Waiver application processing times

i194waiverposted 7 years ago

Got your I-194?

Reply here with how long it took. Months, weeks, days...

Replies (recent first):

@1788, well their reviews on Google are not great, but not the worst either. John would probably know more about them as they are closer to him...My advise is to watch the timelines they give you...in reality, the processing time for them should not be more than 3 to 4 months to gather the paperwork... Fees: they will nickle and dime you to death!!!! ...You should not pay more than $650 - $750 Maximum for each application (that should include court documents, local record checks, ect...... (not including the Parole Board Filing fee of $631 and USA Custom fee of $585 USA funds), These fees are paid direct to the PBC and USA Customs and are not part of any private business fees...You will probably be required to do a lot of work on your own, such as fingerprints, writing your own personal letter, ect....Most of these companies do the very minimum and put it back on you to do legwork. Do not give them access to your credit card, a lot of time they just charge it, without you really knowing...if you must do payments, come up with a payment plan other then them automatically billing your credit card. If you do use your card, call your credit card company and advise them to check with you before allowing payments to go through. You can use my price and time line as a guideline, John maybe a bit different, but I think we are pretty close...

FPS Fee for a Waiver - $730...Includes GST...fingerprints, court documents, letters, personal letter, other.. (standard waiver) a more complicated waiver may cost more, but will be reviewed with you before we start.

Timeline : FPS Time and USA Customs processing: 10 months to 1 year...

FPS Fee for a Pardon - $730....includes GST, fingerprints, court forms, affidavits, rehabilitation letter, (local record checks)* (standard pardon) a more complicated pardon may cost more, but will be reviewed with you before we start.

*local records check can get pricey...I cover $60 in my fee, but if over that I charge, as people move around a lot and some police stations here charge $120 - $140 to process....

Timeline: FPS Time and Parole Board (summarily) - 6-10 months... (Indictable) 12-14 months...

Overall, they will probably get it down for you, but it will take a long time and will cost you thousands, if you are not careful....

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1762

@1787, It is possible that the criminal record check only showed the conditional discharge. Employment checks do not always get the whole picture..which is okay...Yes, I think that is the right direction to go in...Please keep us posted on your process and updated on the waiver...Good Luck..Thanks!

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1761

Sorry to not start my own thread - getting an error message when I try.
2 theft convictions with house arrest - 2001 and 2004
1 arrest that was dropped after a court date
Refused in 2010 at land border crossing and have been so pissed at them that I've just refused to apply for waiver. Until this year.
I found this forum AFTER signing a contract with Pardons Canada. Am I wasting my $$?
Doing a Pardon AND Waiver at the same time and I have all but fingerprints done for waiver and I'm ready to send back to PC.
Tell me if I should just drop it with them now and switch to someone else or if they will be OK to deal with and actually help complete the application properly.


BackToUSA replied 2 years ago   #1760


I didn't get a peace bond. I plead guilty to 2 subsections of 1 mischief charge under 5000$. I was given a conditional discharge with a year probation. The intimidation charge was withdrawn by the prosecution. It was a negotiated plea. The company hired me after doing a background check. Could it be that in the end nothing is registered on CPIC?

I will contact Manni, John's friend for further assistance.

Hopeless Confused replied 2 years ago   #1759

@1784 Hopeless Confused.....sorry, but I am no longer not clear on what you have been charged with? and what is w/d and c. discharge. However, I don't want you to post your personal information on here!!!

Before your last message, I assumed all you had was a C. Discharge for a mischief (breaking a window). However, now it seems that you may have a C. Discharge, along with a dropped charge? and a withdrawn of intimidation - which leads me to ask did you receive a Peace Bond? This changes my advise to you and whether you need a File Destruction, and your access to the USA. Although I am not too worried about you traveling to the USA, even if you have a peace bond...However, it is very important to know what exactly is showing on your criminal record / history.

People sometimes are confused about the word "withdrawn", as Lawyers will advise that a charge was withdrawn, when in reality it may have proceeded as a Stay of Proceedings or Peace Bond. And this information shows in CPIC or on some criminal record checks such as Immigration, Pardon requests or the Federal Government Reliability Screening Checks.

It will also show on some Police Services' criminal record checks, such as Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Regina, ect.

This changes things, and it is very important to know this, as a Peace Bond or Stay of Proceedings will effect a File Destruction, depending on the circumstances and the Police Station you were charged with. Again, I am using Edmonton Police and Surrey RCMP as examples, They have strict time guidelines for file destruction and will deny one if they chose, even before it gets to the RCMP in Ottawa.

If you are unclear about what is showing on CPIC, I strongly advise you to go and get a fingerprint check done for a Pardon. (I know you are not applying for a Pardon) but this check will give you your entire history. All charges, convictions, sentences, everything..........

I also think your case is more complicated than I first was assuming..and you should contact John's friend to guide you through the process, especially because your job is dependent on traveling. If you were just tackling this to go on vacation once in awhile, then I would say go ahead do it on your own..but you sound like you really need this done right and soon..so better to hire an expert...My advise...for what it is worth...

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1758

@Hopeless Confused I had thought I read that you were near Niagara Falls, my mistake.

I have a colleague in Montreal, Manni Jason. 514-733-8571. He does both the fingerprints and Waivers.

John Rogers replied 2 years ago   #1757


I have one dropped charge and one conditional discharge: a withdrawn charge of intimidation and one count of mischief (there are two subsections of this charge I was charged with : a and b) that I plead guilty to. In essence, 2 counts of charges for breaking a window with one charge having two subsections.

The person made several other false claims on me after the charges were laid that didn't lead to another arrest. My file destruction will surely be denied due to negative police interactions that followed.

After the conditional discharge is supposedly to be purged in March, I would need to contact my local police force to destroy my FPS number due to the withdrawn charge. If they agree to, then it can take up to a year, most likely denied, read above.

My court documents are in french which adds to the complexity. They need to be translated. I would need to travel in December, my conditional discharge will still show and my FPS number also because of the intimidation charge that was dropped. I cannot have issues at the border because some CBP agent is having a bad day. This will raise a red flag to my employer.

@John Rogers, I would need to travel to Toronto. I am located in Quebec. Do you know of anyone that does waivers here? If I get the September Letter, I will keep my job, save me the embarassment and travel freely with no hassles. It will be a liberation because I was wrongfully charged. I finally got a great opportunity to prove myself after unfortunately meeting an a-hole who tried to land me in jail. No one including cops or border agents will take that away from me.

Hopeless Confused replied 2 years ago   #1756

#1781 Jazzsax1, sure, call me at 306.205.2532 or text 306.531.8886. Or you can email me at info@fingerprintpardon.com. I will ask for in-depth details of your charge(s) conviction(s)...ideally, I want to see a copy of the RCMP report. Any dealing that you have had with USA Customs no matter how minor and your reasons for entry into the USA now.

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1755

@Jazzsax1 call anytime you want.

I tell people to "have a fighting chance" wait three years. To give yourself a SOLID chance, wait 5 years.

Don't forget, when they decide "no" they sometimes THEN come up with the reasons after making a decision. For example, Fraud, it depends on the type and the sentence too. The problem, is taking YOUR case and comparing to someone else's. Its not always exactly the same. Plus, do you want a 5 year waiver (or at least a good shot at one?) Then wait. If you just want a waiver ASAP even if it is one year, then we can proceed now with a "good" chance of success.

John Rogers replied 2 years ago   #1754

Hey John and Michelle... would love to chat about my case again, (and Michelle for first time) given michelle had a 1st timer get a 1 y ear not even at the 5 year mark.

More to figure out next steps on my end. Worst case I am applying 15 months from now, best case 3 months, but would like to figure out if both of you have the same answer.

jazzsax1 replied 2 years ago   #1753

@Michelle I definitely do not process 100 waivers in a couple of months! LOL But a lot of my business is waivers for sure. When I go to the airport I get to see 30-50 waivers id did not even work on, and this helps me see what others are doing, and most of these people contact me after to let me know how it went. If its rejected, they always come to me to consider an appeal, and I get to see the detailed reasons Homeland Security gives for that denial. I learn much more from a denial than a granted waiver.

I am happy i am in the Ontario market and Brampton for sure. All of my business is also from referrals but for 10 years I did a ton of social services Pardons which gave me a much larger network of referrals to draw from.

My best weapon is that my local competitors are all the same. Quality of work is low, they still focus on pardons and treat waivers like an "add on". When your business becomes about "I just need more sales" instead of "treat every sale and phone conversation like a possible future referral" you shoot yourself in the foot. We live in the world of "google searches" but right beside the search is reviews. People are looking at them more and more. Its more expensive to take a client and do a crappy job/fail than to be honest and turn away a pardon/waiver that won't work.

I would refer a client to Michelle in a heartbeat because I know she is honest and does good work. Anyone who has gotten good advice from her, I urge you, go to her google reviews and give her a good review. Even if its "she gave me free advice", it will still help her. We need more Michelle's in this industry and less of the Pardon Canada's, Dominion Pardons. Even some of the places like the Commissionaires who because they do fingerprints, automatically will solicit for pardons/waivers. They do a crappy job because its an afterthought.

John Rogers replied 2 years ago   #1752

@1772 Adelaide, I agree with John, I think that Customs around here hold the paperwork. Here in Saskatchewan, if the Border receives 2 or 3 applications a day, that is a big deal to them..and yes, they complain to my clients...LOL...I process about 100 waivers a year, where as John probably does that within a couple of months. Hence Pardons are majority of my business.

A few reasons for this:

I don't advertise, my business is 99% referral - I simply do not get clients from Ontario, as there are too many competitors there. Alberta - has a well established company in Edmonton (my ex co-worker from Edmonton Police).. and Manitoba has a company there that has been doing waivers for years and they are very well established (she also does not advertise and is all referrals), and BC - Ken has the market there.

Saskatchewan population is under 1 million in the whole province and we have a very high First Nations population. First Nations people do not need waivers as they fall under the Jay Treaty Act which is a whole set of other rules.

I am guessing as to the difference in time line - but I would bet this is the reason....

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1751

#1774 Hopeless, - First concern: John is right, a file destruction is not required for Conditional Discharge. File Destruction are for withdrawn, stay of proceedings, ect...not convictions...and a conditional discharge or Absolute discharge are convictions, however, these are removed (usually automatic) when the time is up. You would be wasting time, and money to apply for a file destruction process as you listed above.

When your 3 year conviction date is up, go to the local police station and ask if the conditional discharge has been removed. If not, then submit fingerprints as John as advised.

Second Concern: Translated court documents are accepted by US Customs if done by a professional translator. Again John is right, your case is not complicated at all, and honestly, your convictions are very minor, and I strongly do not believe that you are going to have any issues without a waiver. But if you decide to apply, you are definitely not going to be denied a waiver.

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1750

@Hopeless Confused

I understand. We just want you to know all the facts. If you want to use me, you can come to our address:

96 Kennedy Road South
Suite 201
Brampton On


We do all the fingerprints etc right in the office. 2 visits. First to fingerprint you, take your personal information, and tell you what I will need from you. In 2-3 weeks when the fingerprints come in I will call you, and meet again to put the package together. You will then take it to Niagara Falls, hand it in, and then wait for a response.

Our fee: $650 (includes fingerprints and taxes) deposit of $250 is fine.

Homeland Security fee is $585 USD
As long as you start soon, we should be able to beat December deadline.

John Rogers replied 2 years ago   #1749

@John Rogers

The issue right now is that I can purge it only after March. I have to travel in December.

The chances of them seeing it is pretty high. My court documents are in french. The CBP agent won't understand them and deny me entry. If a waiver is not needed because a conditional discharge for a mischief charge is nothing, then I am a right candidate for a September Letter. I need to start the process as of now.

Hopeless Confused replied 2 years ago   #1748

@Hopeless Confused

Well it looks like I put myself in a pickle. I am pretty sure I would need to do a file destruction to destroy the record after March which can take a year to complete. I am pretty sure they don't destroy it even though the law says too.

You only need to initially get it off CPIC, and this takes 2-3 weeks. You just get fingerprinted after the 3 years, which brings it to their attention. They remove it immediately. Your making it seem more complicated than it is. You can then write to the police departments to remove the record as well. The act of getting fingerprinted for a pardon removes it from CPIC.

John Rogers replied 2 years ago   #1747

@John Rogers

Well it looks like I put myself in a pickle. I am pretty sure I would need to do a file destruction to destroy the record after March which can take a year to complete. I am pretty sure they don't destroy it even though the law says too.

I have to contact the RCMP in writing. To get my FPS number destroyed because a charge was dropped, I would need to contact the local police which is at their discretion. Another year and a lot of paper work. This what I read online. There should be a better streamlined approach to this.

CBP agents are notorious for doing many unexpected things. Last time I went to the US was 5 years ago and was asked the infamous question "Have I ever been arrested". I never was back then.

So, I rather contact you guys to start the waiver process, get a September Letter if need be, be safe and not risk employment termination if some CBP jerk gives me problems in December. Again, I worked hard to get where I am and I am being pro-active. My court documents are in french and would need someone to translate them and get them notorized. Showing them at the border will be stupid. The CBP agent will look at me and laugh. I don't know if they accept notorized translated french documents to begin with.

Now, if I do need a waiver for this, then most likely I get denied and I have to wait 2 years to reapply after the 5 year mark will have passed. Well, then most likely, I get fired unless I come clean to my employer and they give me another chance.

Bad things happen to good people sometimes and these laws are stupid and outdated. There is no political willingness to do anything. I am certainly not the only one in this mess.

Hopeless Confused replied 2 years ago   #1746

@Adelaide the only factor I can point to is where the clients are handing them in. I know it is not the quality of waiver and I know our cases cannot be THAT different.

I bet in Saskatchewan they are holding on to the applications longer before shipping them to Herndon Va.

I know at one time the ports would hang on to the application until the

It might be helpful to hear from some other people out west, did you do a waiver recently and how long did it take?

@Hopeless you are in a tough spot. I like to give certainty but I also don't want you to waste money on a waiver you don't need. If it was me, I would follow Michelle's advice. Even if you are stopped I think there is a great chance having those documents will still get you through. If you get through without them checking, at the three year mark get fingerprints done immediately. Then the record will be purged.

:: @John Rogers added on 25 Jul ’19 · 10:19

I posted this but I didn't finish the one sentence.

"I know at one time the ports would wait until the fingerprint results came back from the FBI before sending the whole package to Herndon" but my assumption is that these results are so fast that it might not be the way they do it now. I think they must forward the package immediately, and the FBI results are sent and paired with the package. Again, just an assumption.

This is where Ken Scott, fake former CIA/ICE/Secret Service Agent could be useful. "When I was a Navy Seal, this is how Homeland Security did it. I remember clearly being told this on the flight out of Pakistan after I helped kill Osama Bin Laden". Or "yes I know know John is getting his results in 60 days, but I am getting clients waivers BEFORE they even apply. Yesterday I was able to get a waiver for a toddler. He doesn't know it yet, but he will become a fearsome gang member in 2042. Wait, did I say waiver? I meant September Letter of course. Sorry, I meant green card!"

John Rogers replied 2 years ago   #1745

#1765 @Michelle and @John Rogers

I was just curious as to why your (Michelle's) waivers are taking longer to come back(5-8 months I think you indicated) and John's waivers have been coming in at sometimes under 60 days.

What would you possibly attribute this discrepancy to?

Adelaide replied 2 years ago   #1744

@1770, Hopeless: I am going to chime in and I am sure John will agree with me...but if you were phoning me to ask questions, I would tell you this...... A mischief charge for breaking a window with a sentence of Conditional Discharge that will be purged soon..is no big deal to the USA. Even if you are stopped and questioned, I am 99% certain you will not be denied entry. I would suggest getting a copy of your court documents and try traveling with them. If you are stopped you can show what you were convicted of. If you were my client and I sent you to the POE Borders here in Saskatchewan with a waiver application, the Customs Officers would refuse it saying you don't need a waiver. But if you want 100% guarantee, then apply now. The only difference between waiting is the RCMP check will show Discharge for another 6 months, or whenever your 3 years are up... and after that it will show clear...all the other paperwork is the same.

Michelle replied 2 years ago   #1743