When crossing the Canadian border into the United States, there are several factors that aliens must consider. Depending on the applicant’s immigration standing, citizenship status, criminal history, and purpose for crossing the border, one or more of several US Entry Waivers and Visas granted by the US Department of Homeland Security may apply to help applicants obtain discretionary relief. Navigating the Department of Homeland Security’s many waivers and visas is not easy. Aliens must understand how the different waivers and visas interact, be comfortable handling legal terminology, and keep up to date with filing fees increases, among several other elements.

Aliens concerned about their criminal history affecting their ability to obtain discretionary relief can contact AllCleared for a free consultation. To travel to the United States with a criminal record, Canadians must carry an I-192 Entry Waiver. At AllCleared, we have implemented equitable service fees for putting together the I-192 applications. Click here to learn more about our prices. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has a filing fee that they charge to review applications. Keep reading to learn more about this fee and how it could affect you as a prospective applicant.

DHS Fee Increase

For yearsthe Department of Homeland Security charged aliens USD 585 to review I-192 applications. However, on October 2, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security more than doubled its fee to USD 1400. Of course, such a substantial increase comes with several implications. Firstly, the discretionary relief provided by granted I-192 Waivers is valid for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years. There is no formal renewal process. Once a Waiver expires, you must go through the application process again. We at AllCleared pride ourselves on making this process as easy for our clients as possible. We do so by keeping diligent notes on our clients’ files and retaining copies of our clients’ old applications. When the DHS decides to move forward with their increased fee of USD 1400, aliens can expect to pay this fee each time they “renew” their Waiver. 

Secondly, for most aliens seeking discretionary relief from the I-192 Waiver, a more than double increase is simply unaffordable. Most applicants are Canadians whose finances are not secure enough to pay a substantial fee. For many, the ability to travel to the United States becomes a financial decision rather than just a necessary legal process.

Apply for a US Waiver before the fee increase takes effect.

Learn more about your options.

Check your eligibility for a US WaiverLearn more about how we can help you travel

Fortunately, if you consider applying for the I-192 Waiver to obtain discretionary relief, you are currently in luck. A temporary injunction has been put in place to stop the Department of Homeland Security from implementing their fee. To date, the I-192 filing fee is still USD 585. However, the temporary injunction is just that – temporary. The injunction could be lifted at any time. The Department of Homeland Security would then be free to implement its fee of USD 1,400. With the borders opening and COVID-19 restrictions relaxing, AllCleared has noticed a substantial increase of Canadians applying for the I-192 Waiver and an increase in the amount of time it has taken the Department of Homeland Security to review applications. The Department of Homeland Security might respond to their increased workload by increasing their filing fee.

Suppose you have a criminal record and plan on travelling to the United States anytime soon or in the future. In that case, your best bet is to apply for the US Waiver now. The injunction can be lifted at any time. With all of the world’s changes, it is unclear how the Department of Homeland Security will react and how their filing fee will reflect this reaction. It would be unwise to expect the injunction to stay in place forever as it could be lifted.

Moreover, the influx of applications slows down the Department of Homeland Security’s processing time. Beat the price increase and delayed processing times by applying now. AllCleared is here to help the millions of Canadians cross the border to work, see their families, and travel. If you are unsure if you are eligible to apply, click here to use our eligibility check service.