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Jul 11, 2014, 9:30 AM

Post #1 of 4 (4701 views)


Mexican traveling to Canada and USA

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My (Mexican) boyfriend was approved for his visitor visa and he's coming to LA tomorrow! I was born in Canada and am a naturalized US citizen. I'm crossing my fingers that everything will be ok at immigration at LAX tomorrow, he's got bank account info, return ticket and letter from employer.

Anyway, that's not my issue, the issue is that in September he will be coming back and we plan to drive to Canada to visit my family, provided he gets his Canadian visa. We have heard it's easier to get once he has already visited the US, so we will wait until he gets home from this trip to apply.

I spoke to my US immigration attorney recently because Juan and I are planning to get married in Mexico next year and I told him about our plan to go to Canada and he strongly advised me against it, saying he has many clients who get refused entry when they try to come back to the US from Canada.

I thought he was exaggerating because he's the same person who told me it was next to impossible for Juan to get a US visitor visa, and that was a piece of cake. So, I called CBP at the border in Washington state and spoke to an immigration officer, told him I want to know if there's any problems with a Mexican citizen re-entering US from Canada, and his response was SO WEIRD. He insisted that of course there was NO PROBLEM as long as all the proper travel documents are in order but was SO insistent that he made me feel like I was doing something wrong by simply asking. I even spelled out that Juan is my boyfriend, I said I had heard that people have had problems in the past "Which people? Who are you getting this information from?!" I even said "Sir, I'm just trying to be cautious and make sure we don't run into any trouble." He demanded to know why I would think we could run into trouble as though my inquiry itself implied some kind of guilt. I asked for his name and said if they give us any trouble I would say I spoke to him.

So, suffice to say, his assurances did nothing to quell my anxiety surrounding this trip and I'm considering canceling it altogether. Does anyone out there have any experience with a situation like this? I'm considering not crossing at Peace Arch upon return, maybe taking the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles or Anacortes instead, maybe that makes a difference. Please share your experiences, I truly appreciate the help.

(This post was edited by chandoyle on Jul 11, 2014, 10:26 AM)


Jul 11, 2014, 10:50 AM

Post #2 of 4 (4667 views)


Re: [chandoyle] Mexican traveling to Canada and USA

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I don't know if this relevant but my son's in laws came to visit from Russia and they had the same questions because they wanted to take a ship cruise to Cozumel from Galveston. They took the cruise and returned without a problem.


Jul 13, 2014, 8:35 AM

Post #3 of 4 (4551 views)


Re: [chandoyle] Mexican traveling to Canada and USA

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There was certainly nothing weird about his response that there should be no problem if all the documents are in order. I don't know who you spoke to, but you need to understand that the decision to admit anyone who presents with a B-2 visitor visa is left to the discretion of the CBP officer you encounter at random at the border crossing.

But I agree there shouldn't be any problem. Your boyfriend should not turn in his I-94 when the two of you leave the US to enter Canada. Obviously you need to return to the US before the I-94 expires.

I wouldn't say your immigration attorney was exaggerating. He is probably just being overly cautious with his advice since every entry into the US is subject to the discretion of the individual CBP officer. Under no circumstances should you ever reveal that you plan to marry--regardless of where the marriage will take place--as a key consideration for entry is that the visitor has no intent to immigrate.


Jul 14, 2014, 1:08 PM

Post #4 of 4 (4464 views)


Re: [Altahabana] Mexican traveling to Canada and USA

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Here is a direct CBP reference supporting Altahaba's advice for your Mexican boyfriend to retain his I-94 for his short (under 30 day) visit to Canada, turning it in only on his departing the U.S. for Mexico:

"If taking short trips (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands during the course of your visit to the U.S., hold onto your I-94 or I-94 (W); it should only be turned in when you leave the U.S. to return home."

See the above reference for other the answers to other I-94 questions. I for one did not know, for example, that if a traveler retained an I-94 (excluding the case above), it should be returned by mail to a CBP address in Kentucky, with supporting documentation of departure.
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