Crossing the boarder
I go to montreal from new england about once a month in the summer and fall. The last time I came back into the US the US boarder officer asked the usual questions while looking at my passport but I was shocked to hear him state "i see you visit canada about once a month" which I replied "are you keeping tabs on me" and he said "you don't know the half of it" I am wondering if any of you have had any problems comming or going to canada from US and also why do the keep asking if i have a friend or any relatvies in montreal? Suppose I told them I have a girl friend I visit. Is that a problem?
It is suspicious activity to be visiting regularly. It could mean you are doing some kind of business in Montreal. If legal business you would need proper papers and authorizations to ensure taxes are properly collected on both sides of the border. Or you might be conducting some illegal activity - smuggling drugs, contraband , etc... So yes they do keep tabs on you on both sides of the border everytime you swipe your passport and they log your plate number.
Best reply is to say you've got a friend...but be prepared that they ask for a name.
Veteran of Misadventures
You cannot lose your cool with the border agents if they start asking about regular trips or why you are travelling to Montreal. As long as you are just going up to have a good time and are not engaged in illegal activities, there is nothing to worry about. If you start getting nervous or defensive with the questioning the agents have their first clue that you should be questioned even more aggressively.
I would never tell them that you have a girlfriend in Montreal if you do not. They will pull you over for questioning and ask you her name, address, phone number. If you don't have a girlfriend, they will ask you why you lied to them. And then ask you more questions. If you give them a name and a number, it better be legit. They will call that number to verify you know the person. So never lie.
Well he does have girlfriends, for an hour at a time.
Originally Posted by daydreamer41
Not that folks at the border are known for a sense of humour.
Of course they`re keeping track of comings and goings across the border. That`s what they`re there for, and always has been. This is nothing new in any way.
Originally Posted by edjohnson
Do not tell them you`re visiting someone unless that`s the truth. Don`t lie. Don`t volunteer any information they don`t ask for. Don`t worry unless you`re transporting contraband. Just say you like to visit Montreal, go to restaurants, practice French, look at architecture, whatever.
Have a look at https://merb.cc/vbulletin/showthread...l=1#post506502
I got similar questions and agree with daydreamer on NEVER telling a lie to border agent. Telling one lie is easy, but keeping a lie alive with more lies are extremely difficult.
To get over the questions about frequent trips, I mix some truth with some humor. When asked why I would visit Montreal frequently without obvious family or business tie to it, I reply:
1. Montreal is foreign and exotic enough without me driving on the left side of the road, provides me American amenities such as full size tub instead of standing up showering, and offers some fine food and fun
2. Going to Montreal requires minimum planning, hustle, and cheap. I can plan a weekend trip at the very day I know I can take a day off. No advance flight booking required. I don't have to wait in security lines and subject to airport delays. Hotels could be booked for less than $300 for a 3-day stay. Entire trip logistic costs no more than $500, hotels and transportation. I have control of my time
3. I can get away with speaking English easily in Montreal.
Normally, these are more than sufficient to quiet their curiosity down. And, these are honest facts, and you can say with confidence. When the guard sees nothing is in hiding, they have to let you pass.
Yeah...you guys are right...i take me suggestion back...don't lie with something that can then be questioned further and validated.
But...you should have a believable story...
You can tell them that you like to come here for gambling at the casino because it is closer than driving down to Foxwood or Atlantic City. I often meet americans here in poker rooms who drive up here to gamble. It also justifies why you are travelling alone with no wife or kids.
I usually tell them im there for casino since im asian boy do we love to gamble also my last time I got stopped two miles before the canadian border by the u.s border patrol since I stick out so much because I was driving my cab up there they though I was smuggling something into canada
It probably wasn't a good idea to get defensive with the border agent by saying to him "are you keeping tabs on me". I always try to keep it to simple no or yes answers. I've had some real assholes questioning me when coming back to the states, but it's their job to to try to get you off your game to see if your lying, acting suspicious, or nervous. My last trip back from Montreal the US border agent asked me to clarify that I drove all the way from NYC to see a concert in Montreal I simply told him yes. He then asked in a wise ass disbelief kind of way - so you mean to tell me that you drove all the way from NYC to Montreal to see a concert? I simply told him yes again. Then a few other yes or no questions and he went back to the "you drove all the way" etc., I simply told him yes again. He stared at me for what felt about 10 seconds trying to make me squirm and change my answer. It's what their trained to do. He handed me my license back and I was on my way, I have the enhanced license so I dont need to have a million stamps on my passport. Bottom line is to never lose your cool, never be a wise ass, and keep it to real simple yes or no answers at all times. No reason to make up a story about how you have a girlfriend that you visit. What were you in Canada for? A vacation, business, what ever the case may be. I've done the crossing by myself and have had them ask me in disbelief that I went to Montreal by myself. My answer was simply yes, how much money do you have? 3 thousand dollars, their reply - 3 thousand dollars?????? My answer was simply yes. Always keep it simple, don't answer a question with a question, keep your cool, and don't get nervous or change your answers to their questions.
FYI, the Border guards (both sides) know:
When you crossed (have electronic licence plate readers + scan the passports). Most of their questions are to see if you have actual legitimate reasons to go there and to see if you lie about something. If they think you lie about something or are nervous-pull you in.
They are looking for security issues (criminal activity, drugs, guns) and don't care if you're going to bang your gf there, etc. So telling the truth, that you are going to strip clubs/casino over there will get you through with no problem. If you lie about something, they'll will probably catch you in it.
Visiting a girlfriend regularly a problem?
No unless he is visiting the same girl himself and think he deserves some kind of exclusivity. But I agree, never lie and keep it simple. If you lie and he has a doubt, you're in big trouble.
Originally Posted by edjohnson
Some like it mild, I like it hot