Oct 6, 2011 - "So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matt 19:6

Monday, April 23, 2012

Run-In with Immigration

Well let me tell you a story....

So we traveled to Buffalo NY on Saturday because my daughter had a baton twirling competition at one of the local schools.  Getting over, no problem. Coming back home, a different story.  When we were waiting in one of the several line ups to cross, I had a feeling that we were going to encounter a problem because it looked like everyone else's line was moving at a good pace except for the one we were in. Then, as we got closer, I noticed it was a female border crossing guard who was clearly being more thorough with all her questions than everybody else. Was she new? I dunno.
Anyways, when it was our turn she started off with the standard questions. Where do you live?  How long have you been in the US? How much did you spend? What are your citizenships? What is your relationship to each other? Then came...Did you file Immigration papers? ding ding ding ding ding......Here we go!!! This lady started with her note taking. It was explained to her that my husband is VISITING. When he got here, when he was going back. All of that didn't matter. She gave us the yellow paper and sent us inside to Immigration. We went to the side and waited for them to search our vehicle to their satisfaction before they sent us inside. Then, we spoke to another lady about what we spent where she clearly realized our issue was not our spending, but the American I was importing. lol Makes me think of Sesame Street - One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other.

Now we are at the Immigration desk.
They had no problem sending me and my daughter to the side. After all, we're Canadian, they have to let us go home. lol But Furman.....I had to sit at the side and try to read lips as we sat there trying to figure out what was going on. lol  At some point in the conversation I know they spoke about the Immigration papers that we told them we filed already.  Furman looked my way and I was motioned to the desk to show the officer the receipt (I happened to have in my email) for the filing fees we paid. Thank goodness for my iPhone.  When it was all said and done, turns out that we now have been summoned to return to the border crossing.  We now have to provide certain documents for them to allow Furman to continue to VISIT - give him VISITOR STATUS.  Otherwise, he has to return home to the U.S by May 15th. They stamped his passport and printed up some Immigration Paper called a Visitor Record that outlines that he cannot work, cannot go to school and MUST LEAVE by the 15th of May!  Can you believe this crap?  He wasn't working or going to school anyways...he was being a Visitor.  Keep in mind that when he first arrived via the airport in March that he had all the documentation that we are now being asking to take back to Niagara Falls.  They gave him NO ISSUES AT THE AIRPORT and he told them the exact same thing he just told Immigration in Niagara Falls. After all, he is allowed to visit for up to 6 months, according to their own website, without a visitors visa because he is an American. But now....there is a problem. Go figure!! Immigration at the airport says all is cool but Immigration at the bridge says Hold Up! Now, we gotta jump through hoops.  Why? Because they are putting in their mind that Furman is LIVING here. That's what the border agent that sent us to Immigration wrote on her yellow paper although we told her he was visiting and when he was returning home.

So like I said, we now have to drive a few hours to return to the border to satisfy them that Furman should be allowed to VISIT and will be returning. Once satisfied, they can update that Visitor Record to allow Furman to stay till when he originally planned to at the very least.  In doing that, we have to provide them with requested documentation (Documentation they didn't ask for at the airport I might add):

  • Copy of Marriage Certificate
  • Copy of Furman's bank records or something to show that he can afford to support himself while he is here  (Cause I guess the wife he is married to is expected to not do shit for him?)
  • Copy of Immigration Application sent to apply for his Permanent Residency  (They expect that people would photocopy everything sent to the office although the application requires you to send original documentation. Why? I don't know. Because it's not like if the documents got lost that you could send them the copies) - Yeah, we don't have this so I will say that it's a damn good thing that when I did send the application that I paid to send it ExpressPost to the Case Processing Center. Although Canada Post stressed me for a period, I now have proof that I sent something to Immigration along with the receipt we already showed the Immigration Agent for the filing fees paid.
I'm thinking I should  also have on hand some extra information....just in case (Hell, we might need these anyway):

  • Copy of Furman's itinerary showing his return flight in August  (They didn't care about that on Saturday)
  • Copy of rental car agreement to show arrangements to travel to U.S in July like we told them
  • Evidence showing that I've spoken to others previously about the Immigration Documents being mailed (Since cannot give them copy of documents that were mailed)
I don't even know what else I can do or give them right now to prove I've mailed those documents. Funny thing too is that when we go back, we wont even be dealing with the same person anyways. Boy do we have questions for them.  If only we had received the letter giving us the Client ID number that we've been waiting for. If only Canadian Immigration would stop moving backwards and get to our application already.  All this is just plain ridiculous. All for what...because we had to travel to Buffalo for competition.  If I knew all this would have happened, Furman could have stayed home. lol But, I'm trying to look for the good because I know that everything happens for a reason. Maybe what we are going through right now will save us any drama in July when we drive through the border and on our return trip to Florida. I hope so.  We'll make the next trip back worth it though...we'll do a little more cross border shopping.

The Immigration officer was trying to tell Furman that we should always walk with a copy of our Marriage Certificate and copy of the Immigration Application that we already submitted to prove that we've applied for his Permanent Residency.  Does that even make sense?  WTH? We never had issues before but now that we are married...oh boy! Good thing I didn't marry someone from another country. OMG!

LESSON TO ALL:  Honesty is the best policy.  I will still say that, although it is proven time and time again that sometimes being honest just causes more stress than its worth.  What we've learned from this experience so far....The key to coming into Canada is to FLY. Fly in and out.  As long as you don't get arrested, you got no issues. Visitors to Canada shouldn't cross the border by land if you are planning to return to Canada....because they will hassle you!!  Be prepared.  lol  They want your life story and then they might even request that you drive another two and half hours back to see them to prove it! Yup, you gotta cross the border into the U.S just to pay the $3.25 fee to return to Canada and see the Immigration Agents.

While they may not have gotten to our application received in January, we can say that Furman's name is now in their computers. lol Hopefully it will help us, somehow.  Not sure when before the 15th that we will return with what they are asking for but I will say, it would be awesome if we could all of a sudden receive that letter with our Client ID before we did.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Update on the Run

At the start!
Other than that...the weekend was good.
I completed the Toronto Yonge St 10K with a time of 1:05.  I didn't stop! Not once! So proud of myself for keeping up with Furman.  I didn't want to let him down or myself down for that matter. Lord knows that I wanted to stop for just a minute a few times. lol  There was a spot where Furman made a quick detour to use the washroom while I was running and would catch up with me as long as I stayed on the same side of the street.  When he left, I was soo tempted to walk for a second but I didn't.  Around the 5k mark I was hurtin but kept at it. And....I will say that it was as cold as expected outside. My oh my. I think i'm paying for it now because I woke up with a sore throat. But, I got Bling! It was an awesome surprise to find a dear friend at the finish line. She wasn't alone either....she came with her entire family and it was such a great feeling to have that support. Thanks again Girl! You know we love you all!!

Now....what about Another Run? lol Register?
I think I can, I think I can.

To top off the weekend we went to watch the movie THINK LIKE A MAN with my mom and one of my closest cousins. Oh man....the movie was sooo good. Kevin Hart is a trip. I actually read Steve Harvey's book too...lol I would definitely recommend others to check it out for some good laughs. It's not a Tyler Perry movie but was awesome.  Look forward to more movies by Tim Story.

1 comment:

  1. Just a short note to Trissy never travel by Niagara Falls boarder they are sick l went there once and we had to prove where we stayed and if we couldn't find out bill we would have to go inside .Always go to Peace Bridge they are much better.


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