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  #31  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Anyone who thinks that our American visa and visa waiver programs are applied and enforced fairly or efficiently is living in a parallel universe to which I've got no access. The system sucks, and not only does it make us look foolish and inept, but it fails to achieve even its most basic goals while doing so.

Mark

(back on American soil for the first time in many months)
Spot on Mark!
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  #32  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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I wouldn't give up on this. Maybe you could try crossing at a smaller, less busy crossing and try to talk your way through if there is another problem? Despite the border issues experienced by some individuals, the USA is an amazing country to travel in. "The cradle of the best and the worst" :-) as Leonard Cohen puts it.

Borders are always a tricky thing. I always go against my true nature and act very demurely with lots of deferrence to the border guard, as well as an apologetic tone. Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and let the power hungry ones feel like you're "submitting". This makes them happy and you'll be more likely to be on your merry way, sometimes after some kind of lecture. Vent your frustrations afterwards. The goal is to get into the country, not to make a point or to prove who's right.

I'm not suggesting that this relates to the problem the original poster had. Simply stating that this has worked for me for 25 years of regularly crossing the US/Canada border on the West Coast, even with a Cuban stamp in my passport. I was even let off after being caught not declaring purchased goods coming back into Canada.

Of course, being a graying middle aged woman might be a factor these days as well. I do sometimes lie, or at least lie by omission. Volunteer as little information as possible and only directly answer those questions that are being asked. They have no way of checking wether you're truly only going to Tennesee for two weeks or going further. On the other hand, don't deny having been somewhere when there's something obvious like a stamp in your passport.

"going down the Oregon Coast" would be good answer when crossing on the West Coast. It's not a lie since I'm actually doing that. I'm just omitting the fact that I plan to continue down a whole bunch of other coasts ;-) Then only give more information if they want to hear more.

Unfortunately if a name like your's or similar to your's appears on some list then you could easily be hooped. I'm just glad that I have a very uncommon last name.

Good luck with everything.

...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com
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  #33  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrabblebiker View Post
I wouldn't give up on this. Maybe you could try crossing at a smaller, less busy crossing and try to talk your way through if there is another problem? Despite the border issues experienced by some individuals, the USA is an amazing country to travel in. "The cradle of the best and the worst" :-) as Leonard Cohen puts it.

Borders are always a tricky thing. I always go against my true nature and act very demurely with lots of deferrence to the border guard, as well as an apologetic tone. Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and let the power hungry ones feel like you're "submitting". This makes them happy and you'll be more likely to be on your merry way, sometimes after some kind of lecture. Vent your frustrations afterwards. The goal is to get into the country, not to make a point or to prove who's right.

I'm not suggesting that this relates to the problem the original poster had. Simply stating that this has worked for me for 25 years of regularly crossing the US/Canada border on the West Coast, even with a Cuban stamp in my passport. I was even let off after being caught not declaring purchased goods coming back into Canada.

Of course, being a graying middle aged woman might be a factor these days as well. I do sometimes lie, or at least lie by omission. Volunteer as little information as possible and only directly answer those questions that are being asked. They have no way of checking wether you're truly only going to Tennesee for two weeks or going further. On the other hand, don't deny having been somewhere when there's something obvious like a stamp in your passport.

"going down the Oregon Coast" would be good answer when crossing on the West Coast. It's not a lie since I'm actually doing that. I'm just omitting the fact that I plan to continue down a whole bunch of other coasts ;-) Then only give more information if they want to hear more.

Unfortunately if a name like your's or similar to your's appears on some list then you could easily be hooped. I'm just glad that I have a very uncommon last name.

Good luck with everything.

...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com
I would have to agree with everything Michelle says, except that I'm a a graying middle aged man. The game is that they let you into their country, whatever you have to do to make that happen. I only ever got cute once with a border matey boy and that was leaving Jordan when he insisted I needed my carnet de passage stamped out, when it wasn't stamped in and said in big letters on the front "not valid in Jordan". Luckily he didn't understand enough English to appreciate the similarity between the words Hashemite and Shite.

As said above, speak when spoke to, turn off bike engine, remove helmet and sunglasses, look demure, only answer the question posed and if in doubt, blow so much sugar up their ar$e that they can't remember who they are and why they were born. They are in a uniform for a purpose: they have a pre shrunk part of their anatomy that needs enlarging in their mind for as long as they have something you want.

Good luck,
Chris
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  #34  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by planethopper View Post
Well, I tried to enter the States to hit the BMW rally in Vermont but there is no way they were letting me in. Now my plans to ride down to South America need to change. I was planning on riding from Ontario to the east coast of Canada then down the east coast of the US, then take the TAT to the west coast, then make my way south through Mexico and so on. Does anyone know how and how much and where to ship my bike to Mexico? Or would it be better to ship it further down?
Which border post was it?

Chris
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  #35  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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The border crossing was Saint Steven NB into Calais Maine. I can't try another border because they gave me a brutal warning about being arrested, imprisoned, and deported if I were to try another crossing. Oh, and that my bike will not belong to me anymore. It seems that every American I meet is extremely embarrassed about their border policies and I agree. I have been to the States many times in the past and yes the previous poster is right, the States has some beautiful riding, sights and great people but the ones at the border need............well I don't want to say anything in case they bugged my laptop or something. They had possession of it for about 3 hours so who knows what they did with it.
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  #36  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Whoa! They really didn't like you much at all.... Normally they just turn you away with a lecture or a lot of sneering. I don't know what made it happen, but you must've rubbed someone the wrong way.

I think you need to go back and kowtow your way up the ranks a bit, asking for an explanation and suggestions as to how to deal with the situation. Maybe there's no alternative, but remember what I wrote earlier--I know a couple of people who've first been refused, then allowed when they (very politely) persisted.
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  #37  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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I thought I would add this to my post 2 days latter with my sister and famley we drove right through. Only differance was how I dressed. that reminds me dress better then what you normally would at the usa border and you might just get through. dump the jeans, the motorcycle jacket and put on some casual wear if you got it. it can't hurt? image is everything to this jerks.
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  #38  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by trying59 View Post
I thought I would add this to my post 2 days latter with my sister and famley we drove right through. Only differance was how I dressed. that reminds me dress better then what you normally would at the usa border and you might just get through. dump the jeans, the motorcycle jacket and put on some casual wear if you got it. it can't hurt? image is everything to this jerks.
It might hurt if you fall off without your bike gear on :-)

I must stop reading these threads, it only gets me all wound up :-(
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  #39  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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What's the point of giving you a visa if any cranky border guard can arbitrarily refuse you entry? Where is the sense in that?
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  #40  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Yes, it doesn't make much sense to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get this waiver only to show up at the border and get turned away again. That's what I'm afraid of. They say you can apply as many times as you want, at $545 a pop I guess they would say that! Is there anyone out there that has received a waiver and if so did it work for you? By what they were saying to me at the border I don't think they would let me in even if I had a waiver, or maybe that was just part of their interrogation methods, who knows. I'm 50/50 on this one.
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  #41  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Planethopper, you need to take a deep breath and regroup. The waiver doesn't cost $545. Even a visa doesn't cost $545. I'm the first to agree that American border guards are often arbitrary and unfair.....but you're doing something very wrong, and you need to figure out what it is and correct it.

FWIW to anyone who's listening: a visa, no matter for what country anywhere in the world, never guarantees entry. And countries for which you don't need a visa never guarantee entry. You can always be refused; this is not just the USA.

Mark

(preparing to apply for entry to that big, scary foreign country immediately to the north)

Last edited by markharf; 6 Aug 2010 at 00:46. Reason: spelling
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  #42  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post

(preparing to apply for entry to that big, scary foreign country immediately to the north)
My thoughts are with you. Please be careful.


...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com
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  #43  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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[quote=Scrabblebiker;299896]My thoughts are with you. Please be careful.

Heh heh. Thanks Michelle. You know how easily frightened we Estados Unidenses are these days!

See you at Nakusp.

Mark
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  #44  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Hey Markharf. I wish you were right but I looked into it and it is $545 to apply for the waiver. The guards at the border told me that and I called a place in BC that does them and told me the same thing. What is needed is:
1) Completed and signed form I-192 in duplicate
2) Completed and signed form G-325A in quadruplicate
3) RCMP criminal record
4) Certified court information
5) Letter of employment
6) Letter of circumstance
7) three letters of reference
8) Copy of Canadian pardon if applicable
9) Passport or drivers license and birth certificate to verify citizenship
10) US $545 filing fee payable by Visa, Mastercard, American Express and US dollars.
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  #45  
Old 6 Aug 2010
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OK, this is where you are confusing people planethopper. What you are applying for is NOT a visa waiver (which costs NO money), it is an application for waiver of inadmissibility as an "Inadmissible Nonimmigrant" (i.e., someone with a criminal record as is your case).
USA's visa waiver program "enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa."
The requirements for Canadians are different (usually not as strict).
Citizens of Canada traveling to the U.S. do not require a nonimmigrant visa... Additionally, Canadian citizens who are ineligible for a visa under immigration law, or have previously violated the terms of their immigration status in the U.S., can Learn More about ineligibilities related to Canadians on the CBP website.
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