Odds of crossing into canada without being stopped?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by learningtofly, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Andrejs2112

    Andrejs2112 Been here awhile

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    I would count on being stopped. Take your helmet off and shut off the bike. Have your paperwork ready BEFORE you get to the station. Look them in the eye when talking to them. Answer all questions with as few words as possible. Don't over explain things. Be precise with your answers. As soon as you misspeak or back track they start to play games. They will ask you one question 3 different ways to try and trip you up. Be courteous. You may not like them, but they can make your life a bitch. Trust me. I Know.
    #21
  2. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Just thought I'd post the link to 'Admissibility' section for the Canadian Border Services Agency for you to review. Might help a bit.

    If your friend's record is an adult one, my guess is that he's going to have a very difficult time gaining entry, no matter what crossing you select.

    And to add my $0.02 on border crossings in general - I've been down to the states numerous times and I see little to no difference between the border guards going either direction.

    As long as you conduct yourself in a respectful, no-nonsense manner, things go smoothly and quickly. They don't see a person who jokes around as being jovial - they see a person trying to distract them or hide something. If you talk too much and explain things in too much detail, then they see a nervous person and wonder why.

    "Yes, sir. No, sir. Three days, sir."

    Treat them like a drill sargeant, with you playing the role of the green recruit.

    And as for the white trash comments earlier - that reference applies to individuals, of which there are many on BOTH sides of the border. Painting an entire nation with a brush suited for a select few is bullshit and just makes the person hurling the paint look ignorant.
    #22
  3. Jäger_

    Jäger_ Osons

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    The info on admissability is worth taking to heart. If it makes you bitchy about Canada Customs, then take the time to find the admissability requirements for US customs and compare the two. It ain't any easier if you were a Canadian with a record going the other way. And of the two, I'd MUCH rather end up having a hassle with Canada Customs than US Customs. US Customs plays for keeps... measured in the amount of time you'll spend in jail if you run afoul of the law. Canada will slap your wrist and send you back home.

    I get asked about guns - going both ways. I sometimes have guns - going both ways. Sometimes I'm asked why - going both ways. I really don't see any difference between the two.

    As far as I can tell, telling the truth with Customs seems about the easiest way to deal with crossing borders. They deal with people lying about how much stuff they bought, how many bottles of booze they have, etc all shift, every day, and they get pretty good at picking up on those trying a line of BS. They don't catch all of them, but pick off a pretty good percentage. As for Canadian questions about guns, the number of guns they seize each year from Americans who just told them they don't have any with them is impressive. And probably why they add on a few extra questions - more to see if you'll get a little twitchy or hinky, rather than an interest in what your answer actually is.

    I've been crossing back and forth across the border once or twice each week for the last four years, spread among a number of different crossings. I've had maybe one unreasonable officer - and he was an American who didn't agree with my visa that the US Consolate had issued me. Even that only boiled down to about twenty seconds of grumbling and bitching before telling me he'd let it go this time.

    Fly straight - no biggy.
    #23
  4. nvdlboy

    nvdlboy Long timer

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    Personally, I tend to stick with honesty as being the best approach - respond to questions asked and don't embellish or elaborate unless asked. As a property owner in the U.S., I cross fairly frequently and now have NEXUS. I usually find that there are more questions entering the U.S., but we got our passports a few years ago and that helps. Given the number of people who get their NEXUS passes pulled due to minor infractions, it's not worth being dishonest. Actually, when we got our passes there was a family who discovered in their interview with U.S. Customs that their adult aged son (~21/22) had a drug charge/conviction and was inadmissible to the program. They have access to a ton of information that you may not expect.
    #24
  5. nokkusan

    nokkusan Adventurer

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    As an American married to a Canadian, this is 100% true. Although we have never been stopped at the border, our friends get harassed on both sides when visiting. :deal

    We're just too cute to get stopped. :D
    #25
  6. nokkusan

    nokkusan Adventurer

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    You wouldn't BELIEVE how well this works. :clap

    Agreed. There are saints and arseholes on BOTH sides of the border. We all came from Europe! Well, except the people we ran off the land, but that's another thread. :D

    Bottom line - honesty is the best policy.
    #26
  7. nokkusan

    nokkusan Adventurer

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    ROAD TRIP!:ricky
    #27
  8. zilla

    zilla Long timer

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    That's what I plan on doing. I've got two DUI's, and I won't even attempt to go into Canada after the research I did.

    But it did suck trying to explain to a four year old that we couldn't go into Canada when we were at the Soo Locks.
    #28
  9. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Zilla,
    How old were you when you had the DUI's and how old are you now ?
    #29
  10. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder

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    Last time I went into Canada (Quebec 1999) We didn't even have to show I.D. to get in. The french speaking officer just asked us "has yous ever been in fronts of zee judge?" we said "nope" and we rolled on in.

    I'm sure it's a lot different in the post-9/11 days.
    #30
  11. zilla

    zilla Long timer

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    Too old more than likely. 26 and 33. Been 10 years since the last one.
    #31
  12. Massabusa

    Massabusa Been here awhile Supporter

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    I just returned from a road trip where I had planned to go from northern ME to the Gaspe peninsula and then down through NB, into NS and PEI and then back into ME and back to MA.
    I arrived at the Edmundston, NB, border crossing around noon on a Thursday. I got to the window, shut off my bike, removed helmet and earplugs, and presented my US passport.
    I was asked the usual questions, about my travel plans, alcohol, guns/weapons etc.
    I answered all questions truthfully and politely- No guns, booze, weapons of any kind…
    My passport was retained by the immigration officer, and I was told to pull my bike over into a waiting area.
    I was under a camera, in a parking lot in the hot sun. I waited for about 45 minutes, with a large number of local US plated cars going across, and a few trucks, as well as lots of NB plated vehicles headed into the US.
    2 different people, the first a 20 something man who was a passenger in a car headed to CAN, gave me the finger…another was an older guy in a pickup who made the same gesture and yelled something in French at me…WTF?
    At this point, I am beginning to think that there’s a problem, and I might be denied entry.
    About 1 hour later 2 different officials came out of the building and asked me more questions:
    Have you ever been in court?
    I answered honestly: Yes, as a defendant, juror, witness and plaintiff.
    Have you ever been arrested?
    The woman officer had already accessed and was familiar with my record….
    I answered honestly: Yes, I was charged with DUI in 1988…
    She asked about the dispensation of the case-fines paid, license lost driver training class etc.
    She then stated that “I need to make a phone call, please wait here”.
    So I did, for another hour.
    When the officer returned with another male officer, I was asked to follow them into the building.
    As soon as I was inside, she announced to me that I was “being denied entry into Canada.”
    I asked why, and was told: “Because of your criminal history.”
    I was shocked. I have spent 3 months or more in Canada since 1988, and travelled all over the world without any issue.
    I asked if the 21 year old DUI was the only issue and did not get an answer…
    I was told to sign a form stating that I was leaving Canada at once, and of my own free will, and was told that any subsequent attempts to enter into Canada would likely end in my arrest.
    Well, I was pretty pissed off, but WTF, guess my plans just changed, I’ll spend my money in the US.
    I had done what I thought was reasonable research into what I would need to travel to CAN.
    I looked at the Canadian immigration website, had sufficient cash, ID, passport,documents etc.
    I wish I had known before getting to Canada that there would be an issue with a 21 year old DUI.
    I have been from the US into Canada many times, I have been detained, searched, had my car searched, and at other times have just answered a few questions and passed through.
    I looked into the process to gain lawful entry into Canada for myself in the future- I don’t think I will be able to produce the documents needed without significant effort/cost on my part.

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/rehabil.asp

    I have been in every Canadian province at this point-except the Maritimes- so I guess there is no reason for me to go to Canada again…
    So I made it a shorter ride and spent another 5 days in ME, NH, VT and NY.
    #32
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    i got a bui (bicycling under the influence) when i was 19 & lost my liscense for a month.

    tried to go to canada when i was 32 & was asked about that.
    they want $200 deposit...lifetime pardon???
    i asked if it was for his back pocket.

    we left because i didn't want to blow $200 for fucking canadian BS fine.
    $ for a pardon, bullshit, it was just an excuse for extortion.
    rehabilitation fe$$, yeah right, pure extortion BS.
    we traveled elsewhere in ID & MT.

    i have NO desire to ever go back to canada.
    i agree heading south to MX is more interesting anway.

    #33
  14. rhayes

    rhayes n00b

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    we crossed in June above MT on wat to AK...the lady was all by the book but polite....never got off the bikes......she ask if we left our guns in TX then allowed us to enter.....did hear bad stories from folks that didn't have a pleasant time.....it is really a crap shoot.....just remember it is all official stuff to them so be polite and say yes sir and no sir.
    #34
  15. begeberg

    begeberg Let it burn....

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    Went there in 1998 and had no issues. Have no record but this BS makes me spend my money and vacation time in Mexico instead.
    #35
  16. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    I have only had 2 scenarios that were a little difficult but no big deal...I have no DUI's and no criminal record. I went across once to pick up some car parts from a friend about an hour north of the border. I was asked all sorts of questions. I was asked if I was going to spend the night...I said no I wasn't planning on it. I was asked if it was possible I would spend the night...I said sure its possible. I was asked under what circumstances would I be spending the night....I think i rattled off a whole list of possibilities for unplanned events. The last question was : "have you ever spoken to a border patrol agent?" ...I looked at the guy and asked: "Are you a border patrol agent?" He said no, I replied "Then no, I have never spoken to a border patrol agent. Then he let me through.


    The second time was crossing into Canada from Detroit back in 2007 with just my driver's license for documentation. The girl working the booth thought I was crazy for not having a passport and read me the riot act...saying it was unlikely I would be able to get back into the USA and that she had the right to deny me access to Canada. I informed her that I had been to Bromont Quebec 3 times already that spring with a car load of fellow employees on a business and we all used nothing but the driver's licenses and had no issue. She gave me a warning and supposedly noted my record for the future. My return into the USA in Buffalo consisted of 1 or 2 questions and never had to even sho ID.


    So i think it is a real crap shoot. I think every once in a while you are the lucky guy who gets to play 20 questions and every once in a while you qualify for the full cavity search.
    #36
  17. nokkusan

    nokkusan Adventurer

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    It's like going to the bank - you never know which teller you're going to get or what sort of day they had. Bottom line, kill them with kindness :D

    "yes sir, no ma'am" goes a long way - so does "merci" to the Francophone guards!
    #37
  18. DaFoole

    DaFoole Well Marbled... Supporter

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    Heading up into BC in about 2 wks. Just curious, any crossing tend to be less busy than others??

    :ear
    #38
  19. themobb

    themobb Is this thing on???

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    Not sure a quiet crossing is better... My wife and I crossed at the US201 entry point (North of Jackman) on the way to Quebec City the first week of July this year.

    Checkpoint was a ghost town. We were both on Goldwings, and very polite with no contraband.

    We were directed to pull into secondary inspection (for whatever reason). Four guys came out, two for each bike, and proceeded to look/poke around. After about 15 minutes of looking for who knows what, they let us go...

    We had a great visit to Quebec City, but what a hassle at the border!

    We're going to Gaspe' next week and I think I'll try a busier crossing and see what happens...


    Lance
    #39
  20. Ilikepivo

    Ilikepivo Banned

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    I just crossed into Canada via motorrad on Friday and back to the states on Sunday. They did ask me standard questions which I won't repeat by the Canada and U.S. border patrols. Both sides were direct but polite. The Canadian fellow was especially nice, but they do ask questions, and you had better have answers.

    In regards to indiscretions from youth, why would you take a chance? I realize the Canada web site could be more clear about what prohibits you from entry, but if there's any question, spend the time and effort up front. Things will be much better for you all the way around.

    The Canadian people in Ontario and Manitoba provinces were very friendly. Many took up with, "Why on earth are you (Americans) considering national health?" Heard a LOT of unsolicited horror stories about two year waits (seems to be normal - two year waits) for specialists.

    Don't smart off to the border patrol. Get your ducks in order, and have fun. Alexander Keith red amber is good beer. Much appreciated to the Winnipeg folks on here who told me to go to Earl's. The one by the river bridge across from the French quarter was outstanding.

    Especially if he has a felony record or a DUI, get your ducks in order. See a theme here? Never, ever mess around with border crossings. I've never had an issue in any country on any continent by simply following the rules, doing what I am told, and being respectful. Border agents may overlook minor things if they think you're a decent sort, but if they don't, they can make your life hell.

    Do keep in mind that if you are rejected in one country or worse, expelled, that can come back to haunt you in ways you have not dreamed of.

    Good luck.
    #40