Can You Visit the United States with a Criminal Background?


If you are a Canadian Resident and you want to visit the US, then first check whether you meet the legal standard of US Customs or not. You need to prove you are a Canadian Citizen and have a clear record, free of any criminal background or involvement.

If there are some issues with your record, then you can get a Pardon and visit the United States.

Severe Crimes

Technically, only a few crimes ban you from entering the US. However, the US Customs and Border Patrol can decide whether to let you in or not. This law was designed towards people acquitted for their crimes and had their charges dropped.

Apply for a Waiver

Most people who are denied entry into US Soil can apply for a temporary waiver to gain access. It’s true, but this process can take a year with thousands of Canadian Dollars. It is imperative that the agent obtains appropriate form “I-192” from the US Citizen and Immigration Website.

Visa holders with a criminal record can discuss their terms with a Local American Consulate. The consulate officer will recommend a waiver which will be the first step to gain entry. After the waiver, the applicant can choose between applying for border crossing or go to a Preclearance Office.

Following, we are sharing the list of documents you need to check with the Preclearance Office. They will help you with the application process. These documents are:

  • Form I-192, Signed and Completed
  • US Fingerprint Chart FD-258
  • Form G-325, Completed
  • Copy of Official Police Records
  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship
  • State the Purpose of Visit
  • Copy of the Your Crime Records
  • A Signed Statement from You Explaining the Circumstances of Your Crimes and Rehabilitation You Completed including Community Service, Counseling, Restitution, and others

Pardon for Canadian Residents

Most criminal records get cleared after five months to 10 years (depending on the crime). However, the Canadian Pardon works differently than the U.S Border Patrol. If someone who never tried to enter the US before and gets a pardon, they will have no trouble. But its best to ensure your record is wiped clean before attempting to enter the US.

Another typical scenario is when you are denied entry to the United States before, you can try your luck via U.S Waiver Process. The Canadian Record is deleted So you can approve your request for the visit.

Recent Revisions

The application for pardons is plummeting ever since authorities showed some leniency towards applicants. The neverending flow of applications puts a significant load on the already overburdened authorities, and therefore only a few of these applicants are processed. Chances of suspension are high, but unfortunately, most applicants don’t receive any update for months.

The worse part is, there is no way to speed up this process.

Therefore, getting through the door is a challenge now. You can speed up the process by hiring a Private Pardon Service. Yes, you can look into and find guidance about private pardon services and how they can help you get a pardon to enter the US.


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