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Border guards

Posted date : Dec 15, 2017

I enjoy reading the various questions and answers re: Dear Bird Talk. One answer caught my attention in the summer 2017 issue 103. It was mentioned that, sometimes, a border guard will only allow you a shorter period (for instance – only 90 days). In that case, you will have to comply with the shorter […]

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Confiscating cellphones at the border

Posted date : May 14, 2019

A friend of mine just sent me an e-mail stating that U.S. border guards now have the authority to request your cellphone and its password. If you refuse, the border guards can confiscate the phone for up to five days. Is there any truth to this? Ian Walker Ottawa, ON Response : Ed.: Yes! Actually, […]

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Border crossing

Posted date : May 13, 2019

I took particular note of your editor’s comment in the fall issue which stated, “I have found no rationale for the many and varied decisions given by border guards.” You are so right! Here is a classic example. My wife and I spend just less than six months each winter in California from late October […]

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Border Crossing

Posted date : Nov 13, 2017

Dear Bird Talk, The official U.S. government website help.cbp.gov/app/answers notes that Canadian vacationers are only required under American law to present a valid passport. Admittedly, they add the caveat that individual officers may ask for further proof. Imagine my disappointment to see evidence both in your Travel Information Guide as well as in replies in […]

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Declaring Fruit at the Border

Posted date : Nov 13, 2017

Dear Bird Talk, Just a reminder to not have any fruit in the car when crossing the border. If asked about fruit, and one does not declare it and fruit is found, it is a $300 fine. If crossing at Detroit, there is a large Meijer grocery store just a few miles south on I-75, […]

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U.S. Immigration Laws for Snowbirds

Posted date : Sep 21, 2020

We are snowbirds who spent the winters in California. We have tracked our days in the U.S. very carefully and every year, we file Form 8840….

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Cruise question

Posted date : May 14, 2019

We flew from Toronto to Honolulu to board a Holland America cruise ship on the same day. Thirty-three days later, we arrived in Auckland, NZ. We flew back to Toronto via a San Francisco connection. How many of these days are considered being in the U.S. against our 182-day U.S. allotment. Does it make a […]

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30-day home period

Posted date : May 13, 2019

I have heard that if we leave the U.S. during our calendar year, we have to be clear of the U.S. for at least a 30-day period, otherwise those days away are still included in our U.S. day count. Is this true? Barry Woods Penticton, BC Response : Yes, it is true. This rule is […]

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Questions about time permitted in the U.S.

Posted date : Nov 13, 2017

Dear Bird Talk, I read an article online that was published by the Star which stated some information of which I was unaware and am wondering if you could clarify. We are aware that we can stay for up to 182 days out of a year. What I was unaware of is it also states […]

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Burden of Proof

Posted date : Nov 13, 2017

Dear Bird Talk, This topic may have been covered before…sorry. During a recent U.S. border-crossing interview, we were asked to provide documentation showing closer ties to Canada. We didn’t have anything other than our ID; the guard reluctantly let us cross, but cautioned us “that the burden of proof is on the traveller.” Has anyone […]

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