Can I Be Denied Entry to the United States for a Criminal Record?

A criminal record is just one reason someone can be denied entry to the United States. In fact, it does not matter if the criminal record is for a minor offense or if the offense happened a very long time ago. Having a criminal record is sufficient cause for you to be denied entry to the United States if you attempt to enter the country.

You Can Be Denied Entry to the US for a Criminal Record

In addition to being denied entry at the United States border, you may not be able to pass through United States airports, even if you are traveling to destinations outside of the United States and do not need to enter the actual United States. denied-entry-united-states

Criminal pardons in Canada do not extend to the United States, and there is always a risk of your being denied entry. No matter what, you must disclose any criminal record when you are traveling through the United States or crossing the border

How to Avoid Being Denied Entry to the United States Because of a Criminal Record

There are United States waivers available for many different situations where someone is inadmissible to the United States, including when the individual has a criminal record. In order to apply for a United States waiver, the applicant will have to apply using several application forms and supporting documents.

Some of the supporting documents required for this type of application include information about your ties to Canada (including your family, property and employment), an RCMP certificate, local court records relating to the offense in question, a personal statement that you have written about the incident that resulted in your having a criminal record and three character references. It is also recommended that you include a letter of clean record from a doctor if your offense is related to narcotics in any way.

These waiver applications can take several months to be fully processed, and the applicant is informed of the decision by mail. If you are denied entry to the United States and are refused a waiver, there is an appeals process but you must act quickly.

Have You Been Denied Entry to the United States?

It can be a major inconvenience to be denied entry to the united states because of a past criminal record. It happens to many people every day but with proper planning and the help of an experienced immigration professional, you may be able to overcome your criminal inadmissibility.  To find out more, book an online consultation with one of our lawyers today!

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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