US immigration bans cause concern for snowbirds

Every year, thousands of Canadians, including many from British Columbia, lock up their homes and flee to warmer climates south of the border. For many of these snowbirds, they have undertaken this trip for many years. However, the increased number of expedited removals and bans issued by the U.S. immigration officials at the border should be cause for concern.

Snowbirds are advised to make sure they have documented proof to show that they intend to return to Canada within the prescribed period, and have no intentions to remain in the United States. Employment, homeownership and utility bills might be sufficient proof of a plan to return. It is also crucial to be able to show that they own property in the U.S. or have a copy of a rental agreement.

Border agents will also want proof of sufficient funds to finance their stays. Documented evidence of funds could include a U.S. or Canadian bank or investment statement. Having all the relevant documents together in a file might prevent delays at the border. Canadian snowbirds must not carry CBD oil or any cannabis-related products with them when they cross the border.

One way to ensure smooth border crossings might be to consult with a lawyer in British Colombia who is experienced in U.S. immigration proceedings before embarking on the trip south. Legal counsel can explain which documents will be required, and if necessary, assist with gathering them. A lawyer will likely have additional advice and tips on how to avoid being barred from crossing into the United States.

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