The process of applying for a U.S. Waiver can be intimidating and stressful, which is why many tend to put it off until the last minute. However, doing this will increase your risk of being denied entry into the United States, and sabotaging your travel arrangements as a result. This is why it is imperative to apply for a Waiver well in advance of your travel. If you are planning a visit to the United States with a record, read on to find out why obtaining a U.S. Entry Waiver is very crucial.
Why a Waiver Is Required
Whether you are traveling for business or leisure purposes, you will need a Waiver if you have a criminal record. Although you may receive Record Suspension by the Canadian government, you still need a U.S. Waiver as the States does not acknowledge Canadian Record Suspensions.
Who Needs a Waiver
While not every criminal offense result in restricted entry into the United States, there are still many crimes that require a Waiver. Canadians over the age of eighteen who have committed crimes against moral turpitude, such as murder, manslaughter, theft, bribery, rape, prostitution, fraud, among others, will face restricted entry into the states and will need a Waiver. Individuals convicted of possession of a controlled substance, trafficking a human, and money laundering will also require a Waiver. Moreover, if one has been removed from or overstayed a previous admission period to the U.S., a Waiver will be required as well. No matter how long ago a crime was committed, the U.S. Border Officers can gain access to criminal records of all Canadian citizens. In fact, a secondary screening process can obtain even the oldest records.
Why It Is Important to Apply for a Waiver Early
In recent years, there have been quite a few additional measures taken to enhance security at the U.S. border. Anyone who fails to complete the process and attempt to enter the U.S. without a Waiver will be denied entry at the Border, detained by Border Officials, as well as have their vehicle confiscated. In addition, their information will be flagged, their records registered to the U.S. system, and their access to the U.S. will continue to be restricted until a Waiver is acquired.
It is important to note that the application process for a Waiver is a lengthy one. It can take three to ten months just to gather the relevant documentation, including important forms, fingerprints, official police record, citizenship, personal statement, and many more. It will take another five to ten months for the application to be processed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A Waiver can be valid for one, two, or five years, and you can travel to the U.S. within this time frame. If the application process is not done correctly or any information is missing, then your application may be rejected. To make sure your application is completed properly and accurately, the best course of action is to employ an accredited firm for help.
The Bottom Line
As the application process for a Waiver is time-consuming and has to be done with complete accuracy, it is vitally important that you apply for a Waiver as soon as you can. By delaying the process or skipping the process altogether, you run the risk of being denied entry into the U.S., and your travel plans will be ruined as a result.
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