If you are a Canadian citizen with a criminal record you may not be allowed to cross the United States border legally; in fact you will be branded as inadmissible to the United States. Some people in this situation are under the misguided impression that applying for a Canada pardon will enable them to cross legally in the US, however this is not the case; Canada pardons are not globally recognized and the US is a country, which does not place any value on them. The only way to make legal entry into the US is to apply for a US waiver of inadmissibility.
US waiver for Canadians is a time consuming process, which takes around a year from start to finish. The first step is to fill out an I-192 waiver Form down-loadable at the Legal Canada Community website. Other forms that need to be completed are Form G-28 if you use legal representation to file your application and Form G-325A for your biographical information. All of these forms can be downloaded from the Legal Canada Community website.
Next each applicant must get hold of a copy of their criminal record from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). This can only be done by submitting your fingerprints on form C216C something that needs to be done for the US authorities too (on form FD-258). If you have any form of criminal record in another country you must also get hold of a copy of the criminal record or a letter from an official source stating why there is no record. Its no good thinking that you can sweep foreign crimes under the carpet the US authorities search many global databases looking for records and falsifying your record will result in instant denial for a US waiver and thus further blot your copybook. To further increase the US waiver paper trail, you must also contact every court where you have been sentenced and obtain the official court record detailing your crime, your plea and your sentence etc. Finally everyone who applies for a US waiver has the chance to state their version of events by making a personal declaration outlining the events of the crime and detailing efforts to reform such as rehabilitation courses. The aim of this declaration should be to prove to the US authorities that you are now a respected law abiding citizen.
Once you have gathered together all of these documents you can go to a US port of entry or a Customs and Border Protection Preclearance office in Canada the one in Toronto is located at Pearson International Airport; you can call for an appointment on 905-676-2606. If you present your documents here in person they will fill out your FBI fingerprint chart. Once 90 days have passed you can check out the status of your application online at inquiry.waiver., but realistically dont expect any significant progress even if you crime was of a minor nature; it takes around a year to make a decision on most US waivers of admissibility, but the peace of mind and the ability to cross the border legally that a US waiver brings is well worth it.