International Travel to the United States: Do Criminal Convictions matter?

The United States determines admissibility eligibility based upon the nature of the conviction, and the possible maximum sentence that could be imposed by a judge, even if that did not occur in your circumstances. Canadian citizens will be denied entry into the United States for crimes they deem to be of “moral turpitude”. These include convictions for fraud, theft, assault causing bodily harm, all drug offences, and many convictions where lengthy periods in custody are possible, even if not imposed by the sentencing judge.

Many clients have been incorrectly advised that obtaining a record suspension will permit them to enter the United States. The U.S. does not recognize Canadian pardons. We have assisted many clients in obtaining waivers for entry into the U.S. The process is lengthy, however, it is not particularly expensive, and is necessary for clients seeking to travel for business or pleasure.