Entering USA with criminal record


New Member

If someone is trying to enter USA from Canada for example but have been arrested but the charges were later dropped or dismissed (No conviction or jail time) will the arrest record remain in the CPIC and is it better to get file destruction before entering the USA or apply for a waiver? I have no criminal record but I just want to know.

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
Do you mean entering the US from Canada? The processes are different for Canadians coming to the States and Americans coming to Canada. Since the CPIC is Canadian, I will assume you mean entering the US from Canada.

You likely won't have any issues. However, anyone who is not a US citizen can be denied entry to the US for any reason. There are no guarantees. That being said, without a criminal record, they may not be aware of the charges and so have no reason to deny you.

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
Ah, well that's a different story. If you're an American citizen coming to Canada, even dropped charges can, in theory, prevent you from entering Canada. However, the only way to know whether or not they will prevent you from entering is to travel to Canada. It may go perfectly fine, it may not. So, what are your options?
The best thing to do is to drive, if you can, and be prepared to apply for what is known as a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). If they let you in, then you don't have to do anything. Otherwise, you can complete the application at the border. In order to apply, you will have to give the officer(s) a reason to grant you entry. Your evidence may include proof of any rehabilitation, as well as proof of a need to come to Canada, or some benefit to Canada by your traveling here.
It's not so simple if you're flying, I'm sorry to say. Because you could, in theory, be denied permission to board the plane, depending on which airport you are at. (On the other hand, you might have the opportunity of applying for a TRP at the Canadian airport where you land.)
Hope this helps.