Border Shutdown

J Rogersposted 2 weeks ago

As you all know, they have "shut down" the border. I had a client hand in his waiver yesterday (March 17 2020 - Monday) and they did take him at Niagara Falls, but seem to indicate they might not be taking people after that.

I have a client heading there today (calling is a waste of time because i know they will SAY stay away) and will update everyone when they get back to me.

Anyone here any other information from the border?

Remember Esafe is useless as an alternative because if you cannot be fingerprinted, then you have wasted your time.

Replies (recent first):

As you can see by my earlier post, they stopped taking waivers on March 18 and they PLAN to open again on May 4rth, but that is making a lot of assumptions.

I posted actual emails from Homeland Security.

@Kscott your people CANNOT make in home visits, as you are not an essential service, and you aren't even accredited to fingerprint, so what would your people even be taking this risk for?


My guys are still doing home visits on waiver cases for only certain clientele and under certain conditions that
do not put their safety in peril.

In Ontario sending someone to a home would actually be illegal right now (your a non essential service) so I am puzzled at your comment. ALL home visits make this WORSE. Tell your "guys" to STAY HOME.

J Rogers replied 11 hours ago   #18

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS offices will begin to reopen on May 4 unless the public closures are extended further. Employees in these offices are continuing to perform mission-essential services that do not require face-to-face contact with the public.

J Rogers replied 11 hours ago   #17

@Marcus.. this is a better response..no..I do not think compensation or extensions will be made to extend an existing waiver due to this crises..I have had clients receive waivers they never used due to various circumstances..health..new baby..job loss..ect..and once the waiver expired..it is done..no extensions..

Michelle replied 15 hours ago   #16

@Marcus.. 5 years..it was 3rd renewal..I finally spoke with a human at Regway..MT POE..and waiver applications r not being accepted at this time..in response to ur concerns..u would not lose anytime as a new applicant now..where people r going to struggle is current waiver expiring soon..they simply cannot apply for renewals..so they will not be able to travel until they get a new one..which right now is a mute point..as no one is traveling..not sure this answered ur question..but hope it helped..

Michelle replied 15 hours ago   #15

@Michelle How long was the waiver granted for (1 or 5 years) that your client got? And do you know if they will make any sort of allowance for the border being shutdown possibly for months in terms of the timeline of the waiver being viable to use? Would really suck to get a one year waiver but lose 4-5 (if not longer) months off of it.

Magnus replied 1 day ago   #14

Hi All, sorry, I have no updated for you regarding accepting waiver paperwork, as I am unable to speak to a "live" person at the Borders around here. I do know that a client received his waiver dated March 16, he had delivered it early January...if I hear of anything more, I will update you..Thanks!

Michelle replied 1 day ago   #13

@Magnus This very thing happened to one of my clients yesterday. She received a 1 year waiver and this question was posed to me. I told her that I am going to assume that CBP will not extend any waivers in terms of giving you a break on the borders being closed. I am going to assume that their philosphy is that they were only following orders to shut down the borders and the financial cost is on the client to ensure that his/her waiver is unexpired. Essentially(their words), if you lose money then it is not the fault of CBP. Again, this is only an assumption. It would be nice though if they were to credit the person the extra days on the waiver for when the border is shut down.

KSCOTT replied 2 days ago   #12

@KScott While I'm sure they're still adjudicating waivers I was just curious what anyone's experience was here in terms of POEs accepting new waiver applications at this time. Of course it makes sense that they wouldn't accept any new waiver applications at this time.

As for the adjudication of waivers I'm curious that if (for example) one receives a ONE year waiver in June but the borders are shut down until September or October (once again using an arbitrary timeline as an example) doesn't that cut a few months off the ACTUAL time of their waiver? So in essence one could pay a bunch of money for a waiver, it gets approved for ONE year, but can't be used for five months.

Do you anticipate any of this is taken into account or will be by the adjudicators?

Magnus replied 3 days ago   #11

@Magnus I called Aldergrove on March 18 to ask this question and they said that they would be still taking them up to Mar 20th or so. They recommended that I call back the following Monday. On March 23th, I called Aldergrove, Peach Arch, Victoria Clipper, and YVR to obtain additional clarification on this question. Peach Arch told me that they are absolutely not doing any biometrics or waivers until further notice. The other 3 borders told me that they are not taking any waiver applications and do not want the people coming down at all because of Carona.

They are still adjudicating the applications that were submitted Mar 20 and prior. We have some people that still have REF's that have to be submitted at a POE. Most were able to get them submitted before the 21st. So yes they are still adjudicating waiver applications already received by CBP.

KSCOTT replied 3 days ago   #10

@KScott @J Rogers @Michelle

Waivers may be still be adjudicated as per my understanding here but are POEs accepting waiver applications currently? I understood they were not taking applications at this time.

Can you clarify this? Thanks.

Magnus replied 4 days ago   #9

Yes waivers are for sure getting granted/adjudicated since they have not actually stopped processing them.

The adjudication standards have not changed under this crisis. We are still open for business and are

processing cases in prep for the day that the border reopens.

My guys are still doing home visits on waiver cases for only certain clientele and under certain conditions that

do not put their safety in peril.

KSCOTT replied 4 days ago   #8

Waivers are still getting granted. I have had 5 in the last few days, all from early February, all were granted for 5 years, including one I was shocked at.

2016 Fraud over. We were trying only because the fee might go up, and the person had been rejected before. 5 years. I am THRILLED (and obviously the client is as well)

Are they being more lenient these days?

Please post any waivers that are granted so we can compare.

These latest ones all took less than 60 days (about 5-6 weeks)

I am closed during this pandemic but popping into the office every few days. My phone is forwarded so call if you need information, 416-843-1371.

Many of the fingerprinting companies in Brampton are still open despite the fact we are on "lock-down". VERY IRRESPONSIBLE.

To fingerprint, you have to be up close and personal. And these places are advertising that they are taking precautions, but to risk peoples lives (including other clients who are coming into an office that an infected person came in) is irresponsible.

Rant over. Keep the information flowing!

J Rogers replied 5 days ago   #7

@Michelle and @John Rogers

Thanks for all you do here.
Please keep us informed of any new developments you come across pertaining to waivers. I'm sure you'd probably do that anyway.

At any rate stay safe and best to both of you.

Magnus replied 1 week ago   #6

@Magnus, I did not know you cannot apply for a passport right now..Thanks for the update..Hope everyone is well and taking care.

Michelle replied 1 week ago   #5

One cannot even renew or get a passport now until further notice (unless it’s an absolute dire emergency). Isn’t having a passport necessary for filing a waiver application? Yes I know that process is currently shut down as well.

Magnus replied 1 week ago   #4

EMAIL from Homeland Security:

Effective March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is suspending in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This suspension of services will be effective until at least April 1. In the meantime, USCIS will provide limited emergency services. Please call the Contact Center for assistance with emergency services.

You cannot hand in waivers now.

J Rogers replied 2 weeks ago   #3

At this point with the border possibly being or most likely being shutdown for all non-essential travel one could suppose that waivers wouldn't even be adjudicated at this time or for the foreseeable future.

Is there any point really preparing one at this juncture other than possibly having one's materials at the ready when this all passes?

We are living in extraordinary times and many never could have imagined this within their lifetimes.

Ideas on this anyone?

Magnus replied 2 weeks ago   #2

John, I have a few people who are suppose to deliver their paperwork, but I am not sure they will. I have advised to call ahead to see if Customs is accepting paperwork. I will keep everyone posted.

Michelle replied 2 weeks ago   #1

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