With a rising Canadian Dollar and more Canadians flocking south for shopping bargains, the risk to Canadians with a criminal record increases. A quick trip for gas can turn into a lifetime of U.S. Entry Waivers.
Canadian spending in the U.S. was way up in 2010, according to a Visa report. Spending went up 18% from the previous year, capping at $9.2 Billion. Last year Canadians, among all other nationalities, were also the biggest spenders in the U.S. A strong Canadian Dollar backed by rebounding Canadian industry, weak investor confidence State side and high oil prices promises great deals for Canadians. The trend continued into 2011 as the dollar has been trading at 105 against its U.S. counterpart - up 5.4 points since January. This recent growth brings the dollar to a 3 ½ year high against its American counterpart.
As the shopping migration continues en masse, Canadians would do well to remember that if they have a criminal record it is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the traveler posses a U.S. Entry Waiver. U.S. Border Officials have been turning away more and more Canadians from the border as a quick check can uncover a past offence prompting a refusal of entry.
On top of being denied entry at the border, any subsequent attempt to enter the U.S. from Canada is flagged and checked. The person caught trying to conceal their past or enter the U.S. without a waiver will be required to possess a U.S. Entry Waiver for the rest of their life.
More and more Canadians are getting caught in the tighter security blanket crossing the border to take advantage of great deals. Unfortunately, they are getting much more than they bargained for as a lifetime of U.S. Entry Waivers can result from one quick trip across for gas. The unfortunate thing is that for Canadians a criminal record check is quick and inexpensive. Canadians don’t need to be caught unsuspecting at the border.
*note: a Canadian Pardon will ensure that the U.S. government will not be able to see any previous criminal record