Five Tips for Renewing a U.S. Entry Waiver

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Tips on U.S. Entry Waiver renewals from the experts at Pardon Services Canada

US Entry Waiver

US Entry Waiver required for those with a criminal record.

Waiver renewals should start approximately a year before the current waiver expires.

Prior to 2013, individuals with past criminal records used to travel to the United States without an Entry Waiver, as long as they had a Record Suspension (formerly called a Pardon). Since 2013, the amount of information shared between the Canadian and American governments has heightened the barrier for Canadians with past criminal charges that want to visit the United States. This is due to the fact that the US government does not recognize Canadian Record Suspensions (Pardons) and people with a past criminal record generally require an Entry Waiver to cross into the US.

Waivers are granted at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and are usually valid from 1 to 5 years. People that travel to the U.S. regularly for business or pleasure are advised by Pardon Services Canada to keep track of their waiver expiration date. Courtney Lawrence, a Record Suspension and Waiver Specialist with Pardon Services Canada says, “Waiver renewals take on average almost a year to obtain, although the time varies on a case by case basis.” She also notes that, “The DHS tends to grant longer periods for entry when waivers are continually renewed.”

Courtney offers the following 5 tips based on her experience with helping clients travel into the States:
1. Waiver renewals should start approximately a year before the current waiver expires.
2. If an entry waiver was only granted for a year, it is best to start the process again as soon as possible.
3. The waiver renewal process is not necessarily quicker than the initial waiver process since the procedure is the same and requires original supporting documents.
4. The time frame is largely affected by the courts and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security processing times, however the type of offense(s) involved, also affects the processing time.
5. Follow the current rules and update all supporting documents when renewing an application. For example, those that might not have had to provide a lot of details in a letter of circumstance previously, are now required to do so.

About Pardon Services Canada

An industry leader in helping individuals overcome the obstacles of a criminal record. Since 1989, Pardon Services Canada has successfully assisted over 100,000 Canadians exercise their lawful rights under the Criminal Records Act of Canada, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States. Services include US Entry Waivers, Record Suspensions (formerly called pardons), and fingerprinting. Now also assisting Americans enter Canada with Temporary Resident Permits and Criminal Rehabilitation Status. To get started, call toll free 1-866-972-7366 or visit the website Pardon Services Canada

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Anna Austin
Pardon Services Canada
+1 (604) 6857899 Ext: 7027
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