New Criminal Waiver Process: e-SAFE
On May 29, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the introduction of Electronic Secured Adjudication Forms Environment (e-SAFE). e-SAFE is a new online system that will allow for the electronic filing of Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. Form I-192 is used by individuals who are deemed inadmissible (i.e. for being arrested or being an illicit drug trafficker) to apply for entry to the U.S.
This new system will not be available to citizens of any country, but Canadians will be able to file a waiver online. e-Safe will allow applicants to check their application status, submit additional information, and receive a decision. Users will be notified of changes and updates via email and will be able to pay fees online as well.
This is a major overhaul to the previous system where applicants would have to travel to select ports of entry to apply for their waiver with CBP in person and then send emails to request status updates. Applicants will still need to go a specified port of entry (Blaine, Washington; Buffalo, New York; or Toronto Pearson International Airport) to provide their fingerprints and photos (Biometrics). This must be done within 45 days of the application being submitted and the fees being paid.
The new system will start mid-year 2019. Until further notice, CBP will continue to accept paper filings at designated ports of entry. It is expected that processing times will be significantly reduced when filing electronically vs. filing in person. We will keep you updated with details of the e-SAFE program as they come. You can learn about criminal waivers here.