Travel News – Alert
United States I-192 Travel Waivers
NEW SUBMISSION PROCEDURES
- All waiver applications must now be submitted online using the E-Safe Portal.
- We complete the packages as usual. We then scan the documents to the computer and assist with the online submission.
- We recommend, where possible, that our client attend our office to sign the documents and be present during the online submission process.
- Clients will be required to use their credit card for payment online as their credit card will be tied to their unique profile and clients will have ongoing access to their portal to check for updates.
- A receipt is printed and included with your original documents. We give this original package to you to hold on to.
- The applicant must then attend an approved port to submit biometrics (fingerprints), but ONLY within 45 days after being instructed to do so. You must also bring your receipt and original documents to the biometrics appointment.
- Processing times are uncertain.
- Normally, most first time Waiver Applications are granted within 6 months. Renewals are typically in less than 3 months. BUT, due to COVID, processing times vary. We can’t be certain as to how long it will take for your file to be granted.
- Our clients have NOT been able to submit Waivers in person since around April 2020.
- We’ve only begun online submission of Waivers this month (October 2020).
- Though you can now submit online, applications are not actually being processed at this time due to the unavailability of biometric services as indicated below.
- Our clients have NOT yet been instructed to attend for biometrics. We don’t know when these notices will be given.
BIOMETRICS AT DESIGNATED PORTS
- At this time, no port is taking biometrics.
- That means, even though applications can be submitted online at this time, CBP will not begin processing them until after biometrics becomes available.
- The E-Safe program will alert the applicant as to when biometrics becomes available.
- Sweetgrass, MT is the only designated port on the list of offices in Alberta that will be providing biometrics, when it becomes available. Other locations are situations across Canada, but not at airports at this time.
- We do not know if the Calgary and Edmonton Airports will be added to this list in the future. That means, when available, you may have to drive to Sweetgrass to submit biometrics.
- We also do not know what will happen to existing travellers if their waiver expires.
- If your Waiver expires, there are two possible scenarios that could occur:
- You could be granted a Port Parole if your travel to USA is deemed essential so that you can continue to travel.
- You could be denied a Port Parole, even if your travel to USA is essential.
- If you attempt to enter without a valid un-expired waiver or approved Port Parole:
- If driving, you could have your vehicle taken.
- You could be detained.
- Your subsequent waiver could be denied for a period of 5 years.
- Proof that a waiver application has been submitted online might (we are not sure) improve the chance that a Port Parole will be approved if it is required and essential.
COVID OR POLITICS?
I believe part of the obstacle right now is due to the USA being unhappy with Canada’s strict policies preventing American travellers from entering into Canada. Many of these restrictions are probably due to COVID, but I also think politics are at play.
What does this mean for applicants choosing to proceed with their Waiver Application now?
- We are worried that once submitted online, your application might become abandoned if you are unable to attend for biometrics within 45 days of request. We don’t know if the E-Safe program will be smart enough not to request biometrics until available in Canada. But, we’ve been lead to believe that biometrics will only be requested when available.
- We’ve submitted 2 applications online recently to test e-safe. Hopefully, both applications will go through smoothly and that they will not be instructed to get biometrics until that service is available at a nearby centre.
- We were led to believe that biometrics was now available at Sweetgrass (which is why we began submitting applications). But, then we were subsequently told biometrics would only be available for essential travel. Now we are told it is not available to anyone, even if it is for essential travel.
GOOD NEWS ABOUT RECORD SUSPENSION (PARDON) UPDATE
The Criminal Record Act was updated in 2012, making it harder to get a Record Suspension. There was a recent court case that confirmed it is illegal to apply NEW rules to people previously convicted. That means, individuals with a criminal record can apply for a Record Suspension (or Pardon) based upon the rules that existed at the time they were convicted.
If you or someone you know was affected by the 2012 rule change, please contact our office. This also applies to late payment of fines. For example, if you were late paying for a fine, you might be able to apply sooner under the old rules, if eligible.
DIVORCE & SEPARATION
Did you know we also help with uncontested divorces and separation agreements? If you have questions about these services, please feel free to call for a free consultation.
25-Years in Business
Not only are we celebrating 25 years in business in 2020, we also enjoy:
- A+ Reputation with the Better Business Bureau
- CCA Award for Business Excellence
IT IS WITH GREAT SADNESS
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Candy Johnston earlier this year due to Cancer. The real culprit was delayed treatment due to COVID-19. She will be missed. ☹
We are in the process of opening a second Calgary Location. Stay tuned!
Canadian Legal Resource Centre Inc.
#204, 4014 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 2R7
Second Location (Opening Soon)
#221, 5401 Temple Drive NE
Calgary, Alberta T1Y 3R7
1-800-320-2477 (Toll Free)