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.
For this reason, Canadians are urged to be cautious when they interact with United States officials at border crossings. Using cautions when making admissions during questioning might be a good idea to avoid being barred from entering the United States for many years. U.S. border agents have the power to issue such bans as they see fit.
British Columbia residents may find it beneficial to take their questions about travels south of the border and border crossings to a lawyer with experience in dealing with U.S. immigration laws. Legal counsel can assist with the gathering of the necessary documents and prepare the client for the border crossing process. A lawyer can also make sure the client knows how to deal with sensitive matters during questioning by U.S. border enforcement agents.