You probably already know that a criminal record can hurt you right here at home. For example, it can be an obstacle to applying for jobs; a criminal record check is a certainty if you’re going to be working in any field that involves banking or finance, children or the elderly, health care, or government, but the range of jobs now demanding a criminal check is only increasing. However, if you haven’t yet tried to travel to the US (or taken a trip with a US stopover), you might not be aware that a criminal record can create problems there, too.
America’s tough stance on crime can hurt you
These days, more and more people are being stopped and thoroughly questioned at the border – although technically it’s up to the individual Customs and Border Protection officials to decide whether to punch you into the computer or not. The odds are no longer in your favour that you’ll just be waved through, because the country is ever-more concerned about international terrorism and increasingly sensitive to any kind of external threat. When it happens to you, you won’t enjoy the apprehension of waiting while border guards run your ID, then refuse you entry into the United States – often after a long round of humiliating, invasive searches and questioning.
Even worse, perhaps, than being turned back – even if you were on your way someplace special, like a pre-paid vacation, a family visit, or travel for your work – is the fact that once you have been turned back, you could be banned from ever returning without a US travel waiver. That means you can’t just take your chances at another border crossing or another time; if you are caught again trying to get in, you will be in violation of US law, and then the sky is really the limit as to what the consequences could be. You could be arrested, detained, and even blacklisted to the point that you are summarily refused a US entry waiver. At that point, you aren’t going to the US…ever.
A criminal pardon (record suspension) may not do the trick
If you’re already in the process of applying for a record suspension and, having met all the criteria, have every expectation of success, that’s great – but it may not be enough to grant you admittance into the US. That’s because if you’ve ever been stopped before, you’re already in their computers, not just in CPIC. And American border officials don’t seem to care so much about the nature of the charge. Even if your relatively minor criminal charge was settled with a conditional discharge, for example, that did not require any jail time, and even if you have demonstrated by lack of criminal activity that the rehabilitation was successful, the resulting criminal record can stop you from crossing just the same as it would for someone who had committed a violent murder.
Without a US travel waiver, you will be deemed inadmissible to the US. The only way a pardon will suffice, is if you haven’t been stopped at the US border before and had your details entered into their computer. If that’s you, the Canadian pardon will effectively separate your record from the other records in CPIC, rendering it invisible to US border officials.
A US entry waiver saves the day
Surprise, surprise: Turns out that with time, money and paperwork, most Canadians with a criminal record can still enter the United States without encountering problems, delays or hassles! An application for a US entry waiver can take some time to approve, so it’s best to start the process well in advance of when you wish to cross the border. Dominion Pardons & Waivers will help you get the information-gathering, form-processing, fingerprinting process started immediately so you can obtain a U.S. Entry Waiver as quickly as possible, and get moving again.
Call TOLL FREE 1-888-890-1321
or fill out the online inquiry below and have a qualified agent help you see if you are eligible to clear your criminal record with a Pardon, or gain access to the United States with an Entry Waiver.