Insider tips for entering the United States with a criminal record. What you need to know to avoid problems at the border.
- 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).
- Being convicted of a criminal offense can result in being denied entry into the United States.
- 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.
- 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.
- A record suspension in Canada is not acknowledged by the United States. A U.S. Entry Waiver is still required.
- Apply for a U.S. Entry Waiver at any time; there is no waiting period for eligibility.
- 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.
- Documents that are included in the U.S. Entry Waiver application need to be dated within a year.
- 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.
- 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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