I-194 Waiver Forum

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Hello out there!: A few notes I have as an introduction...

append delete Frank Jr.

I just want to say here today that it is excellent that we are developing a community where there are people exchanging information and helping each other work through what can be a very challenging and patience-testing endeavour. Many of you are here and have sought out information because, for various reasons, you need to be free and able to travel to the U.S. and may have found the process quite confusing and overwhelming.

If one has reasonable attention to detail, and carefully follows the process outlined, one can successfully apply for and receive a U.S. waiver of inadmissibility on their own, as I did. It is equally valid that one can also choose to have this performed or assisted by others who can and have had success as well.

I would like to point out that the time that RCMP fingerprinting is being processed remains an issue, as a few others have also observed. Personally, it took me from just after Boxing Day last year to May of this year to receive my fingerprint record which is a prerequisite for the U.S. Waiver of Inadmissibility application. (and such record cannot be older than 15 months as it is upon application). Others have had even worse results for waiting for this product from the RCMP, despite the new electronic fingerprinting initiative being the norm now. The fact that this delay creates a bottleneck that rivals or exceeds the waiting time that the Admissibility Review Office (ARO) imposes upon us is something I don't find acceptable.

One of my pet projects for the future is to see if perhaps we can show the people responsible that the timely access of our criminal records in order to apply for waivers and record suspensions (pardons) is very important. Furthermore, this also ties in to the changes some of us would dearly like to see in the area of record suspensions where it concerns the Parole Board of Canada, the fee schedule, the guidelines and so on. I have and will continue to make it known that we would like to see some common-sense and evidence-based reforms in these areas, and with the elections in Canada behind us now, there may be some people who would hear us out and think things through.

The issuance of pardons and/or waivers, I'm positive that most of us agree upon, should never be a political or partisan issue. We should view these matters with a long-term perspective for the greater good.

Some of us perhaps have made regrettable mistakes in the past in our lives, however, we have learned from them and we are now leading responsible lives, contributing to our communities and our economies each day as taxpayers and citizens. In the principles of rehabilitation and restorative justice aims, sensible policies around these issues not only benefit us, but the greater societies in Canada and our friends and neighbours (and in many cases family) south of the border also.

I remain, as I am able, willing to work toward these mutual interests and look forward to contributing and learning here. Thank you!

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append delete #1. Frank Jr.

For my next discussion, I will point out the value of the good advice that has been given here to have letters of reference when preparing a waiver application, and some of the more detailed points concerning the criteria that the ARO uses when adjudicating applications, along with an example of how I prepared my waiver application package and its cover letter keeping the criteria in mind, so as to improve your chances of a successful result.

append delete #2. Sean in Van

Hi Frank, I appreciated your posting and your interest to learn and develop this community. I would very much like to learn from your experience with applying for and successfully receiving your waiver to enter the US. I am just beginning this process myself and would greatly appreciate your insights. I'm in Vancouver.


append delete #3. Vancity Girl

I am in Vancouver as well, and also in the process of applying. I summited my fingerprints in December 2015. I am very frustrated with this whole proccess. I have called various times and left messages, with no response from the rcmp. When I recieve my prints, does the time it took to process them count toward the 15months expiry date?


append delete #4. Frank Jr.

I apologize for the late replies, as I will be travelling this week and expect to return somewhere towards this weekend. I will catch up on some of the posts I want to do then.

With respect to Vancity girl's post, it is indeed frustrating when the crucial RCMP fingerprinting and record returns are delayed. Unfortunately there is no way to contact them as far as I know to "speed up" the process either.

When it comes to the 15-month rule, the RCMP print records will come back with a date printed on them. It is from this date that the 15 months are calculated for validity purposes when applying for your waiver. (Not from the date you or your electronic fingerprinting service sent them in).

To anybody who has waivers expiring in about a year I suggest the first order of business is to get your fingerprint records from the RCMP early, in order to hopefully avoid this delay.

append delete #5. Frank Jr.

Well, we have liftoff finally...and it was interesting to see that the message of inquiry that I emailed yesterday (on Canadian Thanksgiving Day which is not a U.S. Federal holiday) may have caused them to look at my file and get it going and mailed today (at least I can speculate):

Good morning,
A decision was made & will be mailed out to you today.
Do not reply to this message; submit all your inquiries to Inquiry.waiver.aro@dhs.gov
Thank you,
Admissibility Review Office

My message of inquiry yesterday also did make mention that we are now past the 150-day mark since the date of application, May 9th. Whether this actually helped or not is also anyone's guess. Day 155 and it's on its way to my mailbox...I'm relieved anyhow as I need this for work and I'm ready to go since I've been off surgical leave and have recovered.

Next time, it's gonna cost $930 USD but I'm going to start the ball rolling 18-21 months ahead of time anyway (thank you RCMP) and hopefully there will never be a gap in my future renewals.


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