Can I go to the USA with a Criminal Record If It Is an Emergency?
If you live in Canada and have a valid emergency justification for requiring entry into United States, special considerations may be given.
One of the most prevalent reasons that requires immediate travel to USA from Canada is to visit an ill family member or to attend a funeral.
A discerning US Immigration lawyer can easily advise clients on whether their distinct situation qualifies for emergency entry via what is known as "humanitarian parole."
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants humanitarian parole to Canadians who require fast entrance to the US but do not already have a US Entry Waiver to overcome their criminal inadmissibility. In most cases, the Department of Homeland Security requires an individual to
have a US Waiver application pending, so if a person has not already applied for an Entry Waiver they need to do so in order to be granted emergency entry to the USA.
If your reason for wanting to visit the United States is not urgent, such as a leisure vacation to NYC or bachelor party in Las Vegas, then your chance of being successfully granted parole goes down. The US government generally only grants Canadian travelers with a criminal record expedited entry into the country if the person's circumstance is genuinely an emergency, but does not specify exactly which situations are considered an emergency and handles all applications on a case by case basis. Examples of situations that warrant special consideration include a documented family death, a family member with a significant illness or major health
issue, children or a spouse living in America, or because the person lives or works in the United States (they have a H1-B visa or green card but are not a US citizen) and were only recently charged with a crime. Other reasons can include a wedding or business commitment, paying for a vacation before realizing you were ineligible for US entry (with no refund possible), job training south of the border, or the ownership of real estate in the USA (such as the many "snowbirds" who own a home or condo in Florida or Arizona).
Regardless of your exact reason for petitioning for emergency entry, if you are criminally inadmissible to enter the country and do not have a valid US Entry Waiver, then humanitarian parole is the only legal way to get into the US.
Are you a Canadian resident with a criminal past that needs into USA urgently? Contact us immediately for a free consultation!