If you are considering crossing the border with a criminal record, you may be worried about being pulled over, but what about everyone else in the car? There are risks to your passengers if you try to cross the border with a criminal record.
When you travel across the border, you may not be alone. You may have family, friends or even business partners. Not only could they be forced to wait while border officials investigate your background, they could also be detained and sent back with you.
However, they could face more serious consequences.
How could passengers be affected?
Questioning: Being questioned by a border guard is often uncomfortable, but these days more and more personal questions are being asked. Border agents may ask for social media passwords. One increasingly common question being asked these days is “Have you ever smoked marijuana?”
Searches: Border agents can search your car, phone, laptop and more. Your friends and family might not appreciate that your record caused an intrusive search of their person or property.
Being held responsible for your actions: If border agents suspect that your travel companion knew about your record, they could also be held responsible. This is especially a concern for your spouse as he or she would have a hard time convincing them that they didn’t know. It’s also a concern for the driver who may be a friend, relative or even a coworker.
Ruined trip: If you are turned away, your passengers may also be turned away, although they won’t normally be permanently inadmissible. However, they are unlikely to just leave you at the border to walk home alone. The trip would be ruined for everyone making for an awkward drive back.
What can you do?
Make a plan with your travel companions before you go to ensure that they feel comfortable leaving you behind and going on without you.
Get a US Entry Waiver to avoid embarrassment and ensure your trip goes off without a hitch. A US Entry Waiver is a preclearance document. Once you have it, the border agent can’t use his or her discretion to deny you entrance on the basis of a criminal record. (They can still deny entry for unrelated reasons.)
If you want to travel without worry, you may need a US Entry Waiver. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-866-972-7366.