Holiday Border Crossing Tips

With Christmas only a few days away, thousands of people will be flocking across the U.S./Canadian border for the holidays. It might be to spend time with family or even just to do a little holiday shopping. Whatever the case may be, here are some tips to help you make your border crossing a little easier.

  1. Nobody likes to waste their precious time in traffic. It’s always smart to think ahead and check local government websites for crossing times. The Canadian Border Services Agency updates waiting times at least once every hour. You can access that information here: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf/menu-eng.html
  2. Be prepared for bad weather and road conditions. Nothing will put a halt in your travel plans like spinning out of control or ending up stranded on the side of the road. Check local news stations to stay updated on weather conditions or accidents to avoid. Remember to drive safely and patiently when the weather is not cooperating.
  3. It saves a lot of time for both parties if the driver of the vehicle and all passengers have their identification ready. When crossing the border the preferred form of documentation is a passport, but NEXUS cards and enhanced licenses are also accepted. Children under the age of 16 can present an original birth certificate in lieu of the passport, Nexus, or enhanced license.
  4. It’s also helpful to be sure you know what you have purchased while out of the country. You will need to declare the total value of all purchases.  Border inspectors may also ask to look at your receipt for said goods, so be prepared for that as well.
  5. Border Patrol also asks that when approaching the inspection booth you roll down the window and turn off your radio and cell phone to avoid distractions. They also ask that you take off sunglasses so you can be easily identified.
  6. Lastly, know how much money you have on hand. If you are carrying over $10,000 U.S. or Canadian dollars you will be asked to declare it at the border.

If you have question regarding crossing the border, schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today!

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