What is a Waiver and Why do I need one to travel to the US?
A person with a prior criminal record is not always denied entry into either Canada or the United States. However, certain criminal convictions, specifically a prior conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude, will make a person ineligible for entry into either country.
The Waiver is a request of the foreign country, by the person with the prior criminal history, to waive that person’s ineligibility.
Example 1: John Doe, a Canadian citizen, was previously convicted of breaking and entering, which is considered a crime involving moral turpitude. John Doe will likely be deemed ineligible for entry and will be denied entry into the United States.
Example 2: Jane Doe, a United States citizen, was convicted of manslaughter. Jane Doe will also likely be deemed ineligible for entry and will be denied entry into Canada.
John and Jane will have to file a Waiver to ask the United States or Canadian Governments to waive their “ineligible for entry” status.
How Do Waivers Work?
Generally speaking, in order to file a Waiver, a person will have to file the necessary paperwork and supporting documentation with the foreign country’s government. Going back to our earlier example, John Doe will be filing his request for a Waiver and his supporting documentation with the United States Government, asking the United States Government to waive his “ineligible for entry” status and to allow John Doe to come into the United States.
This is a fairly complicated process with multiple sets of applications and fees that must be paid. It can be overwhelming to navigate the process alone. Often times there are additional qualifications that need to be met before the Waiver can even be filed. Each person’s case is different and may involve any number of complications.