Crossing the border can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. Whether you’re headed to the United States for business or pleasure, chances are that you don’t want to have you trip end before it starts by being turned away. So how you minimize your chances of having a negative border experience? Border Solutions’ Mark Belanger has a few important tips.
Legalization Means More Complications
As laws surrounding marijuana continue to evolve, the gray area expands. However when it comes to crossing into the United States, things remain fairly black and white. Admission to smoking or otherwise ingesting marijuana is likely to result in being banned from the US altogether. Even though the state that you are heading to may have legalized pot, border officers have the right to turn you away and prohibit you from coming back. The same rules apply for admitting that you plan to use marijuana while in the States even if it’s legal.
Applying For A Second Chance
If you have already been banned and still want or need to gain admission into the country, there are options available. An entry waiver, explains Mark, can allow admission to be granted for a period of one, three, or five years. It is important to note that a waiver requirement is life-long which means that if you need one once, you will always need one.
The Importance Of Honesty
While it may be tempting to omit a few key truths to avoid being stopped, the consequences are not worth it. Even a pardoned offence can appear when border officers run a check and will likely result in a ban. If you intend to conduct business while in the US, be honest. Failing to properly disclose the real purpose of your trip could end with a fraud charge along with a five-year ban.
Proceed With Confidence
Finally, confidence is key. If you’re crossing the border and have no reason to suspect you’ll be stopped, chances are everything will proceed smoothly. Giving border officers a reason to be suspicious can result in unnecessary complications so take the time to understand what is required of you and if you have any questions or concerns, contact a lawyer experienced in cross-border issues before you leave.