The limitations of a US Entry Waiver are:

  • A US Entry Waiver is only temporary (generally from one to five years)
  • You can still be denied entry, but not for the criminal record specified in your application
  • You must maintain a clean record
  • The Waiver does not give you the right to live, work or study in the US. If that’s your goal, you will also need to apply for the applicable visa.

Otherwise, the A US Entry Waiver allows the holder access into the United States just the same as any other admissible person. Once the US Entry Waiver has been granted, the applicant will be sent a I-94 form that will state that the waiver has been granted, for what reasons the applicant can enter the United States (generally business and/or pleasure), as well as how long the waiver has been granted for.

One of the key limitations that the applicant needs to be aware that US Entry Waivers are only granted on a temporary basis up to a maximum of five (5) years. Note that the United States used to grant Canadians permanent border crossing cards, but this program has since come to an end, (although cards granted prior to the termination of this program are still valid, providing the holder has not since been involved in anything that would render him or her inadmissible.) Generally, the first waiver will be granted for one or two years, but further reapplications will result in waivers valid for longer periods of time.

Naturally, a US Entry Waiver only grants you access to the United States, and other countries will have their own requirements for allowing those with a criminal record into their country. Most other countries are not as particular as the United States when it comes to a Canadian criminal record. However, you may still be denied into these countries if you are deemed a significant threat. For each country’s individual entry requirements, we encourage you to contact its embassy or consulate in Canada.

Lastly, any Canadians wishing to apply for a NEXUS card may have to consent to a full background check as required by the United States. You may be questioned about your full conviction history regardless of whether or not it has been pardoned.