So my passport is finally back in Canada although I am still waiting for it to be delivered. It is sitting in a sorting office in Mississauga at the moment but it should be with me by Wednesday fingers crossed. London received my passport on 21st February so it has taken over 4 weeks to get back to me. In hindsight I would have flown back to London and handed it in but you live and learn. But for those of you that are mailing your passport from Canada I strongly urge you to get it mailed to a friend in the UK and get them to Fedex it back.
Anyway once I get my passport back I need to flag pole. Luckily I am a 45 minute drive from Niagara, so I plan to do a late night trip. Does anyone have any advice on the best place to do this? ie which bridge/crossing point? Secondly I'm trying to find out the best way to do it, I hear that the US border guards will give you some sort of refusal if you just flag pole, does this cause problems when you try to cross at a later date? Being a brit I know we are part of the visa waiver program but if you get refused when you flag pole does this mean I will have to get a vistor visa everytime I try to go to the US? I only ask because I have got into hockey since I have been here and I will probably cross quite a few times a year to catch some games.
I got some info from another forum
FLAGPOLING WITHOUT ADMINISTRATIVE REFUSAL.
Do you know the Fort Erie border crossing is possible?
This is the story from 2009.
Just wanted to pass on the procedure to you guys, since I had a hell of a time finding it myself. Hope the following info is useful to the folks here who are trying to go through the flagpole for landing without going to the US side. This is only going to be useful for people who don't want to go to the US side (for example, for those who don't have a US visa) and are able to drive to Fort Errie, so Toronto/Hamilton/Burlington area folks will find it most useful.
All you have to do is, drive towards the Peace Bridge on QEW (it's the Fort Errie border, not Niagara). As soon as you cross the 'Last Exit before USA' sign on QEW (that's where the Duty Free shop is), you'll see the Peace Bridge ahead. Right before the Peace Bride you'll see some structures on the left hand side. There is a sign on the left hand side which reads 'Return to Canada'. All you have to do is, instead of going into the Peace Bridge, you make a left (which is a U turn) where it says 'Return to Canada'. You'll have the booths ahead, and that's where you inform the Canadian Border Services Agency(CBSA) officer that you are trying to do your landing.
During the landing, they might ask you whether you've been to the US side (seeing no stamp on your passport). You must tell them that you have NOT been to the US side. They'll process a few things, and direct you to the office to the right hand side. You thank the person (if you wish ) and go to the office.
Once you're in the office, a CBSA officer will call you to his/her desk. The CBSA officer will process the rest of your landing papers, ask any questions if necessary, and congratulate you for becoming a Permanent Residen of Canada.
That's all you have to do. I'm sure many people here know this...but it's for those people who don't have the US visa and are scared of trying the flagpole option because they think they will have to go to the US side, do all that finger-printing fuss, and then come to the Canadian side for landing. Just wanted to make sure that anyone here who wishes to do their landing, you can do it this way WITHOUT going to the US.