In order to be allowed into the United States when you have a criminal conviction, you must get a U.S. Waiver of Inadmissibility. Otherwise, you risk being turned back if your conviction is discovered at the border.
The United States can refuse entry to any person who has been convicted of a criminal offence, including Canadian residents who possess a criminal record in Canada. In order to avoid being denied entry to the U.S., Canadians with Canadian criminal convictions must obtain a U.S. Waiver of Inadmissibility in advance of travelling.
No. U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not recognize a Canadian Record Suspension, therefore, even if a person’s Canadian convictions have been sealed in Canada by having been granted a Canadian Record Suspension, the individual will still not be able to travel to the U.S.
The U.S. Waiver application can be lengthy, taking up to 1 year. A copy of the individual’s criminal record will need to be included with the application, in addition to a signed statement explaining the circumstances of each arrest and conviction, as well as the sentence imposed. The application may also include evidence or explanation of the individual’s attempts at reform or rehabilitation.
A statement outlining the reason for travelling to the U.S. must be included as part of the application for a U.S. Waiver. These may include vacation, employment, educational studies and visits to family residing in the U.S.
A U.S. Waiver grants temporary admissibility into the U.S. and may be granted for periods up to 5 years.