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United States travel restrictions can enter into your vacation plans, even if the US isn’t your destination.

If you are flying to a destination other than the US, there are two things you need to worry about:

  • Stopping in the United States
  • Flying over the United States

Many flights that leave Canada, for destinations in South America, Europe, Asia and Australia will make refueling stops. They often stop in cities such as Anchorage, Honolulu, Los Angeles or New York.

Crossing US airspace with a criminal record

However, you don’t need to be stopping to be denied entry to the United States. Every time a Canadian flight needs to cross US airspace, it must give the passenger list to the United States. The list is provided 72 hours before the scheduled flight. This gives US officials time to investigate the names on the list. They can then prevent certain people from flying. This is specified in Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, which was passed in 2011.

This is more likely to be a problem for people on the US no-fly list or people who have been flagged for some reason such as a warrant. However, it’s completely up to the US authorities to decide. In making their determination, the US officials have access to the CPIC database. This database has information about all of the criminal records in Canada. Imagine showing up for your non-stop flight to Cancun only to be denied a boarding pass.

United States travel restrictions and emergency landings

If you do make it on the plane, you should also be concerned about the possibility of an emergency landing. This could be caused by anything, such as a medical emergency, a mechanical issue or even a disruptive passenger. Once you do stop, all flight passengers will be required to go through customs. Neither the US or Canada allows “sterile landings” (landings where everyone stays on the plane) for international flights.

Even if you have a pardon or Record Suspension, the US government can still see your record. If you have an offence on your record that deems you ineligible to enter the US, your option is to get a US Entry Waiver. Once you have the Waiver, you should take a copy with you in case you are questioned about your admissibility to the United States at any point during the flight. Any Canadian denied entry to the US should get a waiver if they expect to return.

Contact us today for information about the US Entry Waiver at 1-866-972-7366.