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Thread: Crossing into Quebec from US

  1. #1

    Crossing into Quebec from US

    Well I am sitting here waiting for service on my car. You know what they say about idile hands or minds. So here are my observations concerning customs agents.
    Coming into the US my experience is that I found the agents consistant, professional and fair. Sure I have been pulled over for checks and vehicle search but always with respect and fair. What is apperent is the training and professionalism.
    I have similar experiences going into other countries, Europe, etc. The few times crossing into Ontario from Niagra Falls a few years ago where similar.
    However, my experiences crossing into Quebec has been another matter. The quality apparent training of the customs agents has been very inconsistant. From a casual don't care attitude to agents that seem to be on a misson to harass every single male crossing into Quebec. I have been harassed, treated with no respect and made to feel as if I was a criminal but some of these agents. Interestingly the ones most likely to harass me have been. Middle age to older women agents. What's been very clear is the lack of proffesionalism possibly indicating poor training screening of agents.
    Montreal is a fatastic city offering some of the finest dinning and entertainment of any North American city. I have enjoyed this city the people, history. Any othe activities have just been a pluss to a city I would be going to even without the other activities.
    However what ruins it is some of the unproffessional , poorly trained, unconsionable attitude of some of the agents I have had to deal with. This has happened all too often and has put me off from going up.
    I have filed complaints and even looked into getting a lawyer in one particular case. But what I don't understand is how some of these agents can keep their jobs.
    Anyway my thoughts and experience.
    Note that I am a professional engineer and dress the part so there has been no reason to target me other than I was a male traveling alone.

  2. #2

    Citizenship

    Quote Originally Posted by mass1965 View Post
    Well I am sitting here waiting for service on my car.

    ...

    Note that I am a professional engineer and dress the part so there has been no reason to target me other than I was a male traveling alone.
    Citizenship is the main issue. Returning to the USA or Canada or most countries for that matter as a citizen of the country you have full constitutional rights. Entering or leaving a country as a foreign national you have very few rights.

    Basically the immigration agents and custom agents (two different branches) have updated profiles or info about possible problem visitors. If you happen to fit then they will give you additional attention. Just as you have developed a profile of the type of agents that give you a hard time, agents have developed their own profiles of the type of visitor that is suspicious. Cuts both ways.

    >>> EDITED BY MOD 11: Quotation cut-off. No need to entirely quote a long post that happen to be right above. It only add clutter. <<<
    Last edited by Mod 11; 02-23-2010 at 11:19 PM.
    LISA'S FRIEND

  3. #3
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    I agree with mass1965. There seems to be a lack of consistency from the agents when crossing the border, especially via car. I have found them to be much more consistent when flying. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that they already have had my info long before I got there and have already checked me out.

  4. #4
    Hello All,

    Do you think the direction of travel and the country of citizenship is relevant?
    Here is why I ask...I am a US citizen. I have often said that I feel much more scrutinized coming back into the US from Canada then I ever do going into Canada from the US. There is only 1 exception to this in over 20 round trips.
    Just curious if others experienced the same thing.

    Jman


    PS As I try to recall I do not believe I have ever had a female customs agent question me going either way...hmmm
    Enjoy life my friends....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jman47 View Post
    Hello All,

    Do you think the direction of travel and the country of citizenship is relevant?
    Here is why I ask...I am a US citizen. I have often said that I feel much more scrutinized coming back into the US from Canada then I ever do going into Canada from the US. There is only 1 exception to this in over 20 round trips.
    Just curious if others experienced the same thing.

    Jman


    PS As I try to recall I do not believe I have ever had a female customs agent question me going either way...hmmm
    I have never seen a female US Border agent, but I have seen female Canada border agents. Usually, they ask the normal where, what and why about your trip, where you are staying, do you have reservations, and the important how long. I have never had a female border agent ask more than that. I have had one male border agent going into Quebec ask me additional questions.

    For mass1965, I suppose if you cross in the winter, they will have a longer period to ask you more questions. The line is much shorter and they do not have to limit their questions to 3 minutes. So they may do more screening. It is just a guess. I know when I cross in the Spring or Summer, the questioning period is not long.

    I know that if you are unsure about your length of stay, they will flag you and inspect your car and question you in detail about your stay, etc. They do not want people to overstay for a extended length of time. I think you are required to get a tourist Visa if you are going to stay 6 months. Also, they are also screening for fugitives or smugglers.

    I was stopped once for being vague about my length of stay. After checking me out, the border agent inside told me the reason they stopped me and asked me to go inside. I was told that I was unclear in my answer of how long I was staying. From that point on, I have my reservations print out in hand and answer exactly how long I plan to stay. FYI, They let me into Quebec, but they gave me a slip of paper that I was required to give the US Border Patrol when I left Quebec and re-entered the US. It was for 1 week. If I overstayed, they told me that I would be listed as wanted for illegally being in Canada. My trip that time was 4 days and I handed the slip to the US Border patrol and the US Border patrol asked no questions after I showed them my Passport and driver's license.
    Last edited by daydreamer41; 02-23-2010 at 11:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Another thing to be aware of as an American tourist:

    If you take the metro, STM is double checking people to see if they paid the fare.

    So don't throw your ticket away after you cross the turnstile, like a lot of people do.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jman47 View Post
    Hello All,

    Do you think the direction of travel and the country of citizenship is relevant?
    Here is why I ask...I am a US citizen. I have often said that I feel much more scrutinized coming back into the US from Canada then I ever do going into Canada from the US. There is only 1 exception to this in over 20 round trips.
    Just curious if others experienced the same thing.

    Jman
    Man you got that right. Crossing from New Brunswick into the tip of Maine I have to get out of my car and sit inside until they search it. I cant be in the vicinity to watch them search and i cant go to the bathroom until they are finished. I have say every other time I cross back into the US they do this. I took my friend with a Nexus card and they said this doesn't matter here. Very strange. I find the rude, most overzealous guards on the US side. Also, I was coming back from China and there was a sign saying no cell phones while going through customs...We past through the initial counter and interview and now we are waiting for out luggage, A US taxpayer in front of me waiting for his luggage forgot and pulled out his phone, A customs officer said "What is it that you dont understand about the no cell phones?" He was Very rude and then kept walking. True asshole.

  8. #8
    Mass1965, I have had the opposite experience. I am a U.S. citizen, and I never have a problem entering Canada. I cross into Quebec about once a month, and I have also crossed into British Columbia and Alberta a bunch of times while on holiday recently. I find the Canadian officers to be polite and professional. My usual interaction with them is all of 30 seconds. They really represent their country well. The American officers, on the other hand, hassle me most of the time, questioning me and the answers that I give them like I’m some kind of criminal. I don't get it.

    Out of my last five crossings into the United States, I have been searched 3 times. My worst experience to date was entering at Port Angeles, Washington, from Victoria, B.C. The officer oddly asked me if I had met anyone in Victoria. Naturally, I lied and said no. What business was it of hers? Victoria is as much fun as Montreal. Of course, I met someone. Duh! The officer made me pull to the side, where I had to wait 15 minutes for a car search team. I then had to exit my vehicle while they searched through all of my bags. All the while, car loads of elderly couples off-loaded the ferry looking at me like I was America's Most Wanted. WTF? If I fit the profile, then they need a new fucking profile.

    I think one of the reasons there always seems to be a longer line to get into the U.S. than there is to get into Canada is that the American officers like to break people’s balls more.

  9. #9
    I live in the US and cross back and forth often....I do find coming back into the US a real pain in the ass. I have found though if you cross through the smaller borders like Trout River it's less of a hassle than Champlain or Cornwall. Although I did have my car ripped apart at Chatuegay because these 2 new guys wanted to earn their stripes and almost made me miss my flight. If your looking for female border agents on both US and Can side - cornwall has some hotties.
    "Heaven is just a sin away"

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mass1965 View Post
    Interestingly the ones most likely to harass me have been. Middle age to older women agents. What's been very clear is the lack of proffesionalism possibly indicating poor training screening of agents.
    That's exactly my experience too. The men, many times, were given me smug grins. The older women... they wanted to hang up ass up on a pole.

    No, it is NOT 'poor traning screening of agents'.

  11. #11
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    hornypilgrim,

    When was this? Recently? A year ago? Each time the last few years?

    My experiences have been varied. To the normal where? why? what you did? do you know anyone? to somewhat hostile.

    I have always traveled alone.

  12. #12
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    When I came to the border this past Thursday, there were about a dozen US Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents lined up before the border. There were barriers blocking off accesss to the Canada Border Patrol stop. They asked for ID and Passport, and they drilled me as to reason for me going to Canada. I have never seen US agents stopping cars before this close to the border. Usually, they are 30 or 40 miles South of the border checking cars going South.

    My only thought was they were checking for known fugitives heading to Canada? Has anyone experienced something like this before.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by daydreamer41 View Post
    When I came to the border this past Thursday, there were about a dozen US Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents lined up before the border. There were barriers blocking off accesss to the Canada Border Patrol stop. They asked for ID and Passport, and they drilled me as to reason for me going to Canada. I have never seen US agents stopping cars before this close to the border. Usually, they are 30 or 40 miles South of the border checking cars going South.

    My only thought was they were checking for known fugitives heading to Canada? Has anyone experienced something like this before.
    Daydreamer, I have experienced that once before where the ICE set up a mandatory stop on I-89 in Vermont but a good way south of the border. They were definitely looking for a fugitive who came into the USA from Canada in my case, and another heading to Canada in yours.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 10-02-2010 at 04:10 AM.

  14. #14
    My only thought was they were checking for known fugitives heading to Canada? Has anyone experienced something like this before.
    They can set-up random checkpoints within 100 miles of the U.S. border. I've never heard of them setting one up that close to the border for traffic heading into Canada. I've encountered them on I-87 (southbound) in the vicinity of the Adirondack welcome center and I-91 (southbound) near White River Junction - both good distances from the border. I think next time I encounter them, I'm just going to start speaking German for shits and giggles. You think the guys who man the stations at the border would be a bit miffed that the Border Patrol is double-checking their work, like they don't know how to screen people. In my opinion, if they have that many spare agents to allow them to set-up checkpoints far from the border, then they should be sent further south to secure the U.S./Mexico border, rather than hassling this gringo after I already got the third degree at the border station.

    ICE set up a mandatory stop on I-89
    Anyone who encounters one of these roadblocks in Vermont should keep his eyes open for a really hot, tall, blonde Border Patrol (not customs) officer. I think she works out of Newport. We're talking Nordic-looking blonde, not your typical generic-looking variety. Made me seriously contemplate an unauthorized crossing, just so she'd touch me, push me around, and take me to the ground for handcuffing. That's about the only way I'd ever get her on top of me. Definitely not your stereotypical female cop, as far as looks go (personality is another story). One of the best-looking women I've seen in Vermont.

  15. #15
    Thats not really saying much. Vermont has what, a population of like 100 people?

    saw this past week when going into the states, the us border patrol had 4 suv's blocking all lanes entrance into Canada about 100 yards before Canadian Customs.. about 2 in the morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeolus View Post

    One of the best-looking women I've seen in Vermont.

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