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Author Topic: U.S Customs and Border Crossing  (Read 24283 times)

Steve, CDN

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U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« on: August 07, 2005, 10:18:44 AM »
The home page of the U.S. Customs Service provides all necessary information on the requirements for entering the U.S.

Specific questions are answered HERE

Instructions on how to use the U.S. Customs Q&A service† FOUND HERE
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RVMAN

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2005, 08:55:37 AM »
Another helpful link for finding Publication for "Visiting the United Sates". http://www.CBP.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/publications/ † †This publication is in a PDF format which you can download.† †Anyone plaining a trip out of the United States will find a very helpful publication called "KNOW BE FOR YOU GO"† On the same page as "Visiting the United States. The new main page link is : www.CBP.gov† When visiting this link understand you will see a lot of information. So look at the top of the page and you will find TABS. Once you click on a TAB, checkout the RIGHT SIDE of the screen and you will see some of the most helpfull tools of information. :-*

[edit]animation[/edit]
« Last Edit: August 21, 2005, 07:39:01 PM by Steve, CDN »

Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2008, 10:31:36 AM »
RVMAN,

It is very strange that the brochure Know Before You Go claims
Quote
Your Inspection
To keep our borders secure, we must inspect everyone
who arrives at a U.S. port of entry. We pledge to treat
you courteously and professionally. We do not assume
that you have done anything wrongóbecause very
few travelers actually violate the law.
As part of your inspection, you may be asked questions

But in reality it appears that the opposite happens, check out the following web page.

>>CLICK HERE<<


I wish I'd received a dollar every time I'd heard a similar story to that of Keith & Marie, my only question is why?

When this treatment is told to fellow Americans we meet they also cannot understand and ask why?



Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2008, 11:22:49 AM »
Mick,

RVMAN hasn't been here since August, 2005, so he probably won't see your message. But your question is still a good one. Don't look for logic in this issue. Having spent a big part of my career reading, interpreting and implementing the requirements of U.S. government publications, I wouldn't expect to get a clear understanding from those either.

'Courtesy and professionalism' will vary significantly from individual to individual, and likely will vary from day to day with the same individual. Someone might have got out of bed the wrong side, or they might be stressed from a day of dealing with folks trying to sneak past the rules. All you can do is be polite and answer their questions honestly with no superfluous banter.

Personally, I didn't encounter an issue over the years when I used to visit the U.S. as a Brit, returning to the U.S. as a 'resident alien', or returning to the U.S. as a citizen. Heck, I've received my fair share of "welcome back" greetings at U.S. borders. But I've heard/read a few stories like the one you pointed to, including from some forum members.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 11:34:53 AM by Tom »
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Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2008, 11:42:09 AM »
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your reply, if the brochure is to be believed then its possibly a 'power' problem being carried out by some personnel, nothing is done at the time because no one dare complain for fear of being refused entry.

Sweeping these matters under the carpet only reinforces the actions of these BULLIES but who can ask the question directly without fear of being refused entry?
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2008, 11:54:29 AM »
Mick,

That's certainly one interpretation, but don't use the terms 'bully' or 'power trip' while you're waiting for the guy to stamp your I-94  ;D At the end of the day, we're all human and rely on human interactions as we interface with others.

I experienced a wide spectrum of 'border controls' as I travelled around the world for many years. One thing I always reminded myself while standing in line at the airport, sea port, or any other port of entry was "I'm visiting a foreign country with their own laws, culture and customs, many of which I may not understand".
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 12:16:57 PM by Tom »
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Shayne

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2008, 01:36:10 PM »
Heck Tom, I have that problem, every time venture into Ga, SC, and NC.  Even sometimes in Al, Ms, La, and Tx   ;D ;D ;)
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

GEJim

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 05:23:37 AM »
I was born and raised a US citizen. My wife is Canadian. I spent 21 years in the Air Force and 24 years with GE Aircraft Engines so we have lived all over the world in our 42 years of marrage. We have been treated badly and nicely in many countries.
The US customs are the worst when it comes to intimidation. These people are low wage, low educated people who have been given a job with unlimited power and it goes to their heads. They get to wield power over all the tycoons, CEO's, and anyone else. But I have found if you keep your cool and have the proper paperwork, you will be admitted into the country. 

Steve, CDN

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 05:11:45 PM »
Quote
But I have found if you keep your cool and have the proper paperwork, you will be admitted into the country

This has been my experience in crossing our borders regularly for forty years.

Keep a smile on your face, with "love in your heart" and remove those sun glasses so they can make eye contact.
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The Limey

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2008, 08:22:15 PM »
I been to America 4 times and never had any problems before however after getting lost I did ask a policeman the way back to our hotel ( He was sitting in his car at the time ) he told me he was on his break and shut the window.


Paul

macmac

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2008, 09:43:45 AM »
I was born and raised a US citizen. My wife is Canadian. I spent 21 years in the Air Force and 24 years with GE Aircraft Engines so we have lived all over the world in our 42 years of marrage. We have been treated badly and nicely in many countries.
The US customs are the worst when it comes to intimidation. These people are low wage, low educated people who have been given a job with unlimited power and it goes to their heads. They get to wield power over all the tycoons, CEO's, and anyone else. But I have found if you keep your cool and have the proper paperwork, you will be admitted into the country. 



"But I have found if you keep your cool and have the proper paperwork, you will be admitted into the country."   Let me give you another take on this sentence - I'm not bitching, just remarking. :D  I'm Keith, my wife's Marie, you may have heard of us from elsewhere in this thread.

Last summer we flew through Philadelphia en route to AZ to collect our rig.  We'd had a few problems on other occasions elsewhere so we went as prepared as we could with appropriate documentation to show that we could support ourselves when in the USA.  We also had documents to show that we owned property in the UK thinking that would indicate we had 'compelling reasons to return to our homeland' (or however the official jargon put it).  Put simply we wanted to demonstrate that we understood the rules and had no intentions of staying illegally. 

To make things easy, Marie went to the immigration desk while I stayed behind 'the line' to wait my turn.  After a short while I could tell she was having a bad time.  Eventually my turn came and I was told that although we had come prepared with documentation (quote) "she was far too well prepared" and next time we might be refused entry.  But we got our I-94s and staggered away from the desk.   

Shaken and upset, but relieved we were in the USA, we comforted one another.  What sticks in our minds - and particularly in Marie's craw - was the terse accusation by the official that Marie "was far too well prepared" 

What does one do for the best?  We decided that in future we'd keep any documentation with us but not in sight.  So far, so good. ;)

It's not changed our love for the USA and almost without exception we've found its citizens are open, friendly and welcoming.   But oh what a shame the system and its servants treat honest, law-abiding folks like ourselves as if we're not....

Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2008, 10:21:07 AM »
macmac,

We are currently back in the UK to make an 'emergency' visit for hospital appointment and birth of first grand daughter, our RV & car are in a compound just out side Toronto,Canada, we fly back a week to-day (16th Sept)and hope to return back into the USA a week later.

During our flight from Toronto to Manchester we spoke to a cabin crew member who lived  local to our UK address, I asked if they had any white I-94's on board the plane, she checked and said no but offered to send us a couple. I gave her our UK address, that was five weeks ago and still nothing. :(

Now we booked a return flight via Canadian Affair but the flight is with Thomas Cook.

I called BOTH companies to see if they could send me a couple I-94's but it just ended up with each company saying I need to contact the other >:(

I even tried the London American Embassy only to be told via an automated system that ANY visa enquiry calls would be charged at £1.60 per/min  :o :o

Now you can download most American Visa forms that is except for the I-94???

I just think it would be nice and less stressful to arrive at the border with both forms already complete which is what you do when you fly into the USA.

Anybody else suggest where I may get the forms from?

Oh and macmac I support your final paragraph 100%

Ta Mick
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

BruceinFL

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2008, 10:27:19 AM »
The US government's philosophy is that its citizens are stupid and like little children. So they resent it when someone appears to be intelligent and have their stuff together.   ;)

Bruce A.
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Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2008, 10:39:17 AM »
Mick,

Here's a downloadable image of I-94. My concern would be that it wouldn't print the "right" size, and therefore might not be accepted, although I assume you could resize it before printing. I have no way of knowing if this is even the latest version, but it didn't take a lot of finding using Google.

Edit:The US Customs and Immigration Service site says that any US embassy will have them. So cough up the three quid for a couple of minutes on the phone.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 10:53:08 AM by Tom »
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macmac

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2008, 10:43:30 AM »
Mick,

Here's a downloadable image of I-94. My concern would be that it wouldn't print the "right" size, and therefore might not be accepted. I have no way of knowing if this is even the latest version, but it didn't take a lot of finding using Google.

Another problem, Tom, might be that all the cardboard I-94s carry serial numbers - top and bottoms match and that's how your entry/exit is matched I think.  There's no other info which would allow monitoring whether you're in or out of the country.

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 10:55:27 AM »
Good catch Keith, I'd forgotten about the serial numbers. The form I linked to also has the "old" Immigration and Naturalization Service title; That agency is now defunct. I figured that, if I could find it that quickly, Mick might be able to find a "real" one, given more time.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 11:21:47 AM by Tom »
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macmac

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2008, 10:56:15 AM »
macmac,

We are currently back in the UK to make an 'emergency' visit for hospital appointment and birth of first grand daughter, our RV & car are in a compound just out side Toronto,Canada, we fly back a week to-day (16th Sept)and hope to return back into the USA a week later.

During our flight from Toronto to Manchester we spoke to a cabin crew member who lived  local to our UK address, I asked if they had any white I-94's on board the plane, she checked and said no but offered to send us a couple. I gave her our UK address, that was five weeks ago and still nothing. :(

Now we booked a return flight via Canadian Affair but the flight is with Thomas Cook.

I called BOTH companies to see if they could send me a couple I-94's but it just ended up with each company saying I need to contact the other >:(

I even tried the London American Embassy only to be told via an automated system that ANY visa enquiry calls would be charged at £1.60 per/min  :o :o

Now you can download most American Visa forms that is except for the I-94???

I just think it would be nice and less stressful to arrive at the border with both forms already complete which is what you do when you fly into the USA.

Anybody else suggest where I may get the forms from?

Oh and macmac I support your final paragraph 100%

Ta Mick

I understand why you'd like to have your I-94s completed Mick. 

One of the times we flew out of Manchester the security guy handed us a wodge of 'em when we told him we'd be doing trips into the future but we never bothered using them and they're in the safe in our trailer in AZ now - sorry, can't help you.  I think you'll only ever be able to get 'em from an airport on departure or inflight.

Incidentally, when our last (third) extension application was denied, all our documentation - including the expiring I-94s we wanted to extend - were retained.  That meant we couldn't hand in the expiring 'bottom' at our departure airport.  Its serial number would have matched the 'top' or more accurately the approved renewal application's serial number, so our eventual departure - before the I-94s expired - probably wasn't ever logged. 

And that caused problems the next time we entered the country....oh boy, did that cause problems! 


Keith
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 11:00:46 AM by macmac »

Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2008, 11:06:26 AM »
Mick,
Edit:The US Customs and Immigration Service site says that any US embassy will have them. So cough up the three quid for a couple of minutes on the phone.


Tom,

If only it were that simple, when you call the Embassy and use the premium rate line they drag it our for all its worth, eg, Q." What is your first name?"

Rely," Michael"

Q. "Is that Michael, Mike for M, India for I,Charlie for C,Hotel for H,Alpha for A,Echo for E and Lima for L?"

I also typed in I-94 into google both to check out the images and search locations from where one an be obtained.......negatory :(
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 11:08:14 AM by Mick & Pat »
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

macmac

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2008, 11:17:02 AM »
Perhaps it's not surprising that I-94s are not usually available other than to would-be entrants at, or just before, they present themselves for scrutiny? 

Particularly so because they all have to be identifiable.  If downloaded, there would need to be software capable of providing an appropriate serial number but even then the finished document would need to be machine processable (is that a real word?)  Paper surely wouldn't be firm enough?

Good luck with the embassy route...


Keith

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2008, 11:25:05 AM »
Mick,

The USCIS web site says the forms can be mailed, and they have a screen you fill in. However, they'll only mail them to to a US mailing address. Do you have any buddies over here who could receive them and forward them to you?
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Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2008, 11:47:01 AM »
Tom,

Thanks for trying and sending that 'link' but the I-94 doesn't appear to on the drop down list and I have checked several time to save my  :-[
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2008, 12:05:31 PM »
Sorry Mick, I should have checked the list. You could try sending them an email and letting them know why you'd like to get a couple of I-94's by mail.
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Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2008, 12:17:46 PM »
Tom,

In view of the limited time before our return flight I think we will travel to Manchester Airport even earlier than is required and ask at some of the airline desks who travel to the US if they could give me a couple.  :)

Thanks for trying and fingers crossed for a problem free border crossing.
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2008, 12:31:35 PM »
Worst case Mick, you complete the forms at the border.
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Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2008, 12:42:19 PM »
Mick,

I just tried calling the "local" San Francisco office to see if there was a way for you to download the form, but they don't publish a phone number. Looks like you have to visit in person. Since they're 100 miles from here, I'm afraid I won't be visiting in person  :(
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Mick & Pat

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2008, 02:03:11 PM »
Tom,
Thank you for your efforts, I shall try telephoning Manchester Airport and 'hope' that the person I speak to can direct me to one of the airlines who carry the forums, as Canadian Affair operate flights only to Canada they have no reason to carry I-94's, I just hoped that as we were flying via them that they would have made a 'little' effort and got off their backsides to put me in touch or arrange a 'contact' to send me a couple.

The trouble is nowadays finding that 'someone' who is prepared to do that little something which is beyond their 'REMIT'
Regards Mick & Pat Podmore.

UK couple who toured USA / Canada. Oct 2007 - Aug 2009

2005 Fleetwood Discovery 39S,Cat C7, Freightliner XC Chassis  2008 Jeep Liberty Ltd 3.7 .

Roy and Claudia

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Interedting tidbit about expiring passports
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2011, 12:50:42 PM »
We live in a border town and were fretting over the fact that we need to renew our passports. Problem is - they TAKE your passport away while they are creating a new one - usually a ten day to two week process. Hence we THOUGHT we'd be unable to cross the border for a couple of weeks while we waited. We discovered that the US Border service here will take a photocopy of your passport, stamp it "officially a true copy" and let you use that photocopy to enter the US without your actual passport. The Canadian Border services stamp it also, so you can use it to get back into the country. We discovered this through friends; when I asked the official passport office - they said that NOTHING like that existed. Go figure. We can only use it at our two local crossings but at least it allows us to go back and forth for gas and groceries. Not sure if this is true of other border crossings but might be worth looking into for other Canadian border town residents.
Hi from Osoyoos, BC, Canada' only desert.
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hanerykroze

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2016, 07:00:28 AM »
Thank you for the links.. useful information....
PROJECT MANAGEMENT NORTH TEXAS

macmac

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2016, 08:40:20 AM »
Most travelers will likely know this anyway but the I-94 form has been obsolete for a few years now, replaced by electronic pre-registering of one's identity and status.  Entering and leaving are recorded totally electronically.

Tom

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Re: U.S Customs and Border Crossing
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2016, 08:56:09 AM »
Quote
the I-94 form has been obsolete for a few years now,

Correct, but one thing that I'm not up to date on (since I haven't taken an international flight in 5 years) ...

In the paper I-94 days, the airlines removed the stapled I-94 form from your passport as you checked in for your departing flight. They were also responsible for forwarding the form to the then-INS. But the traveller didn't go through the equivalent of 'Passport Control' that you have at UK airports. So, the question is ...

who enters the electronic record of departure from the USA? Is this done by the airline check-in clerk, or have they implemented a form of Passport Control for departing international passengers?

I read something about the electronic records in my earlier research for other topics, but I don't recall seeing the answer to this question.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 06:12:31 PM by Tom »
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