Do I need a Visa Waiver?

philmeup1posted 4 years ago

Hi there folks. First off, I'm new here. The site is fantastic and a wealth of great info. I have a quick question I'm hoping someone on here can help me clarify. I'm currently in the process of applying for my 4th Waiver. All others were successful.

Why am I applying for a Waiver? When I was 18 I was charged with purchasing stolen property under $1000.00. It was handled as a summary conviction and I was able to move on from this and lead a happy, productive adult life. The only time I relive this nightmare is when I apply for entry to the US.

When I do travel south, half of the border guards tell me that I really don't need the visa waiver, and one gentleman suggested that I've been harassed by overzealous border guards. Those were his exact words.... I'm not perfect, and I'll be the first to own up to my own mistakes. But this was 26 years ago. And since this time, I've lead a squeaky clean life. I teach. I volunteer. It's just the person I've become as an adult. I obviously don't carry a criminal record, so it's a bit disheartening to go through this process.

I'm applying anyway, but does anyone have any specific clarification on this? I suppose my question could be considered irrelevant as it seems my past dealings with CBP seem to dictate my future. I guess I'm just wondering if there's anything specific on minor summary convictions. I'm going to start filling out the forms while I wait for a response.

Thanks everyone

Replies (recent first):

Thanks for the response Cocomarshy.
I googled it & found "Many offenses, including controlled substance violations, cannot be excused by the petty offense exeption"


Thanks for the police record check idea. i will look into that asap.

Very grateful for the info & this forum

elbowroom replied 4 years ago   #4

This is fantastic news!! Thanks Cocomarshy. I've done a bit of research on this and indeed it does look like I may qualify for this Petty Offense Exception. It's probably why half of the border guards I've come across tell me I don't need a waiver to travel in the US.

I'm going to finish sorting out my waiver application and take it with me to a US border crossing. But before I hand it in, I will ask about toe possibility of this exception first.

Thanks again for the info Cocomarshy.

P.S. elbowroom, it's easy to find out if your record has been erased. you can just apply for a police records check. I get them all the time for work. It will cost you, I think around $30 bucks. But then at least you'll know for sure. Do this before attempting to cross the border!!! This is the most important piece.
Good luck

philmeup1 replied 4 years ago   #3

Hi Im pretty sure you qualify for the petty offense exception and do not need a waiver. Google it you will find the requirements.

Cocomarshy replied 4 years ago   #2

I am not sure if i need a waiver either.
I have not been stopped at the border yet. Truth is i get way too nervous to even attempt it.
Would love to know 100% that my minor possession issue from my younger days are erased.
I would like to speak to a "pardon service" but i hear they are only out to get paid. Any help is very much appreciated.

elbowroom replied 4 years ago   #1

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