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Old 18 Jan 2010
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OK.. im a little scared by this thread. I plan to cross the southern border from Mexico into New Mexico in about three months.

Filled out visa waiver program online ... check
registered bike (aus) and ownership papers ... check
passport valid for a while yet ... check
reason to leave the states ... none

No Job
No Flight
No arranged shipping for bike (i plan to say goodbye to her in Alaska)
Limited finances
Australian National ...

Anything pre-emptive i should do while i wait the winter over in Central??
I love Americans and will hopefully visit America for the first time in May but no offence id rather go hope when this venture is complete. Immigration, will you believe this??
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Old 19 Jan 2010
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At the risk of incurring the wrath of those who seem to think you should always tell the literal truth to agents of government.....you need to invent all of the above Invent a job you're going back for, and make sure someone at home will answer the phone convincingly just in case. Invent plans to ship the bike, including contact information, prices, locations and other such for a genuine shipper. Invent reasons to go home. Invent a life, a girlfriend, illegitimate children (just kidding), whatever it takes. Keep it very, very simple and matter of fact, so that you don't trip up on the stories you're telling. Don't ever let on that you're contemplating leaving the bike or doing anything else which might be construed negatively.

You should be doing this for all borders, everywhere. The Canadians will shut you out almost as quickly as the Americans if they start to suspect you might be looking for a job at a ski area or doing construction in a major city. Mostly, they don't ask or care--when they do, you need to be ready.

Hope that helps.

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Old 20 Jan 2010
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It may also help to send some e-mails to shipping companies to get quotes even if you do plan on abandoning the bike. It will make you more convincing, and you will have info on the off chance you decide to take the bike home.
I don't know what abandoning a foreign vehicle in the USA will get you in terms of blacklisting etc. You might want to check on how to dispose of the bike AFTER you get into the USA. A record of your asking a government agency might flag a border guard to give you trouble.
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Old 21 Jan 2010
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Sorry to hear about the issues that you are having. All of the border stations are not connected, so refusal in 1 doesnt register in the next. However, once entered into the database, it is now in the central system.

I live on the border of Canada and Detroit Mich usa. Its not uncommon to hear of people who live here getting refused from time to time. Border guards sometimes cant think outside the box, and your trip is definitely outside the box for thier logic. However, you might try getting someone to drive you over in a US plated car, and have your car driven over by a US driver, with note allowing use. This could still be risky if they decided to plug your details into the computer.

A safer option would be to put you car on a ship train, or have someone drive it or trailer it to Mexico, and you could just fly to Mexico. Honestly, USA is nice and has alot of cool places to go to, but its only 1 piece of the pie, and you can get around it and carryon and hope to come back one day and tour it seperately. I know its not how you imagined it, but it may be required. Id also look into the UK embassy here in Canada and maybe the US consolate and see if you can get some room to move with either.

There is always the option of taking your car over with nothing in it, for a "day tip" to see the USA. While someone frmo Canada can bring your gear over and meet you there. Then, you are free to roam. This is fairly common on the border. Guys that were flagged will cross in a pretty empty car, citing Shopping and site seeing as the reason to go over. No red flags, waves you on. Later your buddy crosses with crap in the car, he has no worries about crossing so just says its crap he had forgot to clear out of his car before he crossed. All are ideas, most are not 100% legit and truthful, but you might need to bend the rules on the borders a little.

A thought might be to have someone you know in UK with a business say you guys work for them, were hired before you left and start on return from your trip. There is proff of employment.

Wish I could be more helep, but... the US border is the TWILIGHT ZONE really.

Best wishes and best of luck on this. let us know how you do.
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