Problems at US border

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BrenKayMaNew Member
Topic author
Posts: 1
Joined: 31 Oct 2010

Problems at US border

Post Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:59 pm

I have recently been having some issues being granted entry into the US at the border at Hill Island (Alexandria Bridge).

My boyfriend is a US citizen and I had planned on driving down to stay with him for 3 months while I was on a leave of absence from my work. We plan on applying for the K1 visa shortly so I packed some of my stuff in my car to bring to his house so I can keep it there. While at the border I was turned away by border agents stating they felt as though I didnt have enough proof that I was planning on returning to Canada at the end of the 3 months. I was told I would need to have some proof stating that I was planning on returning.

I drove home to Ottawa and got a letter from my employer stating that I was currently employed, however that I was on a leave of absence until May 1st. I booked a flight for 2 days later and brought the letter along with evidence of a return flight home. When trying to get through customs I was pulled aside into the back room and questioned for 1.5 hrs. They accepted my letter from my employer and my return flight ticket, however started asking me to see my bank statements and started asking me a lot of questions about my intent of travel to the USA. They eventually granted me access to the country but put a paper in my passport which states I am not allowed to be in the country past april 8th (my return ticket is dated for april 7th). The customs agent then told me that if I try to enter the US again I will have a hard time getting authorization, even if it is for 2 weeks of less.

Now from what I understand, as a Canadian citizen, I am allowed to be within the US for 6 months out of the calendar year. I was told by the customs agents that I am now seen as a "risk" because I am involved with an american citizen. Despite the fact I have been coming in and out of the country for a almost a year without any issues in the past.

Has anyone dealt with a situation like this before? Or does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to ensure I am allowed to visit the country in the future. Will this have any bearing on my application for the K1 visa?

I am desperate for help.

Thanks for reading :)
CanuckinphxNew Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 22 Feb 2011

Re: Problems at US border

Post Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:37 am

Hello,

I am also dating an American Citizen, I am from Alberta. I can't understand why they gave you so much hassle at the border, when I met my boyfriend (Aug 09) and we decided to try and do the long distance thing from that point on we never went longer than 6 weeks without seeing eachother until June 2010.. I was flying down here almost once a month. Everytime I crossed the border I told them I was going to see my American boyfriend, all they ever asked for was proof that I was returning (return flight).

Now, I'm living down here with him, attending school.. Even when i moved here I was dreading going through customs thinking they were going to grill me but I was through within 5 minutes.

I can understand why they would deny you when you are driving there, because once you pass through in your vehicle you could be going anywhere and you could just disappear off the map. Like I said before, all they really want is proof that you are going to return when you say you will.

Sorry that you had to go through such a rough border crossing.

Also, a side note, when I was visiting all that time I never made mention of leaving clothing there or anything like that. I was once asked if I intended to move to the USA to be with him and I just told them it was too soon to tell. They seemed to be fine with that answer. Maybe they are just nicer in Edmonton? :P
transitguy1New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Feb 2011

Re: Problems at US border

Post Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:33 pm

Since you're Canadian, the only country you can enter "freely" is Canada.
Why? Because you're a citizen of Canada only. You're not an American, and US is a separate country with its own laws and regulations. There is no "entitlement" or "right" to enter another country just because you share borders.

As far as US Immigration is concerned, you're a "foreign national" because you're going for a short stay/visit. And bringing a truck load of household belongings indicates that you are "moving". Hence the red flags and the questioning. You should've applied for the proper visa so that you did not have to face so many issues.

Remember, these 2 are separate countries. The same thing happens when Americans try to enter Canada, they are subject to examination by Immigration Canada (Canada Border Services Agency) officials, and of course Immigration Canada decides whether they are admitted, and for how long. The immigration officers have the authority to limit the stay if they wish to do so They also have authority to deny entry and deport foreigners deemed inadmissible to the country.

The only country one can enter "freely" is the country you hold the passport of. All other countries will consider you a "foreigner" and you will be questioned,examined and allowed in or denied entry, as decided by the border control (immigration).

If you want to have no issues, apply for the appropriate visa/residency and follow the country's immigration rules and regulations.

Hope this helps you out, remember there is no entitlement/rights when you go to another country. Those old days are long gone when crossing the border was super easy......it is a different world now.......
MC

Re: Problems at US border

Post Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:26 pm

You were admitted into the U.S. on a non-immigrant status, namely B-2 or tourist status and showed immigrant intent by having a boyfriend and intent to marry via K-1. You are not allowed to show immigrant intent on such a non-immigrant status.

It is not so much that you were a 'threat', but basically how you portrayed your intention to immigrate to the U.S.

As a consequence, Customs and Border Protection reserves the right to deny or restrict anyone entry into the U.S. under such conditions as you displayed. In your case, your B-2 duration was cut short.

They were actually quite correct about all of this but immigrant intent is processed differently from officer to officer. If you continue crossing frequently, it could affect your marriage plans.

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