Express Pardons

Express Pardons

April 12, 2011 09:03 ET

Trouble at the Border: Need for U.S. Entry Waiver Increases as Canadians Are Denied International Travel Due to Minor Criminal Records

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 12, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a video associated with this Press Release.

With spring and summer vacation planning underway, Canadians are considering their travel options. For many, however, the potential for international travel can be greatly limited due to complications around criminal records. Over 4 million Canadians (10% of the population) have a criminal record. Most records are for small offences, mistakes made years ago that people have tried to put behind them, but these records can create major problems when it comes to travelling internationally, such as to the U.S.

On what grounds can Canadians be denied entry to the U.S.?

  • You have a criminal record in Canada or the U.S. (there are a few exceptions)
  • You were denied entry to or deported from the U.S.
  • You are banned from entering the U.S. for 5 or 10 years, or for life.
  • You had a border crossing "incident", such as possession of narcotics.

Surprisingly, those without a criminal record are also at risk of running into trouble at the border. If you share a similar name or birth date with someone who possesses a criminal record, identities are often easily mixed up and entry denied. For example, Mark Gregory Goddard, a B.C. man who was mistaken for a criminal by U.S. Customs, is still having trouble clearing his name with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

How can U.S Entry Waivers help?

A U.S. Entry Waiver is a legal document granted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) which allows a person to enter the U.S. when they would otherwise not be allowed.

  • Waivers can take from 8 to 14 months to be processed.
  • Once the CBP approves your waiver application, a letter of affirmation and I-194 document is sent and can be presented when entering the U.S.
  • Waivers are valid for multiple entries into the U.S. for the term of the document, which is issued for 1 to 5 years.

"There is often a misconception when it comes to the kinds of people who have a criminal record," said expert Jared Church, Managing Director of Express Pardons. "Whether it's a neighbour, friend, or co-worker, many hard-working Canadians are unable to travel internationally because of mistakes made in their past."

Companies like Express Pardons help people who have minor criminal records apply and obtain U.S. Entry Waivers so they can take vacations, visit family and friends, or conduct business in the U.S.

To learn more about Express Pardons, visit

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