Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced the extension of the travel restrictions and border crossings until May 20. This follows a mutual agreement between the United States and Canada that was reached approximately a month ago. It was decided to closed all border posts for nonessential crossings until April 20, including the one between British Columbia and Washington state. U.S. immigration will allow only essential travel across the border.
British Columbia residents who plan trips across the border are advised to learn all about potential health hazards they might encounter at their destination. The Public Health Agency of Canada monitors the situations of any outbreaks of viruses closely. The agency issues travel health notices if there is any possibility of Canadian travellers being infected in the United States.
Anyone in British Columbia who wants to become a naturalized U.S. citizen will need to be aware of recent changes to the application requirements. U.S. immigration laws have always required applicants to demonstrate moral character. Up until recently, the list of criminal convictions that automatically disqualified an individual was somewhat limited. Applicants were also required not to have been accused of certain criminal charges for the five years preceding the application.
Anyone in British Columbia might have reason to feel apprehensive about going south of the border. Trips to Seattle, which were previously routine, have become nerve-wracking episodes. Although media reports indicate that U.S. immigration is targeting people with ties to Middle Eastern countries, extreme measures have been taken against others without such connections.
Residents of British Columbia who have made use of the opportunity to get pardons for prior criminal convictions might not realize how that could affect their trips across the border. A man from another province recently reported how a pardon led to the U.S. immigration officials barring him from entering the United States. British Columbia citizens could have similar unanticipated problems.
British Columbia residents who want to invest in a business south of the border likely have questions about how to make it happen. One way is to purchase an existing business, and the other is to start one from scratch. Both require investments of time and money. Based on U.S. immigration laws, both options have pros and cons.
A television network reportedly obtained information that shows an increase of 300% in the number of bans handed out at border posts in 2019 compared to 2018. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Seattle field office issued 65 expedited removal orders during August 2019, while only nine Canadians were issued bans during August 2018. U.S. immigration offers no explanation for the significant increase.
People in British Columbia who plan to study in the United States might have questions about the application process and the required documents. Under U.S. immigration laws, Canadians who want to be a part of an exchange program or study at a United States education facility can do so without a visa. However, there are other essential documents to obtain.
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.
People from British Columbia who have made the United States their home will know the importance of always carrying a valid green card. However, making mistakes in the renewal process is common, and it could cause significant problems. Without valid renewals, re-entry into the United States might be problematic. U.S. immigration announced that green cards can now be renewed online, but even that process can be challenging.