American waiver needed to enter U.S.?

Summer 2015 CSANews Issue 95  |   Posted date : Jul 17, 2015.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I read your article about the gentleman who was stopped at Newark because of an old DUI for which he had a Canadian pardon. The offence was from 32 years earlier, but he would require an American waiver. I was alarmed, as we travel to the states frequently and my husband had a DUI in 1975, for which he also received a Canadian pardon years ago. I made enquiries about obtaining an American waiver and I was told that this is not necessary – the DUI would certainly not be held against him. He intimated that the other person likely had other issues which would prevent his entry. So could you verify the facts here? I am still feeling uneasy about this.

Anne C.
Hamilton, ON

Response :
Ed.: The prior Bird Talk writer was explaining his experience at the border and we obviously believe it to be correct. Our point was that individual border guards have substantial control over your entry and length of stay. Having one DUI will probably not be a major issue, as we have staff who have crossed the border many, many times with just such a record, without any problems. You should certainly not worry about this, but I would carry a copy of the pardon with me when I travelled. The DUI conviction is just an excuse for a cranky border guard to deny entry, and he can! Unfortunately, he could deny you entry even without the DUI conviction. Just be nice and respectful to them and you should be fine.

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