Unusual question throws snowbirds off guard at the border

Winter 2013 CSANews Issue 89  |   Posted date : Jan 07, 2014.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

We have just entered the U.S. at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo. We have a mobile home in Florida where we will be living for five months. We had all of our documentation at the ready and prepared for the crossing, something we have done for 15 years. The border guard asked us to provide "proof" that we returned last April from Florida and, because we thought U.S. and Canadian systems were "married" systems, we did not have this "proof." We have been "flagged" and told we were lucky that we weren't fined and restricted for five years in crossing the border. When asking what methods of proof we could provide, the border guy nastily said to educate ourselves of these requirements. The border guard informed us that our dog must be on a leash (which she was) and grilled us on what the U.S. requirement rules were for being out of Canada for extended times. It was a horrible experience and our stomachs were in knots for the rest of the trip. Just a heads-up for Canadian snowbirds!!!

Niagara Falls, ON

Response :
Ed.: We are printing this letter for the border authorities, not our members. This is a new question to us in that we are unaware of someone having to “prove” that they left the U.S., prior to re-entering the U.S. Hopefully, this is a one-off situation by an overeager border guard. The threats are, unfortunately, very real and…in our opinion…“sadistic.” Carrying copies of your credit card statements showing where charges were made would have been helpful.

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