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Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Old Aug 30th 2012, 4:27 am
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Default Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Hi all

So we got our COPR and are looking at flagpoling ASAP (as hubby needs to go on a business trip to US next week and can't do so until I, as primary applicant, have landed). However, I have a rental car at present as mine is in the garage for repair.....so here are my questions:

- It seems that there may be several potential complications if I try to take a rental car over the border and back again. Has anyone had any experience of this and is it simple of best advised against?
- If we drive down to the border, is there an option to park up somewhere, walk across and walk back again?


Many thanks to all!

H
:-)
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 4:46 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

What type of complications? There is no reason you cannot take a rental car into the USA unless the car rental company forbids it.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

You don't actually need to enter the US. Tell the US border official what you're doing and they'll give you some paperwork to show to the Canadians to prove you went to the border.

I walked across when I last did this (At Peace Arch - BC/WA) but they aren't really set up for it (No sidewalks for example). This is going to depend on the crossing though.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by Auld Yin
What type of complications? There is no reason you cannot take a rental car into the USA unless the car rental company forbids it.
Most rental cars in BC can't be taken out of province, never mind out of the country. I assume it's an insurance thing.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 5:32 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

It depends on the rental contract. Ask the company...but also read the fine print!

Here's an interesting article:

http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-...tml?id=4363307

As you can see from the article, GPS can now be used by rental companies to find out where their vehicles were driven.

If you are permitted to drive into the US, make sure you bring all vehicle rental paperwork with you.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 6:20 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird
You don't actually need to enter the US. Tell the US border official what you're doing and they'll give you some paperwork to show to the Canadians to prove you went to the border.
When I flagpoled and explained to US customs about my intentions it caused hours of paperwork, interviews, fingerprinting, and a refusal to enter the US on my record which has caused visits to secondary inspection every time I've needed to go to the US since then.

Four years of scheduling flights and travel arrangements around an inevitable extra couple of hours spent waiting for an additional interview suggests to me that you should just enter the US for a day out, and don't get into a discussion about your intention to flagpole.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 6:22 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird
Most rental cars in BC can't be taken out of province, never mind out of the country. I assume it's an insurance thing.
I don't think that's correct. I've lost count of the number of friends and relatives that have flown into YVR, rented a car, toured the province and returned the car to the rental company in Calgary before flying home.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by R I C H
When I flagpoled and explained to US customs about my intentions it caused hours of paperwork, interviews, fingerprinting, and a refusal to enter the US on my record which has caused visits to secondary inspection every time I've needed to go to the US since then.

Four years of scheduling flights and travel arrangements around an inevitable extra couple of hours spent waiting for an additional interview suggests to me that you should just enter the US for a day out, and don't get into a discussion about your intention to flagpole.
We cross at least once a month to do our groceries in the States, on a TWP. The last two times I've been asked if I'll be landing as a PR on the way back and if I have any additional immigration paperwork with me. I get the feeling that if I say yes, they won't let me in to do my shopping (despite having a valid I-94) and send me straight back with a formal refusal.

Of course, I could lie to them when it actually comes to it, and say the usual "I wish", but I don't really want to do that.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by R I C H
I don't think that's correct. I've lost count of the number of friends and relatives that have flown into YVR, rented a car, toured the province and returned the car to the rental company in Calgary before flying home.
I used to rent trucks regularly. They would ask me where I was going. If I said Seattle they would just hand write "US OK" on the rental contract and that was that. I think you aren't supposed to take the vehicle out of province without their permission but getting permission was never a problem, nor an extra cost.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by R I C H
When I flagpoled and explained to US customs about my intentions it caused hours of paperwork, interviews, fingerprinting, and a refusal to enter the US on my record which has caused visits to secondary inspection every time I've needed to go to the US since then.

Four years of scheduling flights and travel arrangements around an inevitable extra couple of hours spent waiting for an additional interview suggests to me that you should just enter the US for a day out, and don't get into a discussion about your intention to flagpole.
I had no trouble at all. The only unusual questions from the US border guard were about football (He spotted my birthplace on my passport and knew the local team). I've returned to the US several times since with no bother.

Maybe it's luck of the draw? Peace Arch is, I would imagine, quite a popular place to flagpole so they're used to it and have a procedure?
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird
I had no trouble at all. The only unusual questions from the US border guard were about football (He spotted my birthplace on my passport and knew the local team). I've returned to the US several times since with no bother.

Maybe it's luck of the draw? Peace Arch is, I would imagine, quite a popular place to flagpole so they're used to it and have a procedure?
I did it at Sumas, which is busy enough to assume they'd have a procedure too.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 8:59 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by MrWindUpBird
Maybe it's luck of the draw? Peace Arch is, I would imagine, quite a popular place to flagpole so they're used to it and have a procedure?
Not really something worth risking though, if anything it takes longer to be refused entry that it does to be properly admitted. Hardly a terrible chore to pop into the US for a few hours on a random Saturday.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Ok, so contacted rental company and I'm not permitted to take the car out of the US :-( so that's that idea out of the window!!

So I guess if I can find out if we can walk across and back, then we can give that a go.

Another question though - we are on TWPs which expire on Sept 9th and we have applied for extensions so, even without the COPR, we would be in implied status. If my husband were to travel to the US on his own, would he be able to return to Canada on the implied status (he can't land until I do as I'm the primary applicant)?

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

Originally Posted by Hermione
Ok, so contacted rental company and I'm not permitted to take the car out of the US :-( so that's that idea out of the window!!

So I guess if I can find out if we can walk across and back, then we can give that a go.

Another question though - we are on TWPs which expire on Sept 9th and we have applied for extensions so, even without the COPR, we would be in implied status. If my husband were to travel to the US on his own, would he be able to return to Canada on the implied status (he can't land until I do as I'm the primary applicant)?

Thanks again!
Implied status ends if an individual leaves Canada. You cannot return until the new status is granted. See OP11 Section 24 (PDF file).

If you don't mind being refused entry to the US then walking over shouldn't be an issue. If being refused entry to the US is an issue then you might find it difficult to convince a USCBP officer that you are making a genuine visit to the US by foot despite driving all the way from Edmonton - unless you cross at Niagara Falls.
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Old Aug 30th 2012, 9:37 am
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Default Re: Flagpoling - To walk or not to walk.....

One other option is to look at landing at a CIC office within Canada. You can phone CIC on 1-888-242‑2100 and find out if there is an option to do that in Edmonton.
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