If you are Canadian and have been denied entry to the US, you know how stressful that can be.
In most cases, people are denied entry to the US because they have some sort of criminal record such as drug possession, assault charge or something more serious.
But even relatively minor offences like shoplifting can result in a refusal at the US border. Other reasons why people are refused do not have to do with having a criminal record but rather concerns the US customs officer may have about your intentions for crossing into the US.
This means that you can be denied entry to the US just because an officer believes you may be an overstay in the US or do not have enough ties to your home country.
If you have been denied to the US or think you may, there are things you can do to get though.
For those with a criminal record, there are formal grounds of inadmissibility that will bar your entry. For example, if you have a CMT or Crime of Moral Turpitude such as drug offences, prostitution, or serious criminality, you will likely need a Waiver to be admitted to the US.
A waiver is a a document issued by US immigration that allows you to enter the US despite that you are inadmissible or have a CMT.
Waivers of inadmissibility are currently valid for a period of 5 years but could be issued for a lesser period at the discretion of the immigration officer. If the waiver is granted, the applicant can enter the US despite his or her criminality and is required to display the waiver for each and every entry during the currency of the waiver.
For Canadians, the procedure for applying for a non immigrant waiver involves a lot of paper work! You need to get an RCMP certificate, gather letters of reference showing good charter, complete some government forms, provide a personal statement about the reasons for your offence.
At our law firm we prepare these US waiver packages for people with the goal of getting them approved for US admission.
It is essential that your US Waiver package be prepared very well otherwise you could be refused. If you are approved, the Waiver will likely be for 5 years and this means that when you do cross into the US, you will have to show the Waiver to US Customs.
Given the wide range of offences caught by the criminal inadmissibility provisions, it is essential that you investigate the potential criminal history of all your non-immigrant clients entering the US for business or pleasure before sending them to the US.
Now, once you have a waiver you will have to renew it each and every time it expires if you wish to keep entering the US. There is presently no permanent waiver for temporary entry.
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