Do You Have Plans to Travel to the United States?

27 March 2017

I’m a Canadian citizen, will I encounter problems crossing into the USA?

Given the recent changes in the United States travel policy, no one can assume any longer that they will be granted admission to the US. The Canadian Travel Advisory webpage for the United States notes that: “Canadians travelling with a Canadian passport, including dual citizens who have citizenship from Canada and from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen, are exempt from the Executive Order issued March 6, 2017.”  However, the Immigration Agent at the port-of-entry will always have the final say and exercises significant discretion.  If the Immigration Agent will not permit you entry to the United States, you must accept the decision and turn back.

If the Immigration Agent, with the concurrence of a Supervisor, judges that you have presented false documentation or misrepresented yourself, then you may be subject to Expedited Removal. This means you would be barred from the United States for up to five years. There is no formal appeal process under expedited removal.  

To better prepare, we suggest a review of the Travel Advisory page before you make plans to enter the United States.  You may also find information at the White House webpage.  The Department of Homeland Security has a fact sheet as well as a Q & A webpage for further reading.  

What authority do Customs Border Patrol (CBP) Officers have?

The CBP Officer at your port-of-entry will always have the final say and exercises significant discretion.  If the CBP Officer will not permit you entry to the United States, you must accept the decision and turn back.

If you’re judged to have presented false documentation or misrepresented yourself, then you may be subject to Expedited Removal. This means you would be barred from the United States for up to five years. There is no formal appeal process under Expedited Removal.  

What information can border security access when I cross into the USA?

Crossing the Canada-US border is becoming more complicated and difficult these days.  In addition to the concern about the US Executive Order, you also must consider what electronic devices you are bringing with you.  All travelers into the US or Canada can be subjected to searches of their electronic devices by border officials. This includes: mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and mp3 players.

You may be compelled to provide your password information and access to your devices for review of content and social media by border officials at any time. If you are concerned about anything on your devices or have obligations to maintain corporate privacy or solicitor client privilege, we would recommend that you prepare before you begin your travels by doing the following:

  1. Reduce the amount of digital content you are bringing across the border by choosing to leave some devices at home
  2. Consider using temporary blank devices, deleting content or shifting content from the device to the cloud. After entering the USA, you can access whatever you need through a terminal server or cloud based system. 
  3. Use full-disk encryption and back up your data somewhere else. 

I was convicted of one offence in Canada 17 years ago and have a pardon, will I have problems travelling to the USA?

Regardless of how much time has passed since the offence, if you have a Criminal Record from Canada you could encounter problems when trying to enter the United States. This is the case regardless if the offense was relatively minor, happened a long time ago and even if you have received a Canadian Pardon.

Canada and United States share information concerning national security and policing. This means that when you are examined at an American Port of Entry, the officer has access to your criminal history, regardless of whether you are questioned about it or disclose it.

Learn More

 


Contact us:

Email:
   contact@ackahlaw.com

Phone:
   Calgary: (403) 452‑9515
   Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512
   Toronto: (416) 643‑7177

   North America: 1 (800) 932‑1190


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