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Help! Denied entry into the US

#1 loveacanuck

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 01:43 PM

I have been reading the posts on this website for days now and have learned I am not alone. I will try to keep my story short...My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years. I am American, he is Canadian. We have been living together abroad in Central America for most of that time no problems. We recently left Central America. We flew to the States first for about 6 weeks, then drove to Ontario for about 3 months, returned to my home in the states in September. Our intentions were to stay in the States through Thanksgiving and drive back to Ontario for Christmas. Meantime, his mom became ill and hospitalized, so he flew 2 weeks ago up by himself to see her. He was due to return the day before thanksgiving. The US border patrol denied him entry, wanting him to prove "ties" to Canada. Here lies the problem. When we are in Ontario, we stay with his parents. So no lease. We sold our business in Central America in July, and now work online for ourselves (seperatley) The lease is in his parent's name and all utilites are included, so no bills. He has a canadian bank account with a decent balance, but it is new and does not have a lot of transactions as we have not been in Canada using it. No employer to write a letter either. his entire family lives within a few blocks from each other, these are the only "ties" he has been able to establish in the short time being back. Is the bank statement and family ties along with his driver's license that has his Canadian Address enough? We have not started out K-1 yet, and are unsure if this should be done in the states or Canada. we cannot stand being separated, and just want to try to resolve this issue before Christmas (good luck, right?) We are afraid to send him back to the airport as they are scary there and told him if he didn't satisfy their demands, he could never travel to the States again. The nightmare that lasted 12 hours in the immigration office is another story entirely. He even got pushed into a wall by the supervisor and left with bruises (he is a VERY quiet, passive individual, so I believe him when he says he was cooperating and not causing any problems). we are not trying to live together in the States, but we are blessed with our recent sell of a business and internet income, that we can travel back and forth regularly to be together.
Any suggestions aside from moving back to Central America or help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading my novel.
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#2 trailmix

trailmix

    Canadian



Posted 28 November 2009 - 02:33 PM

Hi and welcome to VJ,

No, you are not alone, many people here have been denied entry at the border.

First of all, i'm sorry your boyfriend had such a horrible experience at the border! I hope you are going to file a complaint - information on that can be found here

But back to the matter at hand.

As you mentioned you 'are not trying to live together in the States' and you have the free time and means to travel back and forth frequently between the two countries - however - unfortunately, just because you want to does not mean that it is possible.

You mention his ties to Canada - basically he has none. That is what they are asking for and unless he can come up with some, I would venture to say he is not going to be coming to visit you until he either has that or until you two have completed the visa process.

Canadian's are allowed to visit the U.S. for 6 month periods, i'm sure you are already aware, however, the U.S. government does not want Canadians (or anyone else) to 'reside' in the U.S. without the proper visa. From what you have said, he has spent at least 3 of the last 6 months in the U.S., that is why they were suspicious.

Bank account, driver's license, none of these things is going to prove his Canadian residency. They mean 'strong' ties. You have obviously been reading here - as you are aware of things like an employer letter - that's the kind of thing they want - things that say 'hey, I have to return to Canada' - nothing you have mentioned says that. Plus, since he has now been denied for lack of ties, as I am sure you are already aware - they are going to expect extra proof from him.

Anyway, you have a few options that I see:

- You can have your boyfriend get those ties to Canada. If he needs to work part time at Tim Horton's - rent his own apartment, get a phone and internet and health care etc etc to do that - well that's one option.

- Another option is for him to stay in Canada until you get a K1 visa with you visiting him.

Good luck!


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#3 Hugglebuggles

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 03:21 PM

Hi loveacanuck (cute name!)

Unfortunately trailmix is right. 'Strong' ties to Canada would include a letter from an employer, prof of enrollment in an educational institution, a mortgage or lease or something other than the above mentioned documents that would show a compelling need to return to Canada. Unless your boyfriend is able to produce this type of evidence there is a very strong possibility he will be denied entry once again. And, as you probably know, now that he has been denied once, there will likely be a note or 'flag' on his file making crossing again much more difficult then he has experienced in the past. Unfortunately cross border relationships are met with a number of complications that cause separations, sometimes for a very long period of time. If you are looking for some support or Canadian specific information, I would suggest visiting the Canada regional forum. There are a number of people who have been through very similar situations with their SO's. The good news is that being denied entry will not effect future visa applications.
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ROC

9/14/11- Sent to CSC
9/19/11- NOA1
10/20/11- Biometrics
3/2/12- Approved

#4 loveacanuck

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 05:40 PM

That is what I was afraid of. This is such a hopeless feeling. Our mistake I guess, we looked up all the travel information and thought as long has we had passports, ids, addresses and didn't stay more than 6 months, we were golden. So not the case. Two more questions guys, (1) if we move back to central america which is what I think we are going to do as we never had any problems there, will the Border refuse him entry to make a connecting flight? Unfortunately, almost all affordable flights from Canada south have a layover in the States.and
(2) if I go up to Canada and stay the 6 months, can I come back to the states and go right back up in a few days? I think I have "strong ties" to the US since I own property, or is Canada the same way? I guess we got used to the easy "whatever goes" lifestyle of the Carribbean.

And yes, I am using that link to file a complaint, but am afraid it will somehow make things worse for us. All we wanted was to file our papers, be legal and happy, get a green card and a respectable job.
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#5 canadian_wife

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 05:52 PM

From personal experience, getting denied entry STINKS!! It makes it extra difficult the next time he tries to enter. I STILL get asked about my denial of entries even though I have my green card.

Being separated stinks but sadly, with his denial of entry, it will be increasingly difficult for him to enter into the US (even in a connecting flight if he has to pass through US customs). Are you SURE it was just a denial of entry? Not an expedited removal? Was anything written in his passport?

Canada also wants to make sure you spend more time in your home country than in Canada so 6 months in Canada, then a few weeks in the US, probably won't get you readmitted into Canada.

If a green card is your ultimate goal, I suggest you file the K-1 as soon as possible and have your boyfriend establish those 'strong ties' to Canada trailmix mentioned before he tries to visit again (anything else will likely result in another denial)

Good luck.
  • 0
USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

#6 kizza

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (loveacanuck @ Nov 28 2009, 06:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That is what I was afraid of. This is such a hopeless feeling. Our mistake I guess, we looked up all the travel information and thought as long has we had passports, ids, addresses and didn't stay more than 6 months, we were golden. So not the case. Two more questions guys, (1) if we move back to central america which is what I think we are going to do as we never had any problems there, will the Border refuse him entry to make a connecting flight? Unfortunately, almost all affordable flights from Canada south have a layover in the States.and
(2) if I go up to Canada and stay the 6 months, can I come back to the states and go right back up in a few days? I think I have "strong ties" to the US since I own property, or is Canada the same way? I guess we got used to the easy "whatever goes" lifestyle of the Carribbean.

And yes, I am using that link to file a complaint, but am afraid it will somehow make things worse for us. All we wanted was to file our papers, be legal and happy, get a green card and a respectable job.



My sympathies... I too was refused entry and made to feel like a criminal. Not thrown against a wall, though, thank goodness. But it really does STINK! and it does make you feel powerless.

From what I was told, by a friendly and helpful custom's officer who looked into my case afterwards (not being sarcastic; they aren't all a-holes on powertrips wink.gif), even a connecting flight is out of the question.

BTW, since Im sure other Canadians who have been denied entry will read this, are they allowed to photocopy all the contents of your wallet? Whenever I tell people they did, everybody is appalled.

Edited by kizza, 28 November 2009 - 06:06 PM.

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#7 Hugglebuggles

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 06:25 PM

Try not to beat yourself up about it loveacanuck, it can easily happen to any one of us. My husband and I dated and traveled between Canada and the US for 3 years before we decided to file for the K-1 and I found VJ. During that time I was completely unaware of the visa process and the possibilities of being denied entry. So like you and your husband, I would just travel with my tickets and passport, completely unaware of the real possibility I could be denied or even incur a ban if they believed I was attempting to take up residence. Fortunately I was very lucky and never encountered a major problem. I think this was mainly because I never tried to stay for anymore than a few weeks at a time.

You've been given some good advice here, and maybe moving back to the Caribbean is the best decision for you both. If spending long periods of time together is important and you aren't ready to marry at this time, it may be your only viable option. You will likely encounter similar problems if you try to cross into Canada as frequently and stay for several months at a time. Having property is one piece of the puzzle, but it may not be enough as far as evidence is concerned. In my experiences the Canadian border can actually be more difficult and intimidating than their American counterparts.

Kizza- They photocopied the entire contents of your wallet? Wow. Never heard of anything like that before.


  • 0
ROC

9/14/11- Sent to CSC
9/19/11- NOA1
10/20/11- Biometrics
3/2/12- Approved

#8 msu17

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 06:42 PM

I agree with everyone else who has posted. I guess I'm confused if you two want to maintain seperate residences in each country, move to the caribbean, live in Canada or live in the US. The K1 is for entry to the US with intent to stay, followed on by a greencard, which requires that you reside MOST of your time (you can make a few trips outside of the country, but staying months in canada isn't going to be ok) in the US until you get citizenship. I may just be misreading what you wrote though smile.gif

Regardless, it is going to take a while for him to get ties to Canada, which now will most likely need to be even more convincing. Also, it is pretty much impossible to get a K1 by christmas if you haven't filed yet. Start getting used to the idea that the canadian party won't be visiting for a while.
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Timeline


AOS
Mailed AOS, EAD and AP Sept 11 '07
Recieved NOA1's for all Sept 23 or 24 '07
Bio appt. Oct. 24 '07
EAD/AP approved Nov 26 '07
Got the AP Dec. 3 '07
AOS interview Feb 7th (5 days after the 1 year anniversary of our K1 NOA1!
Stuck in FBI name checks...
Got the GC July '08

#9 loveacanuck

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:06 PM

I know its confusing, you should see the look on my mom's face when I try to explain it all to her smile.gif We just wanted to maitain seperate addresses in Canada and the US for now, until we file for the K-1 to move permenently to the States, but still see each other alot. We haven't filed the K-1 yet because it all seems so stressful and while we were living in the Carribbean, it didn't even matter. We have talked and cried it out and have decided to leave both countries behind and make our life somewhere less beurocratic and more peaceful.
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#10 msu17

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:14 PM

QUOTE (loveacanuck @ Nov 28 2009, 07:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know its confusing, you should see the look on my mom's face when I try to explain it all to her smile.gif We just wanted to maitain seperate addresses in Canada and the US for now, until we file for the K-1 to move permenently to the States, but still see each other alot. We haven't filed the K-1 yet because it all seems so stressful and while we were living in the Carribbean, it didn't even matter. We have talked and cried it out and have decided to leave both countries behind and make our life somewhere less beurocratic and more peaceful.


haha, so lucky! Wish we could do that... smile.gif
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Timeline


AOS
Mailed AOS, EAD and AP Sept 11 '07
Recieved NOA1's for all Sept 23 or 24 '07
Bio appt. Oct. 24 '07
EAD/AP approved Nov 26 '07
Got the AP Dec. 3 '07
AOS interview Feb 7th (5 days after the 1 year anniversary of our K1 NOA1!
Stuck in FBI name checks...
Got the GC July '08

#11 kizza

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:20 PM

QUOTE (msu17 @ Nov 28 2009, 07:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (loveacanuck @ Nov 28 2009, 07:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know its confusing, you should see the look on my mom's face when I try to explain it all to her smile.gif We just wanted to maitain seperate addresses in Canada and the US for now, until we file for the K-1 to move permenently to the States, but still see each other alot. We haven't filed the K-1 yet because it all seems so stressful and while we were living in the Carribbean, it didn't even matter. We have talked and cried it out and have decided to leave both countries behind and make our life somewhere less beurocratic and more peaceful.


haha, so lucky! Wish we could do that... smile.gif


No kidding! Good for you!
As far as I know, you can apply for the K1 from abroad and wait it out together in the sun. ; )


@Hugglebuggles... yes I thought it was weird. When he saw I wasn't too impressed by the idea, the guy assured me he HAD to.
  • 0
AoS Process
AoS/EAD/AP file sent: 2011-02-16
Received: 2011-02-17
NOA: 2011-02-22
Touched: 2011-02-24
Hard copy NOAs received : 2011-02-28
Biometrics letter received: 2011-02-28
Biometrics appt: 2011-03-17
EAD & AP approved: 2011-04-28
AOS appt: 2011-05-12 (notice sent April 6) APPROVED :)



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#12 canadian_wife

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:57 PM

kizza - they photocopied some of the contents of my wallet and they too assured me they HAD to. But they seemed to pick and choose what to photocopy. They photocopied my licence, health card, SIN card, and my very old student ID card from university.

Glad to know I'm not the only one they did this too!

loveacanuck - I'm sorry for your situation. I hope you figure this all out soon and your journey is short and stress free (is that even possible smile.gif )
  • 0
USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

#13 kizza

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (canadian_wife @ Nov 28 2009, 08:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
kizza - they photocopied some of the contents of my wallet and they too assured me they HAD to. But they seemed to pick and choose what to photocopy. They photocopied my licence, health card, SIN card, and my very old student ID card from university.

Glad to know I'm not the only one they did this too! Likewise!

loveacanuck - I'm sorry for your situation. I hope you figure this all out soon and your journey is short and stress free (is that even possible smile.gif )

Edited by kizza, 28 November 2009 - 08:04 PM.

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#14 MapleLeafBaby

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 11:44 PM

Sorry t hear of your struggles.

The issue with DCF, as some suggested, is that if you both live abroad and file that way, the burden is on you to prove domicile in the US...by way of a home, job etc...

Either way, you have challenges ahead of you. Perhaps you can stay in Canada together for a while until you decide for sure?

Good Luck and I hope you spend Xmas together.
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N-400 Citizenship
06/27/2014 Mailed N-400 Packet
07/02/2014 Tracking Confirmation Packet Rec'd @ USCIS

#15 loveacanuck

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:02 AM

QUOTE (poprocks @ Nov 28 2009, 11:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry t hear of your struggles.

The issue with DCF, as some suggested, is that if you both live abroad and file that way, the burden is on you to prove domicile in the US...by way of a home, job etc...

Either way, you have challenges ahead of you. Perhaps you can stay in Canada together for a while until you decide for sure?

Good Luck and I hope you spend Xmas together.



Hello I was just looking at your timeline, you got married before the K-1 and K-2 visa were filed and approved? Was he able to be with you through this process? This is all so confusing to me...
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