Can I Travel to the US For Business If I Have a Criminal History?
Canada and the United States have the largest trade relationship in the World with more than $500 billion worth of imports and exports moving between the two countries each year.
The amount of business travel between the USA and Canada is also extremely high, and if you are a Canadian that ever travels for work, it is almost guaranteed that eventually you
will do business in America. Being neighbors and close allies with the United States, residents of Canada can sometimes forget that traveling south of the border means traveling to
a foreign country, and the U.S.A. just like every other country has certain requirements that foreigners must meet before they can cross the border.
If you want to go to the U.S. a person must be in good health, have a valid passport, have roots in their own country such as a job or apartment, be able to financially support themselves during
their stay, and must agree to leave the United States when the duration of their visit has come to an end.
On top of all these conditions, if a Canadian citizen has any criminal conviction, no matter how long ago it happened or if it has been pardoned, they will frequently be deemed inadmissible to USA. This means that even a single criminal conviction can cause a business traveler from Canada to be denied entry to US, even if it happened 25 years ago for something as simple as possession of marijuana, and even if the
individual has since received a record suspension from the government.
Business travel is one of the most popular reasons for a Canadian with a criminal record to seek entry into the US. If an individual with a criminal history wants to travel from Canada to USA for business, they will very likely require a US Entry Waiver to do so successfully. The good news is that traveling for work (business meetings, industry conferences, etc.) is considered by US border authorities to
typically be a valid reason for requesting permission to enter the country with a criminal record. Even though "business" is one of the most justified reasons for traveling to the United States with a criminal past, it is still crucial that a business traveler completes their US Entry Waiver application form precisely correct as even a tiny error can result in being denied a Waiver.
It can also take as long as six months to get approved for a US Entry Waiver if you apply directly to US Customs and Border Protection, so make sure to apply well in advance of your intended travel date. If you need to enter the United States for business sooner than six months, we strongly encourage you to contact an experienced US Immigration Lawyer and ask about urgent criminal entry to USA.
To learn more about traveling to the US for business when you have a criminal past, contact us today for a free consultation!