24 Oct How to Get a US Entry Waiver
If you want to learn how to get a US Entry Waiver, you’ve come to the right place.
Did you read up on how to get a pardon yet?
If you have a criminal record, haven’t received a record suspension (a pardon) and have tried, but were refused entry into the US, you’ll have to figure out what you must do to get a pardon – we can help and have been successfully helping Canadians with both, pardons and waivers.
Entry into the United States can be a complicated process for some Canadians, and an entry waiver is the key to admission at the border.
We will explain what an entry waiver is and give you all the information you need on how to get US Entry Waiver.
What is a US Entry Waiver?
For many permanent residents of Canada, who want to enter the United States, a passport and/or visa are typically enough legal documentation for admission. For some residents of Canada, these documents may not be enough to prevent a refusal of entry to the U.S. In this case, learning how to get a US entry waiver and applying for one is necessary.
A United States entry waiver is issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and grants a Canadian citizen (who may otherwise be denied entry at the border) entrance to the United States.
The DHS can override any decisions made by border patrol, and the waiver removes all risk of refusal the United States border. Although the waiver acts as a surefire way to enter the U.S. from Canada, the process can be lengthy and complicated depending on your circumstances.
Who Needs a USA Entry Waiver?
If you’re planning on entering the United States for the first time, it’s always important to see if you are eligible for legal entry before you attempt to cross the border. While each Canadian’s eligibility varies, you need an USA entry waiver for the United States if you have been charged or convicted of a criminal offence or have been refused entry while trying to enter the U.S. at the border.
While getting a Canadian criminal record suspension will provide more opportunities here in Canada, your priviledge to visit the United States will still be limited as the CBP does not recognize a Canadian Pardon.
Here’s what Global News reported about a Calgary man being denied entry to the U.S. because of a criminal conviction over 40 years ago – which Canada pardoned.
Staying in the U.S. for over six months without status, which also known as “overstaying your welcome,” requires applying for an entry waiver. Other reasons for an entry waiver include, but may not be limited to,
- Working illegally in the U.S.
- You have a criminal record (convicted and charged with a criminal offence) in Canada and/or the United States
- You are caught with false documentation, narcotics, and/or contraband at the border
- You have been deported from the United State
If you are not eligible to enter the United States legally, attempting to enter the U.S. without proper documentation and permission is risky. Not only will your attempt to enter be refused at the border but you could also lose your property and vehicle.
An arrest, conviction, deportation, detention, fines, incarceration, are just a few of risks you are facing when you try to enter the U.S. illegally. Although the application process for an entry waiver costs money and can take a long time, it’s a more promising (and effective) way to enter the U.S.
If you are travelling with someone who is unaware of your illegal status, he or she could be charged and convicted of harbouring an illegal; they would also lose their opportunity to enter the United States.
How To Apply For a US Travel Waiver
Applying for a US travel waiver requires a lot of documentation and can be a lengthy process so a successful entry relies on planning ahead. You must apply for your travel waiver at a major Port of Entry (POE) at the United States border or a Preclearance office in Canada.
You also need to complete form I-192, which needs to be signed and submitted by you, the sole applicant. If you require help filing for your travel waiver, Canada’s top US Entry Waiver service, Dominion Pardons & Waivers, will complete the appropriate paperwork (G-28). You may also need to complete form G-325A, which is a Biographic Information form for DHS.
When you submit your application, you will receive instructions on how to complete a U.S. Fingerprint chart (FD-258). You must complete this chart for your travel waiver application to be processed.
Other information you need, when filing for your waiver, includes a letter from your employer which states your current occupation, your length of employment, and your reason for travel (if work-related). A status of self-employment requires a copy of your last tax return.
You should also provide three letters of reference from individuals who are not related to you, two recent passport photos and a copy of your passport or driver’s license as proof of your nationality.
If you have a criminal record in Canada, a copy of an official police record must accompany your application. Verification of your criminal record (or evidence of lack thereof) can be obtained from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) when you submit fingerprints on form C216C. You can receive more detailed information about RCMP at their official website.
While many individuals are granted entry waivers to the U.S. every year, you cannot assume that you will be issued a waiver (even if you have all of the proper documentation and a complete application).
High-risk applicants are more likely to be turned down for an entry waiver even when the application fee is paid, and all the proper documentation is submitted. High-risk applicants are those who have a criminal record and are likely to re-offend (such as drug trafficking or sex-related offences).
If the review board determines that you are a risk to society or if your reason for seeking entry to the U.S. is suspicious, you may not be eligible for an entry waiver at any time.
Canadian residents, seeking entry to the U.S., must get a pardon (or a record suspension). Find out more about how to get a pardon in Canada. This does not automatically grant you access to the United States as border patrol does not recognize such pardons. Even though a pardon may allow you access to other countries, you must apply for an entry waiver if you plan on travelling to the U.S.
What is the US Entry Waiver Application Form I-192?
I-192 is DHS’s Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. This is the primary form to fill out when applying for the entry waiver. On Form I-192, you are asked to fill-out and supply the following information:
- Application Type
- Information About You
- Travel Information
- Immigration & Criminal History
- Biographic Information
- Contact Information
There are also sections for Interpreters and/or Preparers to complete.
How Much Does a US Travel Waiver Cost?
The cost of a US travel waiver is $585 per application. Payment must be a certified check in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Your application fee is due when you submit your completed application.
Once you pay your application process fee, there is no guarantee that you will receive an entry waiver to the United States. The cost of the application remains that same regardless of how many times you apply for a travel waiver.
How Long Does It Take to Get a US Entry Waiver?
When applying for an entry waiver and figuring out how long it takes to get a US Entry Waiver, you must plan ahead and be willing to wait for up to a year for the final decision regarding your waiver request. Do not expect to get your waiver in less than six months. Before you inquire about your application, it’s best to wait at least 130 days.
Making sure that you complete your application forms and provide all the proper documentation may speed up the process. Curious about how to get a US Entry Waiver fast? Follow the previous suggestion. It typically takes between six months to a year for a full review of your waiver request.
How Long Does a US Entry Waiver Last?
The effective time period of your waiver is dependent on the factors that required a waiver in the first place; this could be the nature of your criminal offences or other qualifying factors. Entry waivers may last anywhere from six months to five years.
As long as your entry waiver is valid, you may travel to and from Canada to the United States as much as you wish. When travelling, be sure to bring your entry waiver and any other required documentation, such as your passport.
How To Renew a US Entry Waiver
Once your waiver is no longer valid, and you continue to want legal access to the U.S., you must renew your waiver. Renewing your waiver can take up to a year, just like applying for your initial waiver, so it’s best to plan ahead. For instance, if your waiver is due to expire in six months to a year, you can begin the renewal process.
To make the US waiver renewal easier, have all of your documentation ready. Having a copy of your first application is helpful. Your US waiver renewal application follows all of the same steps that you took when you applied for your entry waiver the first time.
Since you’ve read up on how to get US Entry Waiver, you will already be equipped with the knowledge needed for your renewal (or you can just hire us to make it easy for you).
Although a majority of applicants are granted a US waiver renewal, your application still needs to be reviewed by the approval board, and there’s no guarantee that you will be granted entry.
Applying With Confidence
Now that you know how to get a US Entry Waiver, you have a better idea if you are eligible, all the steps you need to take, and can make it a less complicated process. If, at any time, you have questions during your application process, contact Dominion Pardons & Waivers.