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US Waiver FAQ

Some people who have committed crimes and attempt to enter the United Sates are deemed inadmissible and find that entry to the country is denied. A waiver of inadmissibility allows a previously inadmissible person to enter the United States legally.

More information about US waivers can be found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

I have travelled into the US a few times even though I am supposed to be inadmissible. How can this happen?

US Border officials do not always have time to run record checks each time you cross. However if you are inadmissible and are crossing without a waiver this is a serious offence, which can result in the confiscation of your vehicle, criminal charges and jail sentences. Those travelling with you may be charged with harbouring a criminal as well as being classed as inadmissible to the United States.

How much will it cost for me to get a US waiver?

The filing fee is US $585. Payment must be made by certified cheque in US dollars drawn on a US bank.

I am HIV positive. Am I inadmissible to the United States?

No. Since January 2010, people infected with the HIV virus are no longer inadmissible and can enter into the United States without problem and are no longer required to file Form I-601.

What makes a person inadmissible to the US?

People are deemed inadmissible because of disease which the US considers a threat; criminal grounds based on ‘crimes of moral turpitude’ such as rape, murder, manslaughter etc., and security grounds; anyone deemed a threat to US national security is inadmissible. Additionally, if you have been classed as an illegal immigrant or have violated immigration terms you will be inadmissible for 3 to 10 years.

How do I apply for a waiver?

You must obtain an application form from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You must also submit a U.S. Fingerprint chart FD-258 and a copy of your Canadian police record or a certificate of no record (if applicable). If you have convictions from other countries you must also submit the records for these: you must include a copy of the official court record from the actual court of conviction indicating plea indictment, conviction and disposition for each and every crime committed anywhere in the world. You must also enclose a personal declaration giving details about each arrest and evidence of reform and rehabilitation.

Do I need to use a lawyer to get a waiver?

No. You can apply on your own, but if you do use a lawyer or representative you must fill out Form G-28. Lawyers and representatives are not allowed to accompany their clients to waiver hearings.

When can I apply for a US waiver?

You can apply for a waiver at any time, although if you have an immigration violation against you, you may have to wait between 3 and 20 years before you are eligible to apply.

How long will it take for me to obtain a US waiver?

It takes around 6 months to a year to get a waiver. When you receive your waiver it will have an expiration date on it – most first time waivers are issued for 1 year. After this time you will need to reapply.

What must I prove when applying for a waiver?

You must provide complete assurance that you are not a risk to US society and you can do this by proving that you have been on a rehabilitation course; that 15 years have passed since the action that made you inadmissible; that your absence would cause economic hardship to immediate dependents. The severity of your criminal or immigration crimes are taken into account when reviewing your waiver application and the reasons for you wanting to enter the United States.

How and where should I submit my waiver application?

You must submit your application in person at a US Customs and Border Protection Preclearance Center, many of which are located at ports of entry into the United States.


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