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Hi all. I posted here a while back and I just need to talk to some… - to canada with love

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August 20th, 2005

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12:01 pm
Hi all. I posted here a while back and I just need to talk to some people.

I(American) lived in Arkansas, and my husband Paul(Canadian) lived in Vancouver. Paul came down to Arkansas in September 2004, and we got married in Texas October 1. We decided to move to Vancouver, so we drove up in February 2005. I got a visitor's visa. In May, due to family issues and money issues, we decided to move back to the States. However, we were stopped at the border. My husband was not allowed to re-enter at all. They said not even to visit because he has "intent to immigrate." Now, we have decided to stay in Vancouver indefinitely. But now he is flagged at the border. How on earth can he visit the states on a regular basis?

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[User Picture]
Date:August 20th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)

border crossing

Hi there, I'm an American from the South who married a Canadian, too...although we now live in Surrey instead of Van. :) This is all my opinion, but it's stuff we've learned over the past 4 years driving back and forth over the border and from reading other couple's experiences on the net:

If a Canadian is flagged, he has to prove that he has intent to return to Canada. So my advice is to be prepared. He could try bringing pay stubs from a job/letter from his employer stating he has x days off and will return to work on x date, copy of a rental agreement from where he lives/title to property...stuff like that the next time he tries to cross. It's very important for him to say he's just visiting for a vacation or something, not an unknown amount of time. Flying out is the easiest way because you simply show them your return ticket as proof of your intent to return.

If you show up at the border and he has no job/lease or anything that would keep him tied to the area, you are probably going to be out of luck. But even then, it will really depend on who you happen to get when you cross the border...the American side is hard to get into these days (even for Americans, they are always bitchy to me). Some agents barely glance at your passport while others like to give you the third degree.

Just be calm and prepared to prove his intent to return if you are asked. If you are not asked, don't volunteer any extra information and drive through. Good luck!
[User Picture]
Date:August 20th, 2005 08:31 pm (UTC)

Re: border crossing

Thanks Aimee. We actually live in Surrey, too. I guess I just get used to calling the general area Vancouver. What part of the south are you from? I'm a bit homesick and overwhelmed by this whole experience. It's good to know that others are going through/have gone through the same thing. Are you now a permanent resident?

My main concern about trying to prove that he would be returning to Canada was the fact that they could still say "no" even after we've purchased $500-&700 non refundable plane tickets. When money's tight, that's a huge risk to take.
[User Picture]
Date:August 20th, 2005 09:05 pm (UTC)

Re: border crossing

I'm from Wilmington, NC...right on the coast (it's the place where all the hurricanes like to hit). I have had a lot of homesickness, too... things here are just not the same for sure. I am a permanent resident now (since last January), which was quite an ordeal and hassle but necessary if you want health care, a good job, and to be able to come in and out without problems.

Back to your husband: they definitely could say no to him coming into the US, but I think you have a really good chance as long as you are fully prepared to prove that you are coming back. If you are really worried and want to avoid the risk of wasting non refundable tickets, you could always go alone for visits back home...although I know that travelling alone sucks.

I know that what you are really looking for is some guaranteed way to cross without a hassle and I'm sad to say that there just isn't one that doesn't involve him getting a US visa of some sort. You can call immigration and get a different answer every time you call...it just depends on who you talk to. I spent a lot of time freaking out every time I had to cross into Canada or my husband (fiance back then) had to cross into the US but we really never had any problems except for a few people who had nasty attitudes and asked lots of extra questions. We just sucked it up and remained calm. We always tried to be prepared and were never denied entry into either country. My guess is that he was denied last time because you mentioned you were moving back there or they assumed you were...

Since we've been married and I finally got my PR card, nobody even asks to see it...ever, but I haven't had any problems crossing in and out to go on runs to Target. ;)

Also, I took a quick look at your lj and I totally agree with the Culture Shock list in your journal about the differences here, I was laughing my head off especially about the sweet tea, Wal-Marts, and Ebay..I bitch about it all the time. I'd just have to add the downright RUDEness of shoppers here to the list. I have never feared more for my safety than while shopping in a busy superstore or crappy Wal-mart here...these people will ram you with a cart and not even look back.

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