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Hello again. First post in years. I applied at Sault Ste. Marie late January. No lineup. In and out in relatively no time. Received another 5-year waiver in about 5 weeks. This was my third application. Did all the legwork myself.
If you're willing to travel to apply, the Sault entry point is never busy, and they accept applications 24/7.
1/3 of my new clients are 'immigration offences' instead of 'criminal record'. I see no difference in processing time.
From what i am seeing, the port you hand the waiver in can have some 'influence' on time, but people overthink this process a bit. The amount of applications vs the amount of people who adjudicate are the biggest factors. When a file hits my desk, whither it takes me 10 minutes or 3 hours is irrelevant. The NEXT file is being looked at until I am done. I don't look for the "easy files" and then process them first.
Homeland Security is the same. Renewal, new, criminal or immigration, the next file is the next file. Your file is a folder on someone desk. A bunch of paper (or info on a screen) there isn't some committee deciding "oh this is easy, lets do his first".
I don't find a difference between first time and renewal applicants. People who are not getting the waiver granted within 60 days are taking much longer, sometimes up to a year. I know everyone wants absolute numbers but I don't have anything accurate enough to give you. The majority of people who go over 60 days (not all) probably end up getting denied.
Submitted my waiver Jan 24 2019. Received my waiver yesterday feb 28 2020. Really surprised with how quick it was and the result.
This was my first waiver and I did it myself. It was granted for 5 years and it was a trafficking offence.
April 2012 - possession marijuana (12 months conditional discharge)
May 2012 - failure to comply with conditions
May 2012 - possession for the purpose of trafficking (marijuana) (1 year supervised probation)
I think the most relevant reason as to way the result was so favourable was that I was 16 when I committed the crimes (there are opportunities for September letters with youth offences, but not with trafficking offences). I also showed extraordinary rehabilitation.
What I submitted:
- 2 copies I-194
- personal letter (very detailed, about 15 pages in length, as per cpb officer most are shorter about 1-2 pages in length)
- court record
- criminal record check
Supporting documentation - I think most of this is optional. I would recommend including anything that is relevant to your circumstances and provides evidence on the facts that you state in your Personal letter
- clean drug test
- university transcript
- 1 reference letter from a friend from university who has known me 4 years (ideally you want 2 letters from people who known you 5 years or more). Note: this was not required at the boarder where I submitted my application but some require 2-3 letters or they won’t accept your application. Varies border to border.
- t4s for years I talked about it the personal letter (optional. But it corroborated my statements)
- home purchase documents
- letter from employer
- Own up to your crimes in the personal letter. Accept responsibility and do not place the blame on someone else
- say that you know what you did was wrong and explain how you understand that what you did had a negative impact on someone / your community and that you are remorseful of what happened.
- say that you understand why You are inadmissible
- Kindly request a 5 year waiver at the end. Worst they can do is say no.
- at the end of your personal letter, provide a summary of the letter in the format of the “matter of hranka - you should do a quick google search on this). The format is;
1) risk to US if granted entry - say factors that indicate you pose no risk (e.g evidence on rehabilitation, no crimes since conviction (they usually look for 5 years +, Express remorse & reiterate that you have changed and make it explicit that you would never do it again.
2) seriousness of offence -explain your crime clearly. if your crime was a what they consider a “particularly serious crime (PSC) ” such as mine, do some research on your crime and try and find a way to demonstrate that your circumstances are unique and that it should not be considered a PSC. Ensure to state any circumstances that are favourable (e.g mine was small quantity of trafficking, only 16 years old, not drug other than marijuana, never convicted of another crime since). NOTE: after stating favourable circumstance ensure to restate that you accept responsibility, you know what you did was wrong and you are not trying to minimize the seriousness of the crime but rather just providing as much clarity as possible for then to make their decision)
3) reason for entry - positive factors would include travel for work, humanitarian reasons etc.
- do not skimp in the Personal letter. Put some effort in. This is they only thing that really gives the admissibility officer the chance to get to know you and your circumstances. Submit as much evidence a possible to support that statements in your letter.
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