Minor Convictions

If you have a drinking and driving offense, domestic dispute or even a common assault that is over 5 years old you may be eligible to enroll into the trusted traveler program or simply seal your record permanently from the system.
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Serious Convictions

If you have served more than 6 months in prison or have been involved in crimes involving theft, fraud, assault causing bodily harm, possession/trafficking a prohibited substance you may fall under this category when it comes to the issue of travelling across the border.

About NEXUS

NEXUS is meant for low-risk travelers who travel frequently between the United States and Canada.

To become a member of NEXUS, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
  • submit an application and go through a registration process;
  • satisfy the eligibility criteria;
  • be admissible in Canada and the United States; and
  • pass risk assessments by both countries
  • Be a Citizen or permanent resident of Canada or the United States
Your may NOT qualify for a NEXUS pass if one of the Following applies:
  • You are inadmissible to Canada or the United States under applicable immigration laws
  • You intentionally provide false or incomplete information on your application
  • You have been convicted of a serious criminal offence in any country for which you have not received a pardon (for U.S. background checks, you may be questioned about your full criminal history, including arrests and pardons, which MAY exclude you from the NEXUS program).
  • You have a recorded violation of customs, immigration or agricultural law, OR
  • You client fails to meet other requirements of NEXUS.

NEXUS FAQ’s

What is a Conditionally Approved Nexus Application?

A conditionally approved Nexus Application means that your application has been approved pending further CBP review via the interview with NEXUS.

If your application has been conditionally approved, you would need to schedule an appointment using the online GOES application.

The actual appointment date can be beyond the 30-day period. For example, the scheduled appointment date can be several months from now, as long as it is scheduled within 30 days of the conditionally approved date.

  • Failing to schedule an interview within 30 days from the date of the conditional approval will result in you being denied your NEXUS application, so it is always best to remember to schedule your interview as soon as possible
What if I have been denied a NEXUS pass?
  • If you have been denied a Nexus pass, you can always reapply.
  • You would need to contact the Enrolment Centre in order to determine why your application has been denied.

What is a US Entry Waiver?

A US Entry Waiver is official documentation which forgives or overlooks your inadmissibility to the United States and allows you to legally enter the United States if you have a criminal conviction or other sentence barring you from entering the United States

Who requires a US Entry Waiver?

If you are a foreign national wanting to enter the United States on a temporary or permanent basis, you would need an entry waiver. There are other situations which apply to whether you need a US Entry Waiver. Find out below:

Do you meet the Following?

  • You have been refused entry (or will be refused) entry into the United States
  • You have been refused entry (or will be refused) entry to the United States due to a criminal record
  • You have been denied entry into the United States, and you want to enter the United States temporarily
  • You are a foreign national wanting to enter the United States temporarily
  • You have been previously removed or deported from the United States
  • You have overstayed your last visit in the United States

Travelling with your Criminal Record

If you have a criminal record with multiple convictions OR if you have a criminal record with a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT), you need to apply for a US Entry Waiver prior to travelling.

A crime of moral turpitude includes crimes like:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Theft
  • Bribery
  • Forgery
  • Aggravated battery
  • Prostitution, and
  • Fraud

*These are not all of the crimes of moral turpitude, but they are the most common ones.

US Entry Waiver FAQ’s

What if I want to enter the United States without a waiver, and I need one. Will I get caught?

If you have not gotten caught by the US Department of Homeland Security or the Border Services of either country, you may have tempted fate, but it does not mean that you will be as lucky next time. To avoid future bans and restrictions, it is best to cease travelling to the United States and apply for a US Entry Waiver as soon as possible.

Who Issues US Entry Waivers?

The US Department of Homeland of Security issues US Entry Waivers.

How long is my US Entry Waiver Valid for?

Most US Entry waivers are valid for five (5) years. However, sometimes it is not always the case. If you are a non-immigrant and you are applying for the first time, you will likely have a US Entry Waiver that is valid for one (1) year. Sometimes US Entry waivers are only valid for six (6) months. Other US Entry Waivers are valid for 2-3 years. The validity period will differ depending on your specific situation.

What do I need to do for a US Entry Waiver?

One of the first steps in the US Entry Waiver process is getting fingerprints taken by the RCMP. Once your fingerprints are submitted on a specific form (The form is known as a C216-C form), all documentation must be dated and endorsed by the RCMP within 15 months of submitting your US Entry Waiver form (online or by mail).

What if my US Entry Waiver is denied?

If your US Entry Waiver is denied, you will always have the right to appeal the decision, and in some cases, you may be given the chance to reapply. If you have been issued a Removal Proceedings Order (RPO), you can also renew your US Entry Waiver request before an Immigration Judge, and if the Immigration Judge denies your request, you can also appeal the decision. You should always remember that you have multiple options available. Some options may not be listed here and will be specific to your news. Contacting Canadian Document Services will ensure you have the right information at your disposal, before you decide that you have reached your last option.

When Should I renew my US Entry Waiver?

It is recommended that you renew your waiver 12-18 months BEFORE it expires. Instructions for the US Entry Waiver renewal are the same as the initial process, although additional requirements may apply. Processing times for US Entry Waivers are shorter.

How Long Does it Take to Process a US Entry Waiver?

Processing times will vary from case to case. Generally speaking, applications are processed within 4-6 months of filing your application. Sometimes this processing time is shorter, sometimes it is slightly longer. Sometimes the delay is not with the Board that processes your application- but with other Federal Agencies that require further background information and security checks. If you have applied for a US Entry Waiver previously, your new US Entry Waiver application will take a shorter length of time to complete.

What legislation regulates US Entry Waivers?

US Entry Waivers are governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

What is an Emergency Application? (Previously known as Advance Parole)
  • If you are in a life or death situation, and you need to enter the United States, you could be eligible for an emergency application
  • The decision to grant a port parole is made by the officer present at the time of the emergency at the port where you will be entering
  • An emergency Port Parole only applies to life and death situations—not situations like employment or vacation or honeymoon. There are exceptions, but only at the discretion of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • There is a high degree of unpredictability with Emergency applications
  • If situation qualifies as an emergency, a Port Parole (and US Entry Waiver) can still be refused if emergency or reasons for travelling to the United States do not outweigh the seriousness of risk to the United States should you be permitted entry.
  • Emergency applications are not meant to circumvent the United States Waiver process.  If the border guard feels there is plenty of time to apply for the United States Entry Waiver, or if the border guard feels it is not a life or death situation, the Emergency Application may be denied.
What factors are considered in my US Entry Waiver application?
  • Whether you pose a risk or harm to society if your application is accepted
  • Whether your prior immigration or criminal violations are serious
  • Why you want to enter the United States
What if I need to reapply for a Waiver again to enter the United States after being deported or removed?

If you need to reapply for a Waiver after being deported or removed, you would need to do so using a specific form, known as an “Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission” into the United States. As this process is more complex than applying for a regular US Entry Waiver, Canadian Document Services can provide you with further information on the documents and the process.

Canadian Rehabilitation

If you are an American citizen and you have a past criminal record, you may need to file an application under the Canadian Rehabilitation process.

How Do I determine if I am inadmissible to Canada?

In general, temporary residents and applicants applying for permanent residence are considered to be criminally inadmissible if you have been:

  • convicted of an offence in Canada;
  • convicted of an offence outside of Canada that is considered a crime in Canada; or
  • committed an act outside of Canada that is considered a crime under the laws of the country where it occurred and would be punishable under Canadian law.
  • In order to determine inadmissibility, foreign convictions and laws are equated to Canadian law as if they had occurred in Canada.

Has you ever been charged, discharged or pardoned?

This section will help you determine if you are inadmissible if you have ever been charged, discharged or pardoned.

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Common Summary and Indictable offences

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How Serious is my Conviction?

Trudeau government may alter
the criminal code for certain convictions.

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