Thought I would share our eventful landing story;
DH got his passport back from Buffalo on 20/07/11, and it did take the full 15 business days to get it back.
The paperwork stated that if you are already in Canada, you can either leave the country and come back in at a port of entry to land, or you can make an appointment at the closest CIC office.
We are in rural Saskatchewan and the closest port of entry is only 45 minutes south of us so we hopped in the car and drove down last evening. Unfortunately once we got there, we were informed that they do not process landings at that port of entry (Oungre, SK/Fortuna, ND) and that we had to go to North Portal, SK/Portal, ND).
It would have been nice if they had specified on the paperwork that not all border crossings are capable of processing the landing! We assumed it would be no problem since that was the same border crossing that we came up through in March when I was a returning Canadian after living in the U.S. for many years and my husband was issued a visitor visa, and they processed our vehicle imports and everything there without any problem.
So we started heading over towards North Portal on some of the worst “highways” we have ever driven on, trying to find our way without a map. After we drove about 75 km, we discovered that the highway to North Portal was closed. Turns out a bridge failed earlier this week. There were no detour signs or alternate routes posted and not knowing the back roads at all, we back tracked to Estevan and asked a gas station attendant for directions. She didn't know of any route around the closed highway but she helped me search through a “Back Roads of Southern Saskatchewan Guide” and even photocopied the right page to give me. So we found what appeared to be the quickest route around and it took us back south and as we were looking for the “highway” to turn on, we ended up at another border crossing; Estevan, SK/Noonan, ND so DH just went in on the Canadian side and was again told that it had to be processed at North Portal and gave us directions. So we started driving only to get part way to discover another “ROAD CLOSED” sign!!!!
So we looked at the map again and found a route that would take us way out the way around on back roads and decided to chance it. By that point we were determined that we were going to get it done last night, one way or another! So after another 45 minutes of driving on mostly gravel roads in the dark, we managed to arrive at North Portal!
We parked on the Canadian side and DH went in while the kids and I waited in the car. Of course they told him to walk over to the U.S. side first and then re-enter. The border crossing was really slow because of the highway closure preventing travel through it, unless of course you wanted to take the gravel road route like we had just done. This made the process move quickly once there and DH said they were very helpful and friendly to him and once it was all complete said, “Welcome to Canada, you are officially an immigrant now!”
We arrived back home just after midnight last night.....very happy to be done with all of that and hopeful that he will find a job soon!
Wishing everyone here gets some good news soon too!!!