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FAQs: Does My Pot Pardon Allow Me to Travel to the U.S.?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Inadmissibility Issues and Waivers

FAQs: Does My Pot Pardon Allow Me to Travel to the U.S.?

Canada legalized the recreational use of cannabis in 2018. Last year, the government also implemented a pardon program to clear the criminal records of Canadians convicted of simple marijuana possession. Unfortunately, a pot pardon means nothing to United States immigration and does not allow Canadians to travel to the U.S.

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) reports that:

  • 458 people have applied for a cannabis pardon
  • 259 were accepted for consideration
  • 257 were granted
  • 2 applications discontinued
  • 194 applications were returned because the person was ineligible or the file was incomplete
  • 5 more are still in the works

Even With A Pot Pardon You Cannot Enter the U.S.

Canada immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah advises that the U.S. federal laws on marijuana possession, use and investment have not changed and that Canadians with a cannabis conviction - even if they have a cannabis pardon - should consult an immigration lawyer before they travel to the United States:

U.S. federal laws on cannabis have not changed. Canada Bill C-93 does not erase information about Canadians' criminal history that was already electronically shared with the U.S. border patrol database. Canadians with criminal records for cannabis possession still face problems at the border, and are still subject to being denied entry or a permanent ban on entering the U.S. even if they have a pardon.

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CAnnabis Pardons, Visa Waivers and Cross Border Travel

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Hire an Immigration Lawyer If You Have A Criminal Indamissibility Issue

One of the most stressful issues for people traveling to Canada or the United States is criminal inadmissibility. New data shows that applications by immigration lawyers are nearly 50% more successful. The chances of a successful immigration application to Canada are much higher - nearly double - if you hire an immigration lawyer to help get your study, work or visitor visas, according to immigration data obtained under an access to information request by The Toronto Star.

If you have questions about the eligibility of you or your team to cross the U.S. / Canada border on business or for personal reasons, contact Ackah Law today at (587) 602-0343 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email [email protected].


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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Thanks, Evelyn and thanks to your team for all efforts in the face of persistent clients. We have a winner.

- Greg, on Svetlana's Citizenship Application

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