Every year, thousands of people from British Columbia and other provinces and territories leave Canada to spend the winter in the United States. When summer arrives, these snowbirds head home, and regardless of how many times they have crossed the border, it does not get easier. A director of the Canadian Snowbird Association recently spoke at a meeting where she advised on U.S. immigration laws that affect border-crossing snowbirds.
A lot of attention is typically paid to the hazards of driving during the winter months, but many motorists forget about the risks of summer driving. Warm weather days in British Columbia could be lazy, and they tend to cause complacency in some drivers. If accidents happen while Vancouver residents are on trips to Seattle, the navigation of legal and insurance issues after cross-border personal injury could be complicated.
British Columbia passport holders do not need visas to cross the border when they visit the United States. However, those with permanent resident status must apply for non-immigrant visas for such visits. It is essential to stay up to date with changing U.S. immigration laws so as to avoid being caught unawares and have unanticipated problems when crossing the border.
Truckers who haul cargo between Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, and the U.S. are vulnerable if they are unfamiliar with the laws applicable to big rigs south of the border. The Hours of Service rules in the United States differ from the Canadian standards, and noncompliance can interfere with their trips. Along with citations and fines, they also risk crashing, which may result in them having to deal with cross-border personal injury claims.