I-194 Waiver Forum

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Waiver application processing times

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Got your I-194?

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

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append delete #1626. John Rogers

They are all over the map right now. I wrote how many people are waiving from December, but in 3 cases people got waivers recently despite handing them in AFTER New Years. One client handed waiver in Feb 6th, waiver granted dated Feb 19th. Very bizzare.

@Michelle clients are handing in waivers here at the Rainbow Bridge all the time and no mention of new rules. I will let you know if I hear anything, but in a week clients of mine tend to hand in at least 3-5 waivers. Many of them are re-applications. Therefore I should know right away if there are any changes.

append delete #1627. Canada1982

#1623 -why cant you inquire? I was so shocked...my first waiver I filed was in 2016,it legit came in 2018,2 years later.I had honestly given up,then I got a call from my lawyer. I hope you get some answers soon

#1625- details ? It was a us entry waiver,my second and (renewal)

#1624-I’m a Canadian and I had an American arrest and conviction,so after serving my time I was banned from the USA for life,I waited 13 years then applied for a waiver,took 2 years and I got my first one

append delete #1628. Doug Burch

#1627 you need to wait 150 days before you can inquire. They will either ignore you or delay your application further, from what I understand.

append delete #1629. Tommy

I received mine today 16 weeks exactly it was my first one and amazingly it's valid for 5 years

append delete #1630. Tommy

I also prepared it with the help of commissionaires it only cost 230 dollars and I also enclosed my bank statement and house insurance. My friend dropped his off 3 weeks before me same location and he hasn't heard back yet

append delete #1631. Adelaide

#1629 - @Tommy

What did you need a waiver for if I may ask?

append delete #1632. Tommy

Assault with weapon and obstruction

append delete #1633. Tommy

Assault with weapon and obstruction . I felt the need to respond with my timeline as too how long I had to wait because I too watched this forum daily for updates but people never seem to post much to give everyone a sense of where things are too . People when u get an update post it please

append delete #1634. John Rogers

@Tommy, how old were the convictions? I assume you got a 1 year, then a 5? I assume you also wrote a personal statement etc? You only mentioned the bank statement and house insurance.

append delete #1635. Tommy

10 years ago and it's my first waiver I dropped it off in Halifax airport nov 28 and got it yesterday dated March 11 valid for five years yes I did a personal statement also along with reference letters . I sent bank statements to prove financial ability to travel and house insurance (no mortgage so I went this route) to show I have assets to come back too along with owning a business for 20 yrs. people told me it all wasn't needed but I sent it anyway and it must have helped. Like I said my friend did his 3 weeks before me same location and hasn't heard as of yesterday

append delete #1636. jazzsax1

What was your friend charged with? Could be the charges, could be a variety of factors.

In your case you were 10 years past conviction. The longer past the better the waiver from what we see people posting here.

append delete #1637. Michelle

@Tommy, Commissionairs only charged $230? That is extremely low priced..can you confirm what was included in that price? and what you paid extra for? Also did they help you with reference letters and personal letter? I ask this, because I want people to understand that sometimes companies advertise a "low fee" but you are required to do most of the work and there are can be "extras" on top of the "low fee". Also it is not uncommon for a 5 year waiver to be issued for Assault with a Weapon or obstruction. Sometimes here in Saskatchewan, the Border's won't even accept a waiver application for these offenses, and tell people not to worry about it...(I can only speak for Saskatchewan)...Neither of these offenses are very serious to USA . Especially because a weapon can be anything from a stick to a gun, and everything in between.... I am assuming yours was not that serious...It is nice to hear when a waiver goes smooth and quick...thanks for the update..

append delete #1638. tommy

yes commissionaires charged me 230 because i paid the $20 locally for the court record and i also paid them 80 separately for the fingerprints for rcmp so it would really be 330 if billed together and they done all the work except for the personal statement and references which you have to do yourself regardless . it took 10 days to get the rcmp record back and another week to get the package from commissionaires it was simple and easy to deal with them and my charge was an indictable offence which made me inadmissible trust me i know i got stopped at border for 3 hrs in 2013

append delete #1639. Ridge

Tommy, thanks for giving us more about your story, it really helps. BTW, do you know what kind of financial statement/s your friend submitted? (employment certificate, bank account, investment acct. ex. RRSP, TFSA. etc.) ect. Thanks

append delete #1640. John Rogers

@Michelle certain markets are also completely different in terms of pricing as well. The Commissionairs here (Ontario) charge a similar charge to us and other companies that do pardons and waivers. Tommy is in Halifax, so cheaper pricing might be par for he course there, as well as making the client write their own letters etc.

My friend Manni in Montreal has always claimed in Quebec the pricing we offer here would never work. When I first did pardons and waivers for Pardon Services Canada in Vancouver, all three offices had the same pricing. (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver). Toronto and Vancouver did very well, but Montreal always struggled, because people found the pricing structure too high.

I have advertised in PEI, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and I have found that the same pricing doesn't always work in those places.

My observation is that men generally only care about pricing to a certain extent. Women are much pickier about "value for price". Men are worried about speed and "how much work will I have to do".

append delete #1641. John Rogers

@Tommy, that why Michelle asked actually. We do the personal letters and in most cases the reference letters for the clients as well.

If its a simple case and the client can get reference letters easily, then we go with that. If its more complex, or the client needs it, its much quicker to write the letters myself.

@Ridge all that is required is a letter of employment. Bank statements are NOT needed and I would strongly suggest not submitting these. If you are self employed, then a tax assessment or even a T4.

I see people being told to submit 6 months of "bank statements" and I cannot believe that someone would comply with that. You just gave Homeland Security access to your bank account. You just gave someone in Virginia a potential goldmine if they wanted to sell that information. Imagine a year from now money disappears from your bank account. You wouldn't even realize it was tied to your waiver.

I have never given banking information as waiver requirements. Its much too invasive and the want to know you are WORKING and where. That's all.

append delete #1642. tommy

@ridge i am like yourself just a regular person who had to get a waiver not trying to sell services to anyone as for bank statement i sent most recent one with account # crossed out to prove my ability to afford to travel and i did my own personal letter myself as you should i mean how does someone doing this besides yourself truly know the circumstances of what happened and i bet that people that approve these waivers on a daily basis can spot the truly personal ones and the ones done by someone else . write it your self and be truly truthful and genuine no matter how bad you feel you may look this is what i done and i got it already like i said 112 days in my hand even with a 5 week government shutdown which i thought would delay it and five years i still can't express how happy i am .

append delete #1643. John Rogers


They know the difference between someone doing it themselves and someone doing it through someone because on page 7 that person who "prepared" the forms is listed. So your page 7 would have listed the Commissionaires.

Bank statements are NOT needed. Notice as well Tommy you got a 1 and THEN a 5 year. It could be argued that you should have gotten a 5 year on the first try, your offences are not that serious and pretty old. In that context, the $230 is only "cheap" if you disregard the fact that in a 2 year span you have to spend $585 twice.

Homeland Security is not going to give someone 5 years, or even approve a waiver because I did it for you. My job is partially to do the work, and partially to understand what requirements, words, documents get the best results.

Homeland Security is also not going to cut someone a "break" because they did it themselves. There is no incentive for them to approve more or less waivers.

At the end of the day, @Tommy you are thrilled with with the results, and that is all that matters.

append delete #1644. Michelle

@Tommy and John Rogers, Yes, I missed Tommy was in Halifax, and yes, I suppose the different markets call for different prices. I really don't do many waivers out of province other than Saskatchewan and Alberta. Here in Saskatchewan, court documents for a waiver are $75..Pardons are $100, and fingerprints are $80. Court documents in Alberta are $20 per conviction, so can add up extremely fast. So I am used to dealing with much more expenses. I agree with John, I never submit bank account info. In the case of I-212, I will ask for tenant rental agreements or a house mortgage statement, but that is it. It is important to note, that there might be some regulations on submitting bank info to a 3rd party. Many people do not realize that it is against Health Canada Regulations to ask for a health card or photocopy a health card for any other purpose then medical reasons. I have my clients sign a special form advising that they are giving me permission to use health card as identification for the purpose of a pardon or waiver. Same with Social insurance number, should never be used as ID and never given for any other reason then income tax or employment purposes. Sorry, my police background coming out. Anyways, I would like to clarify also about how I do personal letters. I sit down with my client and they tell me their story and I organize their thoughts and type it out..they then sign it. We do this face to face, or over phone or email. Many of my clients like this as they really don't know where to start telling their story. However, the odd one will do it themselves. Again this is just my process..if you choose to do a waiver on your own, then submit what you think will help you..

append delete #1645. Tommy

John Rogers you keep trying to say I spent 585 twice and had a one year and then five year waiver this is Wrong. This is my first waiver again and it's valid for five years

append delete #1646. Doug Burch

Good News!! mine arrived by mail today and another 5 years!! I can finally relax and get a good nights sleep! Many thanks John for a job well done!!

append delete #1647. Doug Burch

In case anyone is counting 14.5 weeks since applying

append delete #1648. Tommy

Yes Greg Zomars with commissionaires was listed on my waiver as helping prepare it but again i prepared my own statement as per the us entry waiver instructions

append delete #1649. Ridge

@ Tommy thanks again for the inspiration. I kind of think the same way as you do. And I'm truly glad that the "waiting" part is over for you.

@ John thanks for the input. It really helps a lot of readers of this forum.

@ Michelle thanks a lot too for sharing your knowledge, lots of people really benefits from it.

append delete #1650. John Rogers

@Tommy, I misread your first statement, sorry. My mistake.

@Doug Burch - awesome news. No need to a Port Parole now. I am very relieved. I saw the message you called (I coach rugby for the local high school in the spring so I am out of the office a couple of days a week form 2:30-430) and this will also give some other people a good benchmark. Can you remind people of the exact date you handed it in, and the exact date on the waiver?


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