Insider tips for entering the United States with a criminal record. What you need to know to avoid problems at the border.

  1. United States border officials have direct access to data in the national repository of all criminal records in Canada, the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC).
  2. Being convicted of a criminal offense can result in being denied entry into the United States.
  3. A criminal charge without a conviction can still cause problems entering the states. For example, admitting to a marijuana related charge can result in denied entry.
  4. Entering the United States with a criminal record can result in confiscation of property, seizure of a vehicle, arrest or deportation. A U.S. Entry Waiver removes those risks.
  5. A record suspension in Canada is not acknowledged by the United States. A U.S. Entry Waiver is still required.
  6. Apply for a U.S. Entry Waiver at any time; there is no waiting period for eligibility.
  7. Although impaired driving, common assault and firearm violations typically do not require U.S. Entry Waivers, specific situations still require a waiver. Check with a waiver specialists to determine whether a U.S. Entry Waiver is needed in your particular case.
  8. Documents that are included in the U.S. Entry Waiver application need to be dated within a year.
  9. For some convictions such as assault, court documentation may need to be presented for the Department of Homeland Security to review before being allowed to enter the states.
  10. Chose a company that is accredited by the RCMP for waiver applications since they are vetted to handle sensitive information such as your criminal record, court documents, and police files.

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