US travel can be affected by a criminal record. Some crimes committed in Canada will not bar you from the US. You can usually enter with a DUI or petty theft. Even so, the facts may be sufficient to cause a refused entry.
The criteria for denying entry
When you go to the border, the officers can view both American and Canadian criminal databases. The US uses the concept of “Crimes of Moral Turpitude” (CMT) to decide on your case. Such a conviction can bar you from entering the US with a criminal record. People deemed inadmissible because of a Canadian conviction cannot enter the US. However, they may be able to get a waiver.
Moral turpitude is hard to define. In essence, it means that the person acted with some intent. However, simple assault is not considered a crime of moral turpitude. On the other hand, drug possession can cause you to be denied. The list of semi-official CMT’s is long, but can be subcategorized:
Crimes that cause death
- voluntary manslaughter
- sometimes involuntary manslaughter, depending on the facts.
Crimes that cause physical or emotional injury
- Abuse of a child or adult
- Abuse of animals, including fighting them
- Incest (sexual exploitation of a family member)
- Aggravated assault
- mayhem (causing permanent physical damage)
Crimes that deprive people of property
- Robbery (taking money by use of force)
- Money laundering
- Conspiracy – attempting to or acting in support of a crime of moral turpitude.
Crimes for substances
- Drug trafficking
- Drug Possession
In addition to the above offences, any Canadian denied entry to the US will need to get a Waiver before returning.
US travel with a waiver
For most offences, you can obtain a waiver. The U.S. Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires information from you about your past and your present. Primarily, they are looking to see if you pose a threat of criminal activity. You will need to submit personal documents about your situation. This could include:
- a statement with the details of the arrests, trials and convictions;
- any information regarding your rehabilitation;
- your current status, employment, family, etc;
- why you want to travel to the United States.
Other factors include:
- how long ago did the offence happen;
- were you an adult at the time;
- any other supporting information.
Start your waiver application today
Even if you have a criminal record, you can still enter the United States with the proper documentation. Contact us at 1-866-972-7366 to find out if your record may be grounds for inadmissibility and what you can do about it.