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How to keep US Immigration officers happy at a border crossing

When British Columbia residents plan to travel across the border, it is a good idea to be prepared. U.S. Immigration officials can ask as many questions as they like, and there are ways to avoid unnecessary delays. Advisers say the first step is to have the correct documentation ready for presentation to the customs and border protection officers.

Telling the truth and answering questions truthfully is crucial. Being caught in a lie can be detrimental to future travels because records are kept of each person’s border crossings. Furthermore, criminal convictions, pending criminal trials and warrants must be declared and could affect permission to cross into the United States.

Another tip is to be courteous during communications with officials. Political comments or any sarcasm aimed at officials, their superiors or their country can jeopardize permission to cross the border, and it might lead to an extended period in the company of law enforcement. Answering only the questions they ask and offering no additional information or small talk might be the best idea. Those who cross by car must keep in mind that any problems customs officers find with passengers will reflect on the driver’s border crossing record.

Anyone who plans to travel from British Columbia to the United States can seek the support and guidance of a lawyer who is experienced in all matters related to U.S. immigration. A lawyer can assist with obtaining the applicable visas and make sure all other required documentation is in place. Skilled assistance might make the border crossing as smooth, efficient and cost-effective as possible.