MauiPunter

Questions for US Citizens sailing to Canada

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Hey guys,

I wanted to check what the entry/exit requirements are for US sailors sailing to Canada.

* Is a VISA required?
* Do you need to submit a float plan prior to arrival?
* Passport needed or Drivers License?  
* Do minors require at least a birth certificate if they dont have a passport?
* Do I need to fly the "Q" flag upon arrival and stay aboard when I first arrive (Halifax)?
* Do I need my Certificate of Documentation for the boat?  Any other paperwork?
* What are the exit requirements when we are ready to leave?

 

On the flip side, what are the re-entry requirements when I arrive back in the US.

* Do I need to check in to US Immigration when I get back to Boston? 
* If so, where do I do that if I have to do it? 
* Is it the "Q" flag routine again on the boat?

I figure there must be a website out there that details all the entry and exit requirements for sailors around the world but couldn't find it.

 

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13 minutes ago, MauiPunter said:

Hey guys,

I wanted to check what the entry/exit requirements are for US sailors sailing to Canada.

* Is a VISA required? Not for Americans
* Do you need to submit a float plan prior to arrival? Not certain but I don't think so - they'll ask what your plans are, length of stay etc.
* Passport needed or Drivers License?  Passport - we have enhanced drivers licenses that are also adequate for travel to & from the States - don't know if you can get the same thing. Nexus pass also makes it easy but everyone has to have it
* Do minors require at least a birth certificate if they dont have a passport? If they don't have their own they need to be on yours
* Do I need to fly the "Q" flag upon arrival and stay aboard when I first arrive (Halifax)? Don't know
* Do I need my Certificate of Documentation for the boat?  Any other paperwork? You have to have your boats documentation onboard - very important.
* What are the exit requirements when we are ready to leave? None that I'm aware of - we don't have "exit permission" protocols at our border. Probably a radio call to advise would be polite.

One bit of experienced advice - DO NOT take any verbal advice from CBSA staff as gospel - get everything in writing. They can be incredibly ignorant of their own policies.

And don't bring any guns & ammo - you will really fuck yourself up if you do - you could lose your boat.

 

On the flip side, what are the re-entry requirements when I arrive back in the US.

* Do I need to check in to US Immigration when I get back to Boston? 
* If so, where do I do that if I have to do it? 
* Is it the "Q" flag routine again on the boat?

I figure there must be a website out there that details all the entry and exit requirements for sailors around the world but couldn't find it.

 

 

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Visas are not required for American citizens visiting Canada. Passports work best, but I have heard of Americans entering Canada with a Driver's License and proof of citizenship. Ditto passports for minors. Passports will also make your return to the USA smoother. I don't think Q is required anymore. I don't believe you require practique (clearing out) when returning to USA from Canada. Typically you will clear into Canada by phone. Most of what you need to know is spelled out here: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/pb-pp-eng.html

And what JonB said.

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Drivers license only works if it is an Enhanced DL.  If you don't know whether yours is or isn't---it isn't. (You would have paid extra for it)

Passport and boat registration/documentation are typically the only real paperwork required going in either direction.  No passport or no Enhanced DL can often mean no entry---period!

Q flag really isn't needed.  Some border officers may a) Know what it is b) appreciate that you're trying

When returning from Canada, Customs is very easily angered and annoyed if ANYONE other than the skipper gets off the boat before being cleared in.  They don't even like folks 'helping' you tie up from the shore side.  And oh, hell yes!, you need to 'clear' back in with Customs when returning from Canada--failure to do so could lose you your boat and be a financial headache.  (could, not guaranteed, but I've seen some pretty heavy duty 'threatening' from border agents for boater ignorance and worse for being perceived as deliberately ignoring the rules...)  You won't remember your experience fondly, at the very least.

I lived aboard on the inshore side of the Friday Harbor customs dock for several years.  Knew some of the agents personally. Saw and heard enough to make sure I dotted my 'i's' and crossed my 't's'...

No exit requirements either way but certainly entrance requirements. 

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If you are anchoring in any national park areas, word has it, American vessels will be slapped with a %10,000 tariff on anchoring fees. 

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Also be aware that Canada has very strict entry requirements for anyone with a DUI.  **Very**, and they do check.  And seeming no big deal driving infractions in the US (negligent operation, driving to endanger, etc.) can cause refusal for entry.  I know someone turned away bcz of a DUI when he was young. 

 

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15 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

 

I figure there must be a website out there that details all the entry and exit requirements for sailors around the world but couldn't find it.

 

 

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html

You now need a passport for everyone 16 or older.  An enhanced driver's license is supposed to work but most agents are unfamiliar with them--I have one and am often asked for a passport anyway.

A birth certificate is accepted for 15 and younger however there are technical requirements that not all valid birth certificates meet, depending on when and where issued, so you're better off with a passport if you can get one.  I have passports for all my kids.

Yes, you need to check with customs when returning to the USA.

Prior to leaving the US, you may want to get an I68 approval because it will lead to a waiver of the requirement to visit a port of entry--you can just call instead.

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/pleasure-boats-private-flyers/cbbl

The Nexus card offers similar benefits but is valid for five years and is jointly valid for entry to Canada and has various other benefits, but requires an interview at one of a very limited number of border locations.

You will need a U.S. radio station license while in Canada to use your VHF.

In either direction you need to clear in before you anchor or make landfall.  It would be wise to clear in as soon as possible to avoid problems if your plans change due to weather or emergency.

Be careful with food.  The requirements are constantly changing.  Last time I crossed they didn't allow potatoes or fresh fruit.

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2 hours ago, fufkin said:

If you are anchoring in any national park areas, word has it, American vessels will be slapped with a %10,000 tariff on anchoring fees. 

Not sure I understand - could you explain, please?

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If you have minor children traveling with you, without both parents present, you'd be wise to have a permission letter from the absent parent(s).

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On 6/29/2018 at 10:41 AM, MauiPunter said:

I figure there must be a website out there that details all the entry and exit requirements for sailors around the world but couldn't find it.

The one that all the international traveling cruisers I know use is noonsite. It's not perfect and it is worth checking each countries appropriate website as well, but is generally accurate and up to date:  http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Canada?rc=Formalities

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8 hours ago, Zonker said:

Just leave the guns behind. Many guns are restricted in Canada - they will be seized and you will be fined if you bring them. Or you will just be denied entry.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/08/08/border-gun-united-states-canada-handgunsamericans-crossing-canadian-border-are-bringing-handguns-with-alarming-frequency.html

 

 

I do not carry any normal guns aboard.  I do have flare guns though. Is that an issue? 

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10 hours ago, DrewR said:

Also be aware that Canada has very strict entry requirements for anyone with a DUI.  **Very**, and they do check.  And seeming no big deal driving infractions in the US (negligent operation, driving to endanger, etc.) can cause refusal for entry.  I know someone turned away bcz of a DUI when he was young. 

 

Have never been arrested in my life.

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39 minutes ago, morwood said:

The one that all the international traveling cruisers I know use is noonsite. It's not perfect and it is worth checking each countries appropriate website as well, but is generally accurate and up to date:  http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Canada?rc=Formalities

Wow.  That is something.  Hadn't seen that before.

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Flare guns are fine, but I'm not sure a forum is the best reference for acceptable documentation for a border crossing...  "but officer, SuperSailor32 said...".... 

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Someone mentioned food restrictions already, but that's what I've seen them send out agents to inspect for.

And don't fly the Maple Leaf upside down for two days like I did a few years ago. I noticed it walking back to the boat and righted it.  Nobody had said anything, but I had to burn the small flag in a lengthy ceremony and buy a new one from an official flag sewer in Vancouver. Not really, but I did feel like a jerk.

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23 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Not sure I understand - could you explain, please?

Just a silly trade war joke.

Maui,

Have a great time in Maritime Canada...some of the nicest people and some epic scenery.

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On 6/29/2018 at 7:59 PM, MauiPunter said:

I do not carry any normal guns aboard.  I do have flare guns though. Is that an issue? 

Flare guns are no problem but leave your guns at home - any gun whatsoever. No reactional drugs whatsoever; even a minuscule amount can have you jailed and boat seized. Even on your person is a bad idea. Only prescription drugs and in their proper containers. Don't be cheeky or funny - bad idea. Border guards/officers seem to have special powers or think that they can (like ICE) so don't screw around with them or you'll be sorry.    

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Things are a little different on the Great Lakes, even though they are still run by the same organizations on both sides of the border, but you really should look into an I68 and get passports for your kids.

On 6/29/2018 at 12:25 PM, DrewR said:

Also be aware that Canada has very strict entry requirements for anyone with a DUI.  **Very**, and they do check.  And seeming no big deal driving infractions in the US (negligent operation, driving to endanger, etc.) can cause refusal for entry.  I know someone turned away bcz of a DUI when he was young. 

 

The issue is that Canada has a centralized Federal court system for serious offences called the Criminal Code (i.e. felony's), and a DUI is a Criminal Code violation (felony).

And most states share their databases with Canadian customs.  So even a DUI from 1977 on one person on a boat will get the whole boat refused entry (BTDT).

On 6/30/2018 at 11:00 AM, lasal said:

Someone mentioned food restrictions already, but that's what I've seen them send out agents to inspect for.

And don't fly the Maple Leaf upside down for two days like I did a few years ago. I noticed it walking back to the boat and righted it.  Nobody had said anything, but I had to burn the small flag in a lengthy ceremony and buy a new one from an official flag sewer in Vancouver. Not really, but I did feel like a jerk.

Hey if the Marines can do it during the World Series in Yankee Stadium I wouldn't worry about it.  :D

3TPAND7RINCQPJ6JCUZEUZKKXE

 

Happy Dominion Day!

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I've always found coming back to the US much harder than going to Canada.

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On 6/29/2018 at 11:25 AM, DrewR said:

Also be aware that Canada has very strict entry requirements for anyone with a DUI.  **Very**, and they do check.  And seeming no big deal driving infractions in the US (negligent operation, driving to endanger, etc.) can cause refusal for entry.  I know someone turned away bcz of a DUI when he was young. 

 

It is hard to find good information on this.  They do check, they are strict, but it is my understanding that the rules have been softened somewhat particularly for single offenses far in the past.  There is also a waiver process.  You have to apply, and it's a couple hundred bucks in fees, and some people find that they have to use the services of an immigration attorney or visa expediter to get it.

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In the last 10 years I've gone to Canada and back maybe 100 times. Probably 40 on the boat. Canadian customs will typically have a customs dock with a phone. You call with your boat documentation at hand and all passengers passports. They ask for these and a few cursory questions (guns, liquor) then give you a clearance number. The last few into BS once they hear my name they say, "On Anomaly?" and already have the rest of the stuff. On the boat I've never seen or been approached by a customs officer. Never done it with minor aged children though.

Coming back to the US needs to be a port of entry. Some places they want you to call ahead, others they are annoyed if you do so. In the Great Lakes there were video phone kiosks that you could use, they could see, you, your passport, and in that case you had to bring passengers with you. On the east coast it depended: clearing into Maine, the officer came down to the boat when called but did not come on board ("we are not allowed to"). In Florida we were asked to bring everyone to the customs office (we were anchored out, and went by dinghy). In Washington state (Roche Harbor and Anacortes) the customs officer has asked that only the captain come in, then they walk out to the boat and even come on board, look at everyone and their passports and check for fruit and vegetables. 

I believe the I68 and Nexus only works if everyone on board has registered. There is also Global Traveler in the US which allows a call in (again only if everyone on board has registered). 

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That's correct about Nexus - everyone on board or in the car has to have it to use it.

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You can easily get into Canada with a US drivers license. To get back into the US you need a passport. I asked this very question prior to a Heliskiing trip a couple of years ago, and that was the answer from both Canadian authorities and the US dept of state.

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On 6/29/2018 at 8:19 PM, Zonker said:

Just leave the guns behind. Many guns are restricted in Canada - they will be seized and you will be fined if you bring them. Or you will just be denied entry.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/08/08/border-gun-united-states-canada-handgunsamericans-crossing-canadian-border-are-bringing-handguns-with-alarming-frequency.html

 

 

Why would you want to cross a border with guns? People are just daft, you do this if you want to start a war!

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A long time ago I sold a bunch of Alaska charts to a guy in Marina del Rey, California. He was going there next summer. He wanted to know if his .38 pistol would protect him from the bears... I suggested he leave it in the US and get some bear spray in Canada.

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Stock up on booze in the US, Canadian booze taxes are rather high. Anything less that 10 cases is OK to say its simply for personal consumption. In the maritimes this would be considered reasonable.

If you really want to smoke weed, get a prescription written in anything but crayon and you can buy at a local dispensary anywhere in Canada until Mid October when the various provincial governments will then be required to sell it at stores to anyone over 18 years old without a script. Point being, don't bring sand to the beach at the far flung risk of getting your boat impounded, we have way better weed than the US and much cheaper weed than the US, buy local.

US border patrol is approximately 10 times more difficult than Canadian CBP to deal with. Since some time in early 2017 they have somehow become a tad bit more belligerent to deal with.

US Customs video phones work pretty well, have your passports (not expired) for all crew, have all crew with you sober and standing up straight and have your ships papers ready to go. Take a notebook and pen with you, you will be given a confirmation number etc that you should write down and store with your ships papers.

These days as mentioned, in Canada, you don't even have to go to an official phone much of the time, you can simply call it in from anywhere inside the Canadian border to the appropriate 1-800 number, you end up talking to someone in Manitoba regardless of what coast you land on.

Either way, either border, be polite, be succinct, don't be ambiguous, and you'll be fine. Don't volunteer information that is not requested. Don't joke, they have no "joke setting", just stick to the business at hand and be a white, happy tax payer and you'll have your best possible interactions with the authorities.

Keep in mind going into the states you are subject to some extreme search possibilities, like your encoded phone can be searched and if you don't offer up a passcode they can detain or expel you right there. So consider that under limited circumstances that your phone and all related apps could be searched, so just consider what you have in your photos folder or perhaps the last ten things you wrote on twitter, would you want to have to explain them to CBP? If not, consider editing your content somewhat before travel. Remember lying to the CBP is a federal offence, so if you say "no I don't smoke weed" then they find a photo of you on your phone with a joint in your hand, you have a problem. So don't make problems for yourself. Keep your mouth shut and do as your told. Until you get past CBP in the US especially, you are not actually in the US, you are under the care and supervision of the CBP and they are GOD as far as you are concerned. Don't smite your Gods, its a bad idea.

I second the thing about travelling with kids if you don't have both parents with you. I always get or write a letter of permission stating dates of travel, general destination, explicit permission for travel and explicit permission for medical decisions, I scan it with a copy of my passport, date it and sign the whole thing. there's no point having permission to have the kids with you if you cannot also sell a spare kidney or two.

Travelling with guns in Canada. It can be done for long guns such as rifles and shotguns. There are licensing procedures you can go through to bring in the weapons and ammo, under visiting hunter programs. Handguns, are totally restricted. Likewise for rifles and shotguns there are also lots of technical limits like nothing with more than three rounds in the chamber etc. Additionally, even with all your documentation in order, if you have a weapon on board, they will almost certainly figure out a way to inspect your yacht very thoroughly, even if you have to wait a day in port while they come find you as its an instant red flag if you say yes to weapons on board. Bring a machete, a harpoon an Andalusion ceremonial sword, just don't bring guns, they just cause you headaches. (Lest you think Canadians don't like guns at all, keep in mind about 1/3 of Canadian households have legal guns in them today, mostly for hunting and farm work, or occasionally starting races)

One other thing. Get travel insurance. We may well have socialized medical care in Canada but they are happy to charge foreigners lots of money to avail themselves of the services. Sailing is an inherently risky thing and medical issues do come up. If you have a benefits program through work it may cover travel and you'll be fine but if not spend a couple of bucks on it. Plenty of Canadians have been bankrupted travelling without health insurance in the US when they end up in a hospital for some reason.

Travelling in either direction the story is always that you're there for pleasure. You are never there for work, period, ever. If you say the word "work" or "employment", better hope you have a VISA for that.

With the current trade war heating up, expect there to be more sand in the gears in both directions with customs. they are all unionized employees and they act accordingly.

If you bring pets, have current up to date vaccination records for your animals.

Sailors get a huge amount of leeway in both directions at the border, generally we can actually get away with almost anything if we try. The best trick to keep life simple is never give them a reason to inspect your boat. "Yes sir, no sir, two bags full sir".

Good luck, enjoy your trip.

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Excellent advice. Be careful about stocking up on booze. If you are inspected you'll get fines depending on the amount or have to pay some sort of duty/tax. But I think the % of sailboats that get inspected is probably very small

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Very good advice about attitudes and language with border agents. They don't joke, and the less information you offer the better. I'd be careful with 10 cases of liquor. Liquor is one thing they ALWAYS ask about going north. If you lie you might get caught and that is never good. If you don't lie you are raising a red flag. The video phones into the US is peculiar to the Great Lakes as far as I know. Never saw them in Maine or in the PNW.

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Don't bring more booze than you can reasonably be expected to drink. Any more and they will assume you are importing it.

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You can only bring this much booze in tax free. And absolutely no jequirity beans or baby walkers.

Alcoholic beverages

You are allowed to bring into Canada only one of the following amounts of alcohol and alcoholic beverages free of duty and taxes:

Alcoholic beverages are products that exceed 0.5% alcohol by volume. Certain alcoholic and wine products that do not exceed 0.5% by volume are not considered alcoholic beverages.

Product Metric Imperial Estimates
Wine Up to1.5 litres of wine Up to 53 fluid ounces Two 750 ml bottles of wine
Alcoholic beverages Up to 1.14 litres Up to 40 fluid ounces One large standard bottle of liquor
Beer or ale Up to 8.5 litres Up to 287 fluid ounces Approximately 24 cans or bottles (355 ml each) of beer or ale.

You must meet the minimum age of the province or territory where you enter Canada. Minimum ages are established by provincial or territorial authorities: 18 years for Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec and 19 years for the remaining provinces and territories.

The CBSA classifies "cooler" products according to the alcoholic beverage they contain. For example, beer coolers are considered to be beer and wine coolers are considered to be wine.

The quantities of alcoholic beverages you can import must be within the limit set by provincial and territorial liquor control authorities that apply where you will enter Canada. If the amount of alcohol you want to import exceeds your personal exemption, you will be required to pay the duty and taxes as well as any provincial or territorial levies that apply. Contact the appropriate provincial or territorial liquor control authority for more information before you return to Canada.

You must be of legal age in the province of importation. While you are allowed to import more alcoholic beverages than the amounts listed above, you will be responsible for paying duty and taxes on the additional alcoholic beverages you are bringing into Canada.

For more information on bringing alcoholic beverages to Canada, consult the Alcohol and tobacco limits page.

Certain goods are restricted or prohibited in Canada. To avoid the possibility of penalties, including seizure or prosecution, make sure you have the information you need before attempting to bring items into Canada.

The following are some examples of restricted or prohibited goods:

  • Firearms and weapons: You must declare all weapons and firearms at the CBSA port of entry when you enter Canada.
  • Food, plants, animals and related products: All food, plants, animals, and related products must be declared. Food can carry disease, such as E. coli. Plants and plant products can carry invasive alien species, such as the Asian Long-Horned Beetle. Animals and animal products can carry diseases, such as avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease.
  • Explosives, fireworks and ammunition: You must have written authorization and permits to bring explosives, fireworks and certain types of ammunition into Canada.
  • Vehicles: Vehicles include any kind of pleasure vehicles such as passenger cars, pickup trucks, snowmobiles and motor homes, as long as you use them for non-commercial purposes. There are many requirements that apply to importing a vehicle.
  • Consumer products: Certain consumer products that could pose a danger to the public (e.g., baby walkers, jequirity beans that are often found in art or bead work) are not allowed to be brought into Canada. Canadian residents should be aware of consumer products that have safety requirements in Canada. Many of these safety requirements are stricter than requirements of other countries.

For more information consult the Restricted and Prohibited Goods page.

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This might make me a quaker, but, I dont drink except very rarely.  I have one half drunk bottle of rum that is 5 years old.  Yea, I am lame on the alcohol front.  The last time I smoked weed was in college.  lol.   My vices of choice is diet coke, and sailboats.  lol.

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On 7/4/2018 at 11:48 AM, blunted said:

Keep in mind going into the states you are subject to some extreme search possibilities, like your encoded phone can be searched and if you don't offer up a passcode they can detain or expel you right there. So consider that under limited circumstances that your phone and all related apps could be searched, so just consider what you have in your photos folder or perhaps the last ten things you wrote on twitter, would you want to have to explain them to CBP? If not, consider editing your content somewhat before travel. Remember lying to the CBP is a federal offence, so if you say "no I don't smoke weed" then they find a photo of you on your phone with a joint in your hand, you have a problem. So don't make problems for yourself. Keep your mouth shut and do as your told. Until you get past CBP in the US especially, you are not actually in the US, you are under the care and supervision of the CBP and they are GOD as far as you are concerned. Don't smite your Gods, its a bad idea.

A fact to consider is that if you are a U.S. citizen, then U.S. CBP cannot deny you entry.  They can, for example, confiscate your phone and subject it to forensic analysis, but they cannot send you back to Canada, and they cannot detain you for an unreasonable time (more than a few hours) without charging you with a crime.

Once an encounter with USCBP has gone pear shaped, there's a point where you, if a U.S. citizen, are better off refusing to answer questions and insisting on an attorney.

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On 7/2/2018 at 9:12 PM, Cruisin Loser said:

You can easily get into Canada with a US drivers license. To get back into the US you need a passport. I asked this very question prior to a Heliskiing trip a couple of years ago, and that was the answer from both Canadian authorities and the US dept of state.

The actual situation is complex.  Entering Canada without a passport requires documents that establish identity and citizenship.  A U.S. drivers license doesn't do that.

Returning to the U.S., if it is established that you are a U.S. citizen, they more or less have to admit you, but they can delay things and try to ascertain the authenticity of the documents you provide and whether they are actually yours.  If they can establish serious doubt, you may have to prove you are a U.S. citizen in court, which is expensive and time consuming.

My advice? Don't poke the bear. Obtain, bring and present the best documents you can. Ideally that's a Nexus card, or at least a Global Entry card, failing that a passport. 

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Geez, get a passport. 60% of you never leave the US. See the world a bit. It's perhaps nicer than your own backyard.

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16 hours ago, Zonker said:

Geez, get a passport. 60% of you never leave the US. See the world a bit. It's perhaps nicer than your own backyard.

I'd prefer that more people stayed home, personally.

FKT

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On ‎7‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 4:56 PM, Dilligaf0220 said:

Things are a little different on the Great Lakes, even though they are still run by the same organizations on both sides of the border, but you really should look into an I68 and get passports for your kids.

The issue is that Canada has a centralized Federal court system for serious offences called the Criminal Code (i.e. felony's), and a DUI is a Criminal Code violation (felony).

And most states share their databases with Canadian customs.  So even a DUI from 1977 on one person on a boat will get the whole boat refused entry (BTDT).

Hey if the Marines can do it during the World Series in Yankee Stadium I wouldn't worry about it.  :D

3TPAND7RINCQPJ6JCUZEUZKKXE

 

Happy Dominion Day!

Pretty amazing that the flag of Canuckistan is flying while the others are just limp.  You guys really are superior to the rest of us - even your flag flies better than ours.  
.

.

.

.

I mean, come on.  Worst. Photoshop. Evah.
 

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On 6/29/2018 at 1:19 PM, Zonker said:

Just leave the guns behind. Many guns are restricted in Canada - they will be seized and you will be fined if you bring them. Or you will just be denied entry.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/08/08/border-gun-united-states-canada-handgunsamericans-crossing-canadian-border-are-bringing-handguns-with-alarming-frequency.html

 

 

A bunch of $2,000 fines for lying to border agents about having a gun? Sounds like its time to put people in jail for this if you want them to respect your laws. 

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On 7/5/2018 at 1:11 PM, carlwasher said:

FYI  The video phones are disappearing around the Great Lakes (the one in Clayton, NY is gone) and you are supposed to use this new app.  Haven't tried it yet but will soon.

 

https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/new-mobile-passport-control-app-available

Who's gonna unlock there phone within 20 feet of the CBP? Not I.

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Flying a Canadian flag, in Canada, is a distress signal. The guy in the photo got it good from his "buddies".

Don't bring guns or drugs, without a prescription, across the border.

Don't lie to border officials. They are not a stupid as many think them to be.

And finally, don't use a forum as your sole source of information when it comes to border crossing.

 

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4 hours ago, Mark Set said:

A bunch of $2,000 fines for lying to border agents about having a gun? Sounds like its time to put people in jail for this if you want them to respect your laws. 

Just confiscate their vehicle - then we don't have to pay to feed & house them.

It's amazing how clueless people can be - "We're just passing through to Alaska so our guns are O/K"

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55 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Just confiscate their vehicle - then we don't have to pay to feed & house them.

It's amazing how clueless people can be - "We're just passing through to Alaska so our guns are O/K"

Nah thats not it, they really think they can get away with it. And for only risking $2000 who can blame them. I know lots of these types, boomers with guns who think they can take them wherever they want, laws be damned. They play the dumb old fool when they get caught but they know exactly what they were doing.

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My wife likes to watch the Canadian Border Patrol reality show (forget the name). It is on just before the US Homeland Security show. Hilarious contrast.

Canada officials = Mr. Rogers

US officials = Jackbooted Nazi thugs

My absolute favorite bit so far at Toronto airport  "OK you are not admissible to come to Canada because (didn't get a visa or was planning to work or whatever). You can wait here in the airport overnight OR we can let you can go see your girlfriend tonight if you PROMISE to come back here tomorrow morning for the first flight back to  your country". 

Naturally the kid chooses door #2 and comes back the next day to be sent home.

Can't quite see US officials acting the same way, can you?

The Canadian officials are totally different when they find somebody bringing guns into the country illegally. Come down on people very hard and fast.

 

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On July 13, 2018 at 3:14 PM, Zonker said:

 

US officials = Jackbooted Nazi thugs

 

This Is, to me, a disgusting comment, and greatly lowers my previously high opinion of the poster.

I cross the US/Canada border several times a year, and can discern no difference in friendliness between the Canadian and US border agents.

I live near the Texas/Mexico border, and have a couple of old Rugby teammates and decades long friends who served in the border patrol. The situation could not be more different. Both of these guys got shot at in their careers. They daily dealt with drug smuggling, often with armed smugglers, and with human traffickers. They were decent and humane to the ordinary illegals. For people who live thousands of miles away and know nothing of the situation to judge decent, hard working people doing a tough job as "jackbooted Nazi thugs" is ignorant and insulting. 

None of my friends ever loaded people on trains bound for extermination camps. 

You should be ashamed of yourself.

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Loser is right - we cross the border every few weeks and I have found the border agents to vary by the individual, not the country they represent.

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8 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:
9 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

This Is, to me, a disgusting comment, and greatly lowers my previously high opinion of the poster.

I cross the US/Canada border several times a year, and can discern no difference in friendliness between the Canadian and US border agents...You should be ashamed of yourself.

 

 

Easy there! I think Zonker was talking about TV shows portraying border guards, not offering a personal opinion. I agree with Jon B - border guards on both sides of the 49th parallel are individuals...some pleasant, others not so much.

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OK - first off sorry for the loaded language. Just meant to contrast. And I was referring to the tv show caricatures, not the real people. So sorry for the confusion and offending.

The Canadian ones are pretty lenient with just about everybody except the gun smugglers and people with US DUI convictions. My wife doesn't watch the US show as much but they are a lot more intolerant / power tripping in how they are depicted.

I had to get a TN (NAFTA) Visa renewed in Detroit/Windsor. The screensaver on the US agent's computer was a picture of the White House with a constant scrolling bar of text underneath that said "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Freedom". Maybe that inspires those US custom's agents?

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9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Loser is right - we cross the border every few weeks and I have found the border agents to vary by the individual, not the country they represent.

I am not sure that I entirely agree... Or to be precise I suspect that it probably works for you because you have the right kind of passport and the right kind of face.

My wife is Colombian so we fly from France to Bogotá from time to time and we avoid going through the USA even if it is cheaper. We try to go through Toronto or Madrid to avoid US borders. If you don't have the right kind of passport IME they might well treat you as if you were a terrorist or a drug dealer. We've never experienced this in Canada.

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Jack booted?  Nah.  But the US agents do tend toward the 'power' side of the equation.  Good friends and fellow Fire department volunteers during my time living in Friday Harbor.  But back when I was a ship master of a US flagged vessel, my experience with the US customs vs just about anywhere else in the world was that coming 'home' to the US was the least pleasant experience of my port of entry clearance procedures-- and we had no violations, or issues that could be construed as a reason to hard-time us either.  Some 3rd worlders might have wanted a few more cases of cigarettes or booze than I might have liked but they weren't  heavy handed about it. The US side of things wasn't looking for a handout (they'd have had big trouble for that stuff) but they never let you forget who had the hammer....even when no hammer was needed.

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As another Canadian that has always crossed the border on a regular basis for decades, my central observation are the differences in the corporate culture between the two.

 

USCBP - The price of freedom is eternal vigilance on the ongoing war for our borders.

Canadian CBSA - Fill your quotas and maximize your fees. 

Over the years I've had far more problems as a Canadian crossing back into Canada than I've had entering the US, especially at land crossings.  Canadian border agents have quotas to meet, and like most gov't unionized workers they'll have moods where they just are looking to check all the boxes they have to that day.

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The US Passport card is acceptable for land or sea based entry into Canada in lieu of your Passport.  Not accepted if you arrive by air.

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Really.

I met an American women in a bar one night and her hubby had been caught trying to bring his silver plated pistol into our country.

He spent the weekend in jail while his girlfriend spent the night with me!

$2000 fine, the weekend in jail and he lost his beautiful hand gun...

I have travelled the world and the toughest boarder I've ever crossed is my own when returning to Canada.

Leave your guns at home when visiting Canada.

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On 7/16/2018 at 5:53 PM, BarfBag said:

Really.

I met an American women in a bar one night and her hubby had been caught trying to bring his silver plated pistol into our country.

He spent the weekend in jail while his girlfriend spent the night with me!

$2000 fine, the weekend in jail and he lost his beautiful hand gun...

Sounds to me like Canadian gun import laws worked out very well for you.

So well that I dunno why you are warning anyone to avoid a re-run.

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1 hour ago, TwoLegged said:

Sounds to me like Canadian gun import laws worked out very well for you.

So well that I dunno why you are warning anyone to avoid a re-run.

Lol, that was quite a few years ago.

I admire your comradery  though there wingman!

Cheers

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Thank you Jim in H, that may have been more appropriate.

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Are we certain that "wingman" is gendered? It could be like "ombudsman"...

:ph34r:

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On 6/29/2018 at 2:31 PM, yllek said:

If you have minor children traveling with you, without both parents present, you'd be wise to have a permission letter from the absent parent(s).

What would be the plan if the otheerparent is incarcerated, just can't find the deadbeat, won't cooperate or otherwise unavailable. 

We thought we would have this problem with my granddaughter. But several times across, by car no problem. My dad takes minor family members by car and boatn and hasn't had a problem. But I have know ppl who have had this very issue. 

Once coming home from BC on motorcycles my cousin got a major hassle from the US agents about his kid. 

Wtf, did they think he kidnapped the kid, got her out of the country and then is bringing her back?

Had the same issue driving a borrowed vehicle. 2X Going north, - no issues. But one of the returns the agent asks me if I have a note from the vehicle's owner. I told him I've never gotten a note when I borrowed a vehicle before. He responded - well you're Crossing an international border how do I know it's not stolen. I ask  - who would steal a vehicle, get it out of the country, and then bring the thing back? We want about three rounds like this. I then pointed out to him I had been in Canada for 10 days, has the vehicle been reported stolen?

What I didn't know is that my friend's ex-husband had been involved with a Criminal gang. And the vehicle have been named in a federal search warrant a few years before and never been found. As she was divorcing him and in hiding with a restraining order against him at the time of the bust. 

That was quite the morning - I also didn't have my driver's license on me but I did have my passport. They tore that vehicle up , at least they put it back together. 

I've spent more time hassling with us border agents as a US citizen than I have with the canadians. Even though the canadians caught me with 5gms of a green leafy "undeclared dutiable item" about 10yrs ago. I was still way too old to be that dumb. 

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On 6/29/2018 at 12:07 PM, 2airishuman said:

You will need a U.S. radio station license while in Canada to use your VHF.

<snip>

Be careful with food.  The requirements are constantly changing.  Last time I crossed they didn't allow potatoes or fresh fruit.

For VHF, do you need a station license (which would apply to the boat) or an operator's license (which would apply to the person)?

On the food front, no fresh food going either direction.  I had a US agent give me a rash of shit because I was bringing lemons back into the US that I had *bought* in the US.  She confiscated them.  I gave her the recipe for bitter lemonade (good with rum).  I don't carry any fresh goods across the border any more.

I will also agree with others that, in general, going into any other country I've gone to has been a more professional, pleasant experience than coming back into the US as a US citizen.

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On 7/25/2018 at 12:23 PM, bplipschitz said:

For VHF, do you need a station license (which would apply to the boat) or an operator's license (which would apply to the person)?

Canada got rid of the station license requirement for recreational boats awhile ago.  If you have a US station license for your boat you're really supposed to use your boat name instead of your callsign in Canadian waters but I've never heard anybody get too picky about it.

You're supposed to have an operators license if you transmit over 2.5W.

 

Heh and atleast the CBP people will try and put things back together neatly.  Canadian customs will leave your stuff scattered around on the ground.  In the rain.  And tell you to hurry up.

Food wise pretty much anything fresh is verboten, it depends on the agent whether they snatch it or not.  The only real exception to that is fresh fish or game, and even then I've had problems with sides of salmon, fish fillets and deer backstraps.  I've even had cured roe for bait seized.

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41 minutes ago, Dilligaf0220 said:

Canada got rid of the station license requirement for recreational boats awhile ago.  If you have a US station license for your boat you're really supposed to use your boat name instead of your callsign in Canadian waters but I've never heard anybody get too picky about it.

You're supposed to have an operators license if you transmit over 2.5W.

 

Heh and atleast the CBP people will try and put things back together neatly.  Canadian customs will leave your stuff scattered around on the ground.  In the rain.  And tell you to hurry up.

Food wise pretty much anything fresh is verboten, it depends on the agent whether they snatch it or not.  The only real exception to that is fresh fish or game, and even then I've had problems with sides of salmon, fish fillets and deer backstraps.  I've even had cured roe for bait seized.

Here's why I asked about VHF: no one I know has a station license for their boat (not required in US?), nor an operator's license for VHF (not required in US?).

I have an FCC General Radiotelephone license, which is assigned to me.  I also have an Amateur Extra license, which is assigned to my station.  It gets a little confusing.

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24 minutes ago, bplipschitz said:

Here's why I asked about VHF: no one I know has a station license for their boat (not required in US?), nor an operator's license for VHF (not required in US?).

I have an FCC General Radiotelephone license, which is assigned to me.  I also have an Amateur Extra license, which is assigned to my station.  It gets a little confusing.

The FCC dropped the requirement for US station licenses on recreational boats under a certain size (50'?) long before Canada did.  Ditto for an operators license.  FOR USE IN US WATERS.

I'm a Great Lakes sailor and have heard of US cruisers with SSB station licences catching some flak on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes for using their station callsign instead of their boat name reporting in, but that's another "depends on agent depending on the time".

Technically a US boat travelling to "foreign" waters needs a station AND operators license to transmit on VHF over 2.5W.  But you are more likely to have your lemons seized.

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I,ve had my lemons squeezed before and...oh wait, wrong thread...

If you make it to Newfoundland and can understand the dialect on the vhf, you are qualified to operate your radio. Note that Newf's may answer a half hour late. :D

There is a world class distillery in Newfoundland where they make, among other things, a seaweed gin and a gunpowder rum

"

Seaweed Gin

Our seaweed gin, made using seaweed (dulse) harvested from the Grand Banks. Slightly salty, full of juniper, it is like being in an ocean mist, next to a herb garden and is the savoury (flavour wise rather than herb wise) companion to our cloudberry gin.

This gin was awarded a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition in 2018 and a silver medal at the 2018 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.

https://thenewfoundlanddistillery.com/pages/our-spirits

Enjoy your visit...

"

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:48 AM, blunted said:

just stick to the business at hand and be a white, happy tax payer

Tells me everything I need to know about you and your "information."

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On 7/14/2018 at 9:16 PM, SloopJonB said:

Loser is right - we cross the border every few weeks and I have found the border agents to vary by the individual, not the country they represent.

I agree I have had bad experiences in both directions and very friendly interactions as well.

But the worst incident was by a US CBP dickhead. My wife was crossing into the US by car with our kids 8 and 13 years old. She was at the time a Swiss citizen so had to be finger printed. She went in with the kids and did so after she finished the agent instructed her to now provide toe prints by placing her foot on the counter. She said she could but would not he scowled and threatend her but then after a few tense moment laughed  and let her go. It was only later we realised he was probably trying to get look up her skirt.

That is really fucked up. 

 

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Carry no more than $ 17 dollars in your wallet. That right there will prove your Canadian 

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Uhm...

What are the extra two dollars for?

(Actually, in real life, the only Canadians I know personally are some of the most generous people I know. If Bryce only carries $17, it's because he can do everything he's planning to do with that.)

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