Waivers FAQ

November 30, 2023

Note: All US Waiver and US Waiver Renewal applications will be filed electronically until further notice. For more information, call: Shane Bowen at 780-473-1741 or Email: mail@albertapardons.com or mail@canadapardonsanduswaivers.com.

Note: The only way to submit a US Waiver application is electronically and then by being FBI fingerprinted at a specified land-based border. All airport-based US Customs offices are still closed to the public regarding printed US Waiver application submissions, and there is no indication they will be opening soon. Of course, we will update this page if the offices re-open to take printed US Waiver applications or if updated FBI fingerprinting equipment is installed at major airports to accommodate electronic filing. Nexus offices and US Customs offices closed due to an ongoing dispute over the right for Nexus officers to carry firearms inside non-land-based offices. (See #21 for electronic application processing)

Note: All US borders are now open to unvaccinated international travelers as of May 12, 2023. CLICK HERE for more information.

Answers to Current FAQs

We do not know if or when US Customs airport-based offices will open. That decision will come from Homeland Security, not US Customs.

We do not know when Homeland Security will install updated FBI fingerprinting equipment at major airports to accommodate electronic filing. The decision may be delayed until Nexus officers can carry firearms or at least Tasers.

Ports are not accepting expired Waiver Certificates for any reason, even if you are considered an “essential worker,” like a truck driver delivering essential goods.

Note: See #21 for the electronic US Waiver application submission option (currently 18 weeks application processing time after FBI fingerprinting).

Frequently Asked Questions

An I-192 U.S. Waiver (Criminal Waiver or Waiver of Ineligibility) is a 2-page document that allows Canadian citizens or non VWP citizens who have been convicted of 2 or more Summary offenses, 1 or more a Possession of Narcotics offense, or 1 or more Indictable offense(s), or who have commit a crime in the USA or who have overstayed in the USA; to legally enter the United States as a tourist during a period granted for 1 to 5 years, and stay for up to 6 months. I-192 US Waivers have to be renewed, and do not allow the person to live and/or work in the USA. However, a US Waiver Certificate can be used multiple times for multiple entries right up until they expire. If you are planning to stay in the U.S. for longer than 3 months, US Customs may want to see additional documents proving that you are finanially stable and will not become an illegal immigrant or a ward-of-the-state. Note: I-192 US Waivers do not permit any person to relocate to or be paid to work in the United States.

You can apply for a Waiver at any time as there is no waiting period. However, Homeland Security normally likes to see a 5-year or more crime free history since your last offense, and after any jail time has been served. However, for emergencies you can apply for a Port Parole Permit. (For more information see #9 and #13)

Yes, if you are deemed to be of a high risk to re-offend, your application will most likely be denied. High risk offenders are usually described as people with multiple Indictable drug trafficking charges, sex related offenses, people with more than 7 Summary convictions or 3 or more Indictable convictions within the last 10 years (not including, Fail to Appear, Fail to Comply, Mischief, Illegal Possession of Firearm, Possession of a Restricted Weapon, Reckless Driving, General Assault (Sec 266) and some other “misdemeanor” offenses), people with 1 or more Indictable convictions within the last 5-years, or an Indictable drug trafficking conviction within the last 10 years, and people who have over-stayed in the U.S. Illegally within the last 5 years, and who are single and do not own property in Canada. If your Waiver application is denied we will assist you in filing an appeal within the 30-day time-limit.

Waiver Renewals for previous clients who can come to our office are $595.00 plus GST, plus a $84.00 Biometric Fingerprinting fee if we do the fingerprints. For out-of-town clients, the fee is $645.00 plus GST. We waive all Document Certification Fees for all Court, Police, Pardoned Records and Pardon Certificates. To begin please complete our Secure Waiver Renewal Application form.

Unfortunately, update requests can only be made by sending an email to ARO.INQUIRY.WAIVER@cbp.dhs.gov . Our clients receive a completed email to forward to the ARO. The email contains all the information the ARO needs to reply. Note: Emails sent to the ARO that do not contain specific information may only result in getting a generic auto-reply. And resending such emails daily, after getting multiple auto-replies, may get your email address blocked.

Unfortunately, U.S. Customs does not recognize a Canada Pardon / Record Suspension if they become aware of it. If you have never been denied entry, deported or interviewed by U.S. Customs, and U.S. Customs has never accessed your criminal record via CPIC or APIS prior to you being granted a Canada Pardon, and your criminal record was properly sealed and a copy was not put on the Dangerous drug List in Ottawa (trafficking charges), or PIP (human trafficking and other international charges), then U.S. Customs will no longer be able to access it on CPIC or APIS. However, U.S. Customs officials have several ways of finding out if you have ever committed a criminal offense. If you are not properly prepared to answer their wide assortment of questions you could be denied entry, face property seizures, short-term imprisonment, and be banned from entering for 5 to 10 years. A Record Suspension only removes your criminal record from CPIC and APIS and it includes all the information you need to know to navigate U.S. Customs. Note: If you were at one time involved or suspected of international gang related activities, or you have multiple sexual assault charges, a copy of your record could have been sent to the FBI and/or placed on Interpol, and/or put on PIP. Such records are not destroyed through the Pardon process, and are accessible by US Customs. Also, if you had a Possession of Narcotic for the purpose of Trafficking, your Record will most likely have been put on the Dangerous Drugs List in Ottawa, which US Customs has access to.

We charge $695.00 plus GST ($34.75) = $729.75. Price includes our Administration Fee (Includes Free Priority Service, Application and Document Processing, Application Tracking, Agency Follow-up Phone Calls, ARO Email Update Requests, Email Updates, Express Courier Fees, Return Postage, Faxes, Photocopies, Document Printing, Document Certification Fees, Created and Emailed Draft Letters, Personal Letter Editing). Disbursements Fees: $84.00 for Court Records from most provinces (discounts apply for multiple records). Note: There will be a $84.00 biometric fingerprinting fee charged when you are Fingerprinted in Edmonton. Fees may be higher or lower outside of Edmonton. If you live outside the Edmonton area, we will arrange for you to be fingerprinted at the nearest biometric fingerprinting office or your local police station. Note: When your application is ready to be submitted to US Customs, a $585.00 (USD) United States Department of State filing fee will apply. The fee must be paid with a major credit card.

Note: If you were convicted of Possession of Narcotics for the Purpose of Trafficking or any type of Sexual Assault, there will be an additional fee of $504 to cover additional paperwork.
For all indictable offense(s) (Federal crimes involving moral turpitude) within the last 15 years, you will be required to submit Certified Court Records for each conviction. In some cases, per-page Court Transcript Fees may also apply, which are usually $2.50 per page.
If you have a Sexual Assault conviction, we will need to make a Privacy Act Information Request to the arresting police agency. Court Transcripts may also be required at $252.00 each, in order to gather necessary details and prove the age of the victim. If the victim was a minor, you may be required to undergo a psychological evaluation in Toronto or Vancouver at a cost of $350. Due to Homeland Security’s increased screening procedures, you may be denied a Waiver after completing this final step.
We do not take on clients who we strongly feel will be denied a US Waiver.

That depends on what you were charged with, how long ago you were charged, why you need to enter the U.S., and whether or not you are employed or self-employed. Our staff will carefully review your application and explain in written detail exactly what documents will be required, and we will email you draft letters where all you need to do is fill in the blanks and then print and sign or get signed the letters. Attaching the right documents to your application will greatly increase your odds of getting a Waiver. Our staff will draft and edit all the required documents before attaching them to your application. Note: Since August of 2007 all applicants have been required to attach Certified Court Records when it comes to certain offenses, regardless of how long ago the offense was. For any sexual assault charge you must also include proof of the age of the victim, and what type of counseling was received. Our staff will assemble all the necessary documents and deliver a completed U.S. Waiver application to you to submit it at nearest U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, along with a personalized cover letter addressed to that office, in order for clients to be FBI fingerprinted and then best considered for a U.S. Waiver by Homeland Security’s ARO. Our complete and customized service reduces application processing times, lost or misplaced applications due to errors and/or omissions, and greatly increases the odds of the applicant being granted a US Waiver, and the length of time it will be valid when it comes to renewals.

Due to delays in acquiring RCMP Certified Records from Ottawa, and Court Records, most US Waiver applications take 2 to 4 months to assemble and another 5 to 6 months to process by Homeland Security, including the time it takes to do an FBI background check. Click Here for the Most Current Application Processing Times. Note: Other offices promising faster processing times only set their clients up for a major disappointment. Note: In emergency circumstances, Humanitarian Parole (a Port Parole Permit) can be obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security, or USCIS, which is a permit that allows the applicant to enter the U.S. while their Waiver application is being processed. However, such permits are now only guaranteed for emergency medical treatments or to attend a funeral of an immediate family member. All other “emergencies” fall into a gray area and can be denied if the application is not prepared correctly. All Port Parole Permit information is provided to applicants who have applied for a Waiver through our office. It can be customized according to the applicant and their situation and include a compelling Cover Letter addressed to U.S. Customs.

No. At this time, people convicted of only 1 Summary offense can enter the USA without a Waiver unless the Summary offense was a Possession of Narcotics, Sexual Assault/Interference, Child Pornography, Unlawful/Private Video Recording, and any related offenses. The following Summary offenses are allowed: One or two DUIs (DWI), Failure to Blow, Reckless Driving, Mischief, Possession of a Restricted Weapon, Illegal Possession of a Firearm, Fail to Appear, Fail to Comply, and General Assault (Sec 266). Having any or all of these offenses is generally not a problem as long as no other charges that are considered to be a crime involving moral turpitude appear on your record.

US Customs does not see non-convictions on CPIC or APIS, however, they may see that you were at one-time fingerprinted for a criminal offense and ask you why. If you admit to being charged with a narcotics or sexual offense, you could be denied entry and made to apply for a US Waiver. We recommend getting a File Destruction before renewing your passport.

No. This is due to the many time consuming complications that arise which take our staff away from properly serving our clients.

Note: People with certain charges who are not properly prepared to answer questions at the US border can be delayed, have their vehicles swabbed and searched with dogs, have their phones searched, have to submit mouth and fingertip swabs, and then be denied entry and have their Waiver Certificate revoked. Our service includes a custom email based on your charges so you can quickly navigate US Customs and enjoy your stay up to 6 months without any worries.

Unfortunately, Humanitarian Parole (Port Parole permits) are now only granted (guaranteed) for two reasons; (1) Emergency Lifesaving Medical Treatment, and (2) to Attend a Funeral for an Immediate Family Member, and usually only after the client has submitted an I-192 Waiver application and paid the $585.00 USD Waiver application Filing Fee. There are very few exceptions at this time, and we only recommend applying if you meet one of the two guaranteed reasons or you stand to lose your job if not allowed to enter for business purposes. In emergency circumstances, Humanitarian Parole (a Port Parole Permit) can be obtained from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security, or USCIS. This allows the applicant to enter the U.S. before their Waiver application is granted. Humanitarian Parole can be denied if the application is not prepared correctly. All Humanitarian Parole information is provided to applicants who have applied for a Waiver through our office, including a link to the online form. For a fee of $252.00, we can create a custom Cover Letter addressed to U.S. Customs that is based on the applicant and their situation that strongly compels the Port Director to accept the applicant and provide a list of documents to support the Letter. Note: Humanitarian Parole applications are usually not accepted by US Customs more than two weeks before your scheduled departure and usually not less than two days before your scheduled departure.

In all cases we prepare your Waiver application in the best way possible and in your best interests, which of course is to get the maximum 5 year Waiver. In many cases we have been successful in this endeavor, especially when the applicant has just 3 or 4 Summary offenses from the 1980’s, 1990’s or 2000’s. In cases where the applicant has more than 4 convictions and some within the last 15 years, they may only be granted a 1 to 3 Year Waiver. If you have very recent (convictions less than 5 years ago) Indictable and/or Trafficking offences, you may only get a 6 month US Waiver. Also, US Waiver Renewal applications that have 1 or more Indictable or illicit drug offenses within the last 10 years, are usually only granted a 3 year Waiver the second time around.

In 2016 Homeland Security increased the screening procedures and the required documents for all applicants who have been charged with Sexual Assault against a Minor, no matter when the incident occurred. Applicants are required to prove the age of the victim, provide intimate details of the offense(s), provide evidence of having successfully completed counseling, and undergo a physical and psychological evaluation in Vancouver or Toronto, which costs up to $350, plus expenses. If you cannot attend the evaluation and provide the necessary documents, your Waiver application will be denied.

No, and in fact we no longer take on applicants who drop off or send in big piles of paperwork full of errors and omissions and outdated forms. Our process is very effective and efficient and too many problems occur when we step outside of that process. The only exception to this is if you obtain your Certified Court Records, as they do not expire.

Full refunds are given when no services are provided. Partial refunds are given when partial services are provided. Once your application has been completed and is ready to submit to Homeland Security’s ARO (Admissibility Review Office) there are no refunds. To arrange for a refund please contact Shane at: 780-473-1741.

Yes, but only under certain conditions. Non-Canadian citizens needing a I-192 US Waiver application will encounter many complications and constantly changing policies regarding other countries. Note: You will need to pay $930 USD to submit your US Waiver application to the US Consulate office in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, etc., which may require multiple trips to the office by appointment. Note: We have very good reason to believe that all Passports are now encoded with an FPS (FingerPrint Section) number if you have a criminal record on CPIC at the time your Passport is processed.

Unfortunately, the maximum I-192 US Waiver is good for 5 years. Any company promising you a longer Waiver is committing fraud. Note: If your application is missing any attachments, odds are as a first time applicant you will only receive a 1-Year Waiver Certificate. Also, many Waiver Renewal applicants who have Indictable and/or multiple offenses within the last 15 years are only receiving a 3 year Waiver Certificate the second time around. If you have old Summary offenses such as Theft Unders from over 15 years ago, and your application contains all the required attachments, you are normally granted the maximum 5-Year Waiver.

When it comes to serious Indictable offenses where the person was sentenced to 3 years or more, the ARO likes to see at least 15 crime-free years after release from prison. Note: We do not normally take on clients who we strongly feel will be denied a US Waiver, and recommend that clients who have multiple and/or recent serious offenses be fingerprinted only and then forward a copy of their RCMP Certified Record for our review and free consultation.

Yes. The process involves us obtaining all the required documents, mailing or emailing copies to you, completing the multiple-step online application, uploading properly scanned and formatted copies of all the required documents, paying the non-refundable $585.00 USD filing fee online, sending an email to you explaining how to complete the process at a specified land-based border within 45-days, and then once your Waiver is granted, emailing you how it all works and how to check-in online and make adjustments to your End-Date if needed. If an additional fee for this service is required, it will be noted upon or before scheduling. Note: If you have all the required documents, we can do the electronic filing and will give you a quote after reviewing your documents. Processing times are currently 6 months. First-time applicants can expect to wait 7 to 8 months. For more information, please call our office at 780-473-1741.

Yes. We will arrange for RCMP fingerprinting in your area. Larger cities like Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver have multiple fingerprinting offices to choose from. We provide draft letters when needed and obtain all the required documents, and then we mail or email copies to you, complete the multiple-step online application, upload properly scanned and formatted copies of all the required documents, pay the US Department of State $585.00 filing fee, and send a very detailed email to you explaining how to complete the process (show documents and be FBBI fingerprinted) at a specified land-based border within 45-days.  Once your US Waiver is granted, we email you how it all works and how to check in online and make adjustments to your End-Date if needed. For more information, please call our US Waivers office at 780-473-1741.

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