately to any CBP officer at the airport or border and it automatically negates whatever reason you were originally barred from entry into the country. An entry waiver is typically good for between six months and five years, though it can be renewed if required.
Of course, an entry waiver does not give the recipient special legal protection. In the event that you commit any other acts, such as a criminal offence, smuggling, or once ignore your legal status in the country and overstay what is permissible, you will be barred entry again. If you want to get an entry waiver to freely enter and exit the USA, it all starts with application form I-192.
What It Requires
Application form I-192 has a few different requirements that all need to be submitted before proper approval can be given. For example, fingerprints are required for the application form, even if you don’t have a criminal record, so you will need to get these to submit. If you do have a criminal record, you will need to acquire your fingerprint file in order to submit them as part of the application. This fingerprint file is known as a CPIC and is generated by the RCMP.
You will also require a certain amount of support documentation to reinforce your claim. Letters of reference certifying your character are part of this, as is some kind of confirmation about your employment and income. A personal statement will also be required, citing why you need entry into the USA, as well as why you were originally barred, and why things will be different now.
You may also require other supporting documents, such proof of counselling or rehabilitation depending on the reasons for your entry being barred. And you will require legal documents such as your passport and criminal record if applicable.
We Can Get It Done Quickly
We know the exact timelines and requirements for securing an entry waiver into the USA. This can be both a time-consuming and expensive process, and if you make a mistake anywhere in your application process, you will need to start over. If you want to avoid this, we have the knowledge and experience to make sure your application process goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Contact us for more details.