Vancouver Immigration And Cross-Border Injury Law Blog

Why is US immigration issuing more border bans to Canadians?

A television network reportedly obtained information that shows an increase of 300% in the number of bans handed out at border posts in 2019, compared to 2018. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Seattle field office issued 65 expedited removal orders during Aug. 2019, while only nine Canadians were issued bans during Aug. 2018. U.S. immigration offers no explanation for the increase.

A Canadian man who had a summer job at a resort in British Columbia shared his experience with U.S. border patrol. Due to the seasonal high rentals in Osoyoos where he worked, he chose to stay rent-free with his girlfriend's parents just south of the border in Washington state. His daily commute took no longer than 30 minutes in each direction, including the border crossing. He says he had pleasant conversations with border guards during the twice-daily crossings.

Why is US immigration handing more border bans to Canadians?

A television network reportedly obtained information that shows an increase of 300% in the number of bans handed out at border posts in 2019 compared to 2018. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Seattle field office issued 65 expedited removal orders during August 2019, while only nine Canadians were issued bans during August 2018. U.S. immigration offers no explanation for the significant increase.

A Canadian man who had a summer job at a resort in British Columbia shared his experience with U.S. border patrol. Due to the seasonal high rentals in Osoyoos where he worked, he chose to stay rent-free with his girlfriend's parents just south of the border in Washington state. His daily commute took no longer than 30 minutes in each direction, including the border crossing. He says he had pleasant conversations with border guards during the twice-daily crossings.

Speed might lead to cross-border personal injury claims

Motor vehicle accidents resulting in deaths and hospitalizations are a significant concern in British Columbia and across Canada. Authorities say reducing speed can prevent most accidents. This is true in Canada and also south of the border from where many cross-border personal injury claims arise when British Columbia residents go on day trips to Seattle or other destinations in Washington state.

Many of the 1,841 fatalities and 9,960 hospitalizations that were recorded in 2017 involved pedestrians. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, a pedestrian who is hit by a car travelling at 50 kmh is at a significantly higher risk of suffering fatal or severe injuries than someone who is struck by a vehicle travelling at 30 kmh. Safety authorities say driving at 30 kmh gives the driver more time to react and avoid a collision. Pedestrians also have more time to make safe decisions about crossing roads if approaching vehicles are not speeding.

US immigration laws for Canadian students

People in British Columbia who plan to study in the United States might have questions about the application process and the required documents. Under U.S. immigration laws, Canadians who want to be a part of an exchange program or study at a United States education facility can do so without a visa. However, there are other essential documents to obtain.

Before any other steps are taken, the student must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the exchange program, school or university he or she plans to attend. This certificate will then allow the student to be registered with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and receive an assigned SEVIS number. SEVIS is a U.S. government internet-based system to keep track of non-immigrant students and exchange program visitors along with their dependents.

Cross-border personal injury often caused by drunk driving

The Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction says the primary factor in most of the serious road accidents in Canada is drug and/or alcohol impairment. However, that threat does not stop at the border, and British Columbia residents who make frequent trips for shopping, live shows or other purposes south of the border may also be exposed to the dangers posed by impaired drivers. This typically leaves them with the challenges posed by pursuing recovery of monetary damages after cross-border personal injury incidents.

Safety authorities say more than half of all the crashes on Canadian roads that involved drivers between ages 16 to 25 also involved alcohol or drug impairment. They also warn that the ability of a driver who used cannabis to control travelling speed and following distances will be impaired. Their reaction times will also be slower, and they might find it challenging to stay in their lanes.

US immigration: Canada-US Preclearance agreement

British Columbia residents who plan to travel south of the border might have questions about the Canada-U.S. Preclearance Agreement that became effective earlier in the year. While it might ease the border crossing process for many Canadians, there are a few issues of which they should not lose sight. The agreement involves a preclearance screening for entry into the United States done on Canada's side of the border, preventing a long process when travellers get to the U.S. side of the border.

However, although the preclearance process takes place on Canada soil, United States customs enforcement officers do it. With that process completed, Canadian travellers need not go through the United States customs process again when they arrive at the American entry point. One point of concern is whether U.S. border officials working with the preclearance of Canadian travellers will have the authority to detain Canadians in their own country.

Negligence laws re cross-border personal injury claims

Day trips to Seattle for shopping or other purposes are part of the lives of many Vancouver residents. However, many of them might not realize how complicated matters can be if they are involved in car accidents while travelling south of the border. Cross-border personal injury claims may involve the negligence laws of Washington state.

To recover financial and physical damages through the civil justice system after a crash south of the border, understanding applicable Washington negligence laws will be crucial. For example, in Washington, the amount of damages a crash victim can recover will depend on the part he or she played in the cause of the accident. Under the contributory fault law, the monetary award by the court will diminish in proportion to the percentage of fault of each party.

US immigration's online green card service has restrictions

People from British Columbia who have made the United States their home will know the importance of always carrying a valid green card. However, making mistakes in the renewal process is common, and it could cause significant problems. Without valid renewals, re-entry into the United States might be problematic. U.S. immigration announced that green cards can now be renewed online, but even that process can be challenging.

U.S. immigration officials urge people to apply for the renewal of their green cards at least six months before they expire because even the slightest mistake can cause significant delays. Applications can now be made online, but the service is not available for all. It involves opening an account and then submitting Form I-90, which is the application to replace a green card.

Cross-border personal injury: Whiplash can cause long-term harm

A significant percentage of car accident victims suffer whiplash injuries as the result of the rapid movement of the head during a crash. The problem with these injuries is that they are often hidden, and if they are not diagnosed promptly, the consequences can cause long-term health problems. Sometimes, recovering damages could be a significant challenge. When such an accident occurs during a trip from Vancouver to Seattle, the case could be a lot more complicated if it involves a cross-border personal injury.

Contrary to what most people believe, whiplash injuries cause more lower back injuries than neck injuries -- especially when the impact of the crash is from the rear of the vehicle. While many whiplash injuries are mild enough to heal themselves within months, more than one in five victims continue to suffer for many years. The consequences could include chronic pain, weakness and the inability to move freely. Some victims' suffering continues for the remainder of their lives, even leaving them unable to return to work.

How does US immigration deal with pets of snowbirds?

For most people in British Columbia, their dogs, cats, parrots and other pets are seen as members of the household. So how much trouble is it for snowbirds to take their beloved pets along on their annual journey south? Planning and organizing the trip could be slightly more complicated when travelling with pets, but help is available when it comes to dealing with the U.S. immigration laws.

Even though the pets are not imported, the different U.S. agencies treat them similarly. These include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, some states have more requirements that could even include quarantine.

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