Residents of British Columbia who want to work in the United States as nonimmigrants need H-1B visas, a U.S. immigration category that enables companies in the United States to recruit workers from other countries. Petitions must be specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Unfortunately, the selections are capped, and many petitioners are unsuccessful each year. Notice of failed applications can take weeks to reach petitioners due to the large number of requests.
Although cannabis was legalized in Canada last year, the government has issued repeated warnings against carrying any form of the drug when crossing the border into the United States. The recent actions of U.S. immigration agents against people carrying cannabidiol has led to lifetime bans. The subsequent reversal of one such ban has caused much confusion about the issue.
Everyone who has ever been in love will know that Cupid will not be stopped, and love arrows are sometimes shot when least expected. If someone from British Columbia happens to fall in love with a U.S. citizen while on a trip south of the border, he or she might feel tempted to get married and not return to Canada. However, U.S. immigration laws require Canadians to return to their country within six months.
The federal government of Canada announced that people with prior cannabis possession convictions will be allowed to apply for pardons. Following these recent changes to federal laws, people across Canada, including British Columbia, might be able to have simple marijuana possession convictions pardoned. That might make travelling across the border easier. Since recreational use of cannabis became legal across Canada, U.S. immigration officials have refused entry into the United States for people whose criminal records included marijuana convictions.
People in British Columbia who are saving to get funds together to obtain a golden visa might have to reconsider their plans. Since 1993, U.S. immigration required an investment of $500,000 for an EB-5 visa. This would then grant the person a conditional green card that is valid for two years. A new rule, which will take effect on Nov. 1, 2019, was recently published to show the new minimum investment will increase to $900,000.
Anyone in British Columbia who is also a holder of a green card might have questions about becoming a United States citizen. Under U.S. immigration laws, applicants must meet specific requirements before they could qualify for citizenship. The first is the applicant's age. He or she must be 18 or older, except if the person is a military member.
Tens of thousands of commercial vehicle drivers haul cargo across the border to and from the United States. Working on tight schedules and having to meet deadlines can be challenging if valuable time is wasted during each border crossing. Fortunately, an agreement between U.S. Immigration and the government of Canada seeks to simplify that process.
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.
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.
For many Vancouver residents, trips to Seattle or other destinations in the United States are frequent occurrences. Although they might not see it as international travel, that is what it is because they cross an international border. For that reason, travellers have to comply with U.S. immigration laws when they leave Canada, and upon their return to British Columbia, the Canada Border Services Agency has a separate set of requirements.