US immigration: How can a FAST card help commercial truckers?

Freight worth billions of dollars is transported between Canada and the United States each year. A significant percentage of the cargo is transported by road on commercial trucks. Truck drivers who travel from British Columbia to deliver or pick up loads might have questions about the frequent border crossings and the U.S. immigration laws that might affect or even benefit them.

British Columbia truckers who obtain a FAST North card can save time and money when they cross the border into Washington State -- in both directions. Holding a FAST card will ensure quick processing of the cargo at the border crossing. To be eligible for such a pass, the entire supply chain with which the driver deals must be members of the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

The partnership members will be subject to special security measures because these companies and shippers are regarded as low-risk businesses. Commercial truck drivers can obtain FAST cards at the time of their initial training, or they can apply for passes at a later stage. Drivers who are permanent residents with Canadian citizenship might also be eligible for the Commercial Driver Registration Program, which also has advantages at the border.

Truck operators in British Columbia can learn about more programs that will benefit their border crossings by consulting with an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer. A lawyer can also assist with obtaining the necessary documentation for easy border crossings. He or she can also make sure the client knows what to declare during border crossings and which items are restricted, prohibited or controlled.

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