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US Waiver FAQ

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If you have a criminal record you may be inadmissible to the United States, meaning you cannot travel to the US even for a day. In order to successfully travel to the US, you must apply for “Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-immigrant,” colloquially known as “a US Waiver.” A US Waiver is temporary permission to enter the US for business or pleasure. Waivers have fixed time-limits (often five years) and you will have to apply for a new one when your previous Waiver expires, unless you are able to resolve your inadmissibility.

Note: A Canadian Record Suspension will not, by itself, exempt you from needing a US Waiver.

More information about US waivers can be found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

i have a canadian pardon from many years ago and its in good standing and i have electronically filed my complete waiver i had a drug charge when i was 18 and i am now 58 and no charges i am clean what are my chances to get the waiver and how soon will i get word ?

Nobody can tell truly you your “chances” or odds. Each of these applications is assessed on an individual basis though, because it’s an American application, there should be a clear explanation for the decision, whatever it is.  A lawyer familiar with your case might be able to give you some reasonable idea. If we had to guess, we’d guess you’ll get it, but that’s based on the very little information you’ve provided.

Normally it takes six months or more. You’re not supposed to contact them for an update for at least 5 months. However, given the pandemic, it’s extremely likely it will take longer to receive a decision.

My husband is Colombian living in Canada. He will get the Canadian Citizenship this year.Will he be able to travel to US as Canadian if he was asked to leave the country (US) about 8-9 years ago? Should he be asking for a pardon?

Whether or not he will be able to enter depends upon whether or not he received a ban when he left the country. The ban would have been for a fixed length of time, after that point he can return.

my daughter in law was residing in the us with a student status she is now a landed immigrant and was prohibited entry in the us. we wish to go on a holiday and have to to to florida to join a cruise, what can I do

That’s a complicated question. We recommend a consultation about an Entry Waiver.

I landed as PR in October and I haven’t received my PR card, can i apply to renew my US Visa with my COPR?

The US State Department is highly unlikely to regard your Confirmation of Permanent Residence as proof of your current status in Canada. Wait until you get your PR Card.

Can I travel to the US with a criminal assault record

The short answer is you cannot travel to the US with an assault conviction.

You could attempt to cross the border and you may be let in, but you also may be denied entry.

In order to resolve this issue, you’ll have to complete an application called “I-92 Advance Permission to temporarily enter The United States as a Non-Immigrant.” You will have to provide documentary evidence along with the completed application. You’ll have to hand it in, in person, to a US CBP agent at a port of entry or airport. If you are approved, the “waiver” (as it’s usually known) will be issued for up to 5 years, and then you’ll have to get another one.

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I am a Canadian citizen and my same sex partner is a US citizen. We are planning to get married in October this year and i want to stay in the U.S till my paperwork is complete and i get a legal status to continue living there. Therefore i’m planning to wind up everything in Canada, resign and leave, would there be any problem for me crossing the border? if i tell the officer the reason of my travel?

You need a visa to enter the US if you are planning to marry an American citizen. If you do not have one with you when you reach the border, you may be denied entry.

if one is permanent residence of Canada and wants to travel to US, does he need a passport? or a travel document? does he need a visa?

The answer to all those questions is ‘Yes’. You need a passport/travel document to travel to the US. And unless you are a citizen of a few select countries (Canada included) you also need a visa, or something known as a visa waiver (aka ESTA).

I applied for US Visitor Visa today December 2nd ,2014 in Toronto,Canada, and it was rejected saying to get the information on why you were rejected in India for a student visa to US, back in 2002 and that I lied to the Visa Officer back then about my Education, It being close to 12 years now I have no recollection of any such thing happening and I have all my Certificates Verified by the Universities I have attended. Also the Visa Office here in Toronto mentioned that I have applied for US visa 5 times before today which is not true, I have all my passports since my childhood and I only applied 3 times including this time in Toronto. I applied first time for a student visa on November 21st 2002 in Chennai,INDIA. Second time for a visitor Visa on 26th Jan 2004 in London, England and third time today Dec 2nd 2014 from Toronto,Canada. How do I resolve this issue and get a US visitor Visa, or shall I just wait for another 2 years to get my canadian passport and then travel to US. I am now a permanent resident here in Canada with a full time Job,a home which I own and have my wife and child here in Canada they are both Canadian Citizens.

It is entirely possible that you have been confused with someone else. You should look into something called a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) TRIP appeal, However, because it is about travel, and not immigration, it is unlikely to solve your problem even if it is successful.

Unfortunately for you, it is their prerogative to deny you a visa. I would strongly recommend that you wait until you are a Canadian citizen before trying to enter the US again. Even then, the passport will not necessarily solve your admissibility issue.

You may require a “waiver of inadmissibility”.

How and where should I submit my waiver application?

You must submit your application in person at a US Customs and Border Protection Preclearance Center, many of which are located at ports of entry into the United States.

What must I prove when applying for a waiver?

You must provide complete assurance that you are not a risk to US society and you can do this by proving that you have been on a rehabilitation course; that 15 years have passed since the action that made you inadmissible; that your absence would cause economic hardship to immediate dependents. The severity of your criminal or immigration crimes are taken into account when reviewing your waiver application and the reasons for you wanting to enter the United States.

How long will it take for me to obtain a US waiver?

It takes around 6 months to a year to get a waiver. When you receive your waiver it will have an expiration date on it ? most first time waivers are issued for 1 year. After this time you will need to reapply.

When can I apply for a US waiver?

You can apply for a waiver at any time, although if you have an immigration violation against you, you may have to wait between 3 and 20 years before you are eligible to apply.

Do I need to use a lawyer to get a waiver?

No. You can apply on your own, but if you do use a lawyer or representative you must fill out Form G-28. Lawyers and representatives are not allowed to accompany their clients to waiver hearings.

How do I apply for a waiver?

You must obtain an application form from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You must also submit a U.S. Fingerprint chart FD-258 and a copy of your Canadian police record or a certificate of no record (if applicable). If you have convictions from other countries you must also submit the records for these: you must include a copy of the official court record from the actual court of conviction indicating plea indictment, conviction and disposition for each and every crime committed anywhere in the world. You must also enclose a personal declaration giving details about each arrest and evidence of reform and rehabilitation.

What makes a person inadmissible to the US?

People are deemed inadmissible because of disease which the US considers a threat; criminal grounds based on ?crimes of moral turpitude? such as rape, murder, manslaughter etc., and security grounds; anyone deemed a threat to US national security is inadmissible. Additionally, if you have been classed as an illegal immigrant or have violated immigration terms you will be inadmissible for 3 to 10 years.

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