I-194 Waiver Forum

Get an email update when someone responds : subscribe

Waiver application processing times

append delete i194waiver

Got your I-194?

Reply here with how long it took. Months, weeks, days...

Reply RSS


append delete #1526. dustinjohnson

Yes this is the first

append delete #1527. John Rogers


As I said, maybe a neighbor got it? What border are you close to?

append delete #1528. Dustin Johnson


append delete #1529. John Rogers

I assume you took my advice and handed it in at Niagara Falls?

Go to Niagara Falls regardless. Show them the email. Tell them you want to know how long the Waiver was granted for. Explain if its a 1 year your just going to re-apply.

append delete #1530. John Rogers

A client called this morning. Handed in Waiver on October 16. Received it yesterday dated November 26th. 40 days. That is the second one I have posted, the other was 39 days.

This was a female, minor criminal record and re-application. 5 year waiver. She also commented, like many clients do, that she had handed the waiver in at Niagara Falls, and that she had done the Peace Bridge, and the Airport in past years, and that they didn't compare. The customer service was excellent.

She also said 7 people were there waiting, 3 of them clients of mine and so she said she waited for about 30 minutes. She didn't recall the time but said it was a Tuesday.

Some points:
-I don't want this to make it seem I can suddenly get everyone "fast" waivers. That is not true, I have always done a good job on my paperwork but nothing that would make them process it faster.
-2 waivers does not make a trend, so lets assume its a fluke until we see more examples
-They were both handed in at Niagara Falls but that should not matter. The answers came from Herndon Va.

If you need more specific details, you can post or email or call or text. But remember that even if you have the exact same conditions, this does not mean your waiver will be the exact same timeline. Also if you are over 40 days, this does not mean your waiver is late.

Cell# 416-843-1371

append delete #1531. jazzsax1

That sounds great John. What I'm really interested to see though is if you start seeing fast processing on first time applicants, who get 5 year waivers. That would probably tell us they are pushing through tons of waivers with much less review than normal.

Don't think that's the case though.

append delete #1532. John Rogers

@jazzsax1 this was the other client I posted about:

“(Client) Received waiver yesterday, dated November 13 2018, valid for 5 years.
39 days. I have no idea why it was so fast, and its the only one I have seen that quick in 2018. We obviously said that they have a cruise, but thought Homeland Security would not care.

Clients are ecstatic, and obviously I am thrilled as well. As a caution, I don't want to pretend I can get everyone a waiver that quickly. Just something unique I wanted to share."

:: @John Rogers added on 06 Dec ’18 · 13:24

Full post:

Clients came in in September and have a cruise in late January. The client does not have a criminal record but was guilty of getting fake documents and being smuggled into the United States in the back of a truck. Overstayed as well. Over 10 years old. Never had a waiver before.

Fingerprints were fast and came in on October 3. Prepared package and client picked up and handed it in on October 4. Went to Niagara Falls.

Received waiver yesterday, dated November 13 2018, valid for 5 years.

39 days. I have no idea why it was so fast, and its the only one I have seen that quick in 2018. We obviously said that they have a cruise, but thought Homeland Security would not care.

Clients are ecstatic, and obviously I am thrilled as well. As a caution, I don't want to pretend I can get everyone a waiver that quickly. Just something unique I wanted to share.

append delete #1533. KSCOTT

#1524 they will tell you through email if you were approved or not. The best way is indeed to go to a border and inquire. However, you must make it known that you are not seeking to enter...but are only there to inquire. If they are nice then they will tell you the status.

Well, John yes you can say what you want and I never said anything about tough guy. It is good that you feel the need to mention that you play Rugby and MMA. Unsure why you said as such though. Yes, I studied, taught and actually have done/do Aikido, MMA and CQB(Close Quarter Battle), received SEAL and SWAT training and more..I taught things like handgun retention to officers and techniques for disarming violent suspects..but so what?? Does not make me a tough guy? All are military and law enforcement related topics. I do not have the need to mention here since I keep my personal business private. Also, it is irrelevant to waiver processing. I am saying the bickering should stop and I am happy to oblige.

Btw you have no idea what I do on weekends, where I am or even what I do in general. I only disclose to you what I wish, as my FB friends know a hell of a lot more. Anyway FYI.

The point is to stop the fighting and lets keep the waiver forum for waiver business only.

JAZZSAX you are 100% correct btw.

append delete #1534. KSCOTT

We have a case that ties into this very well. We have a guy in Saskatchewan that has a Fraud over $5,000 offence and previously had his waiver and appeal denied. When he initially filed he was well within the 5-year window since he was convicted in 2013. His denial was for many reasons. We filed his around September something as he has the exact date. Anyway, he has to enter the USA now due to the fact that his daughter is sick. The border told him about 5 days ago that he got approved for his waiver Nov 9th as he panicked since he had not received the paper copy yet.

The point is that they will indeed process certain offences quickly as opposed to others. His was a very complex case as he had a waiver and appeal denied in 2018. He had about 5 reasons major reasons for denial and we overcame everything within 90 days.

The other point is that we still got him approved even though both the waiver and appeal were denied in 2018.

append delete #1535. L.S.

#1532 Your guy would fall under the EWI(Enter without Inspection) Category. The fake documents themselves should not be as much of an issue as long as he did not try to use them to gain entry to USA..which it seems is not the case. One exception could be if he had a fake USA passport in his backpack..whether he used it or not. Overstays can get tricky for a few reasons. If you overstay 1 year or more then the ban is 10 years so theoretically, he would only need another 5-year waiver.

However, Canadians are visa exempt and there is a way to argue that a person did not overstay if not issued an I-94..hence they would not need a waiver for overstaying. We have done this before for people. This is recorded in the immigration regulations. So some people can use this defence but it must be documented the correct way or else they will screw themselves.

The devil is in the details sometimes and this info can at times be successfully used in the client's favour to save them money.

append delete #1536. John Rogers

@L.S. He used the fake documents or attempted to to gain entry. We were shocked he got the waiver so quickly. I had warned him he would go to a "secondary security" for sure and that it could be a LONGER wait than 90 days once he handed it in.

Very interesting take on both:

Your guy would fall under the EWI(Enter without Inspection) Category


"However, Canadians are visa exempt and there is a way to argue that a person did not overstay if not issued an I-94..hence they would not need a waiver for overstaying. We have done this before for people".

I know both comments will garner questions, you should elaborate a bit more.

append delete #1537. John Rogers

@KenScott (Not waiver related so skip everyone)

You made the comment "you would not say that to my face".

In Canada (maybe not in the UK) that is a comment that implies you are either a) so intimidating or b) the person is very tough behind a keyboard, but not willing to back up his words in person. So that is a direct challenge. Let me answer.

Yes, I studied, taught and actually have done/do Aikido, MMA and CQB(Close Quarter Battle), received SEAL and SWAT training and more..I taught things like handgun retention to officers and techniques for disarming violent suspects..but so what??

I guarantee NONE of the above is true. No MMA guy would EVER mention Aikido, its a JOKE. I am around real fighters, amateur and professional, 3-4 times per week. Fighting as a sport garners a certain respect in the community, and you show none of that. I train with a guy who is on the Toronto ETF (emergency task force) and although he does the same training AS a Navy Seal, if you ask him, he would simply say "I do BJJ". He would be insulted at the thought your putting those qualifications out there, almost like "stolen valour".

Also there is this:


and this


and this

John Rogers shared a memory. (facebook)
November 30 at 9:05 AM ·
9 Years Ago

John Rogers
November 30, 2009 ·
Won the Ontario Blue Belt NO Gi Middleweight Championship. Tougher climb because it was open to all ages.

There are actual records of me winning stuff. When I was 40, I won the over 30 Canadian Open (for my weight class) in No gi. I finished second in Gi. I hope to win the over 40 this year....at age 50. I have my purple belt in BJJ but no real desire to go higher.

There is no "ninja" nonesense. I study, and train to fight. This is MY sport. I was never in the UFC, and I certainly was never close to world champion. I am sure if you met me, you would have a great time having a beer with me. I doubt it would go further than that.

So just be YOU. Stop pretending you are something else.

append delete #1538. Michelle

@1534...I would like to expand on this if you don't mind..I have no problems admitting that you helped me with this case. And I think this will show potential clients that Ken, John and Michelle can work together to benefit a client. As ultimately we care about our clients getting their waivers. The case Ken is referring was a client of mine, who really had a very simple conviction, and why this ever turned out to be a complete nightmare, I will never know. I have done many cases such as his, and some even more complicated, with zero problems. Now, there were a few things that my client neglected to tell me until application was submitted, and we were questioned about from USA Customs, which is never a good thing. I believe this contributed to the reasons application and appeal was denied. However, they were minor issues, and I was simply at a loss on how to continue with his file, after 2 applications and 1 denial. Even the Port Supervisor at USA Customs was "stumped" on why his waiver application was continually being denied or having issues. This Port Supervisor even issued my client a "Parole Pass" because he simply couldn't believe the problems we were having. I asked Ken to see if he could help my client, as client's daughter lives in the USA, and he really needed to be there for her. Ken stepped up right away, contacted my client and now he has his waiver, in a very short amount of time. Ken, whatever you did to make it happen, I thank you!!!

I also can't go without thanking John Rogers for the support and referrals he has sent me also. I will definitely be sending referrals or clients to either Ken or John in the future, as I believe they both offer tremendous benefit to anyone dealing with them.

I wanted to share this post, to show that although we three experts have difference of opinions on some issues, and that we are strong willed in our beliefs, or have a bit of "guy" "power" "LOL" we will work together to help a person.

append delete #1539. jazzsax1

John - so this guy basically got approval at 5 years by the sounds of it? (even though it wasn't criminal)

I would love to hear if anyone is seeing any approvalsfor under 5 years since conviction anytime around now. Obviously I can wait longer, but I'm impatient. LOL. Curious if there is a trend that more applications in the pipe right now are simply being approved with less scrutiny, or if these cases were an anomaly.

append delete #1540. John Rogers

@Jazzsax. You and I have talked this one to death. If you look at what Ken has written about 5 years and Michelle as well, you will see on this issue we all use the same guideline. If possible, wait 5 years. If not, we will still do our best. Obviously you want the best possible chance at 5 years right away as well.

Great description Michelle, and its great that Ken could help. Nothing more frustrating than when someone doesn't follow the usual "path" and your not sure where to take it next.

append delete #1541. Michelle

@1539 jazzsax 1, I have not seen any changes in Waiver applications at all..processing time for my clients is still 3 to 5 months, and with the same scrutiny as always. There is always an exception, where it goes really well, or like the one I just mentioned; really bad for no apparent reasons. If you can wait, you should wait the 5 years, but if you really want a challenge, file an application now, the worse will be that happen is your application will stay in "waiver space" until the 5 years are up or you will be advised that it was too soon to file and you will have to re-apply down the road.

append delete #1542. jazzsax1

@John I know we have, just curious if anything has changed recently. Never know when they are just rubber stamping applications (LOL). Maybe DHS is so pissed at Trump they are just letting everyone in to piss him off.

@Michelle - I hate waiting, but I know I'm going to need to wait a while. Bah

append delete #1543. KSCOTT

Well, thank you, Michelle, for your support. It was a simple but complex case rolled into one. The denials are what made it the more complex. Anyway, the bottom line is that the client got cleared. This is what the forum is supposed to be about...as opposed to 1537(hand clapping/cheerleading) and I will leave that part as said.

Only thing I would say is that our guidelines/techniques are different in certain cases. Yes, the 5 Year rule does apply. However, we do things differently.

An example is that we have a client that literally has been charged and/or convicted for literally every statute in the Criminal Code of Canada. His case was the biggest challenge that we have ever had and we eventually got him a waiver. His case took 8 months to prepare as it was a monster showing rehabilitation and other things in his case. He has also paid the highest fee that we have ever received on a single waiver case but it was worth it. We are now working on his 2nd one now. So the guidelines in his case are different than the standard ones that we do.

Also, #1535 is my administrator and she wants to start getting into the case processing part of the business. She is working an overstay case and I showed her how we can possibly get the guy a lifetime clearance since he did not get issued an I-94 by C.B.P.

The technique is that you have to sit down with the guy and find out the specifics on his case. You have to write up a mathematical analysis indicating the dates were technically not an overstay. You can also include information showing which dates were valid and which ones were not. You have to know how to indicate that the non valid dates are under 1 year. If over 6 months, then he can get a 3 Yr ban which is fine since he would only need a waiver for 3 years only.

Again, like Sarah said...The devil is in the details. We successfully did it with a guy that had been there for 3 1/2 years but technically was not an overstay based on certain things.

I have a new guy coming to the Burnaby office that has a semi-complex case involving Armed Robbery of drug dealers 4 1/2 years ago.

append delete #1544. Michelle

John and Ken, I just received my notice that It is time to renewal my Fingerprint Accreditation...I hear that since the RCMP have taken this back from Public Works, that it is a nightmare!!! I will keep you guys posted on the regulations now..Wish me luck..

append delete #1545. John Rogers


We moved offices (same building just much bigger offices) and we had to do the inspection, the interview, the checks, everything.

The interview was brutal. We had to go up to Newmarket, and it was 4 hours. Hopefully yours will be easier since you in the same location.

Its worth it though, fingerprinting makes it easier for the clients, and its a nice steady stream of income outside of pardons and waivers. We also get quite a few people who are planning to try either the pardon/waiver on their own, but because they liked us when they visited, they come back and let us do the application for them.

Worth the hassle of accreditation. Not to mention, the RCMP does everything from criminal, to credit checks because they want to ensure the person is not going to take $$ to beat the system or give access to the information we gather. So clients can be assured anyone who is accredited has been thoroughly checked, and better, has a lot to lose if they are dishonest.

append delete #1546. Michelle

@1545, Thanks John, Interesting enough, I got the call, because I moved 5 years ago, and although I was inspected at that time, their files were not updated. Last week I asked for a copy of my Accreditation letter, and this was now caught, so they are treating me like I just moved.. :(

append delete #1547. John Rogers


That sucks!

We have been so busy with fingerprinting the last couple of months. Today 11 sets, and that not even the busiest day of December. We have other staff that help Jennifer with the Pardon work or she would find it impossible to keep on top of anything.

Brampton is well positioned, its about 700K and so many people moving FROM Toronto, and other countries as well. We are so busy with citizenship and PR fingerprints. We didn't plan it that way, but it certainly worked out.

append delete #1548. KSCOTT

1545 & 1546 I wish both of you well in your accreditation process. I am still on the fence about printing as it would be the last thing on our agenda if we decided to get into it. It is easier for us to have an affiliate to do it...Although one of my guys went through the RCMP accreditation process for our fingerprint affiliate and he can do mobile prints for us when he retires from his other job at Air Canada. It was easier for him as he already had a security clearance for the government.

So yeah on the fence for sure but warm wishes.

append delete #1549. Kiwi

Opinion required,

I see the 5 year waiting time mentioned here often enough, but is that from completion of sentence or from date of conviction?

I applied as soon as my conviction was completed but after 27 months received a denial letter, it did not specifically mention why I was declined.

I'm just over 5 years since conviction but not quite 4 years since sentence was completed, should I apply now or wait?

BTW my charge is tax related, filing a false statement from 2010, it's considered a Crime of Moral Turpitude so quite serious in US.

Thanks for any input.

append delete #1550. John Rogers


If you file now, and get it done right (personal letter is very important) you have a decent chance at a waiver, probably a 1 year.

If you wait until 5 years, a better chance of success, and a better chance and possibly a 5 year waiver.

Again, assuming a strong personal letter and no outstanding restitution.


(Leave this as-is, it’s a trap!)

There is no need to “register”, just enter the same name + password of your choice every time.

Pro tip: Use markup to add links, quotes and more.

Moderator: i194waiver