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.
LANDING WITHOUT GOING TO THE US
Landing Experience at Fort Erie -Peace Bridge - Nov 17, 2010
I have been reading posts on this forum for a while now - and wanted to write about my landing experience - hoping this will help a few readers.
I called the CIC call center to get an appointment for landing within the local CIC office either in Mississauga or Etobicoke, and was not able to get the line so i gave up calling them and turn to GOOGLE for help and found this number of Peace Bridge CBSA (905) 994-6330, its not toll free so they will pick up in 2 or 3 try
Anyway - moving on to the landing experience - I asked the CIC agent to send me an e-mail about falgpoling to the US and completing the landing process at a Canadian/US border - as I wanted written proof from the CIC center before I actually stepped onto US soil without a US VISA...blah....
So the options I had was to land at either the Rainbow Bridge, Niagara Falls or the Peace Bridge, Fort Erie (both great options as I live in Mississauga)
To begin with I was very sceptical about this "flagpole" thing - I mean, the US immigration officers from what I have heard are exceptionally rude and crazy. May I add, that I hold an Indian Passport - so that makes things ever worse
I decided to take the Peace Bridge during a weekday to complete my landing as it isn't as busy and has the option for you to take a U-Turn.
Yes "U-TURN" which means you do not have to go to the US side to get the white form, or the refused entry to the US form or anything of that sort. (Do some research on the cbsa website, there is also a pedestrian walkway, who knew?)
When you hit the Peace Bridge/Fort Erie heading towards the US - you will first see the Return to Canada Sign in White Board , keep left lane and drive very slowly - make the U-TURN and drive to any open lane
Remember ONLY PEACE BRIDGE has the option to take the U-TURN , no other bridge has the option, if you take other bridge you may drive too far enter US side and then you will be refused entry to US and go thru the hassles of Refusal entry form etc...
So coming back to my Peace Bridge experience , At the booth, the officer asked me for my passport( spouse and child also) and if I was heading back from the US - Told him I wanted to complete my landed and that I did not go to the US side, but just took a u-turn back to the Canadian Side for entry. Also told the officer that I had been living and working in Mississauga for over 3 years.
The officer asked for my passport and supporting documents and asked me to park the car and head into the building to complete my landing.
The officer was really nice - had a smile on his face, said all the best - gave me a white slip/form that said "Immigration purposes" & thats it
Inside the building there is a customs and an immigration counter - obviously, you go to the immigration counter, the officer there asked me a few standard questions, completed all the formalities and gave me a copy of the COPR, told me my PR card would be on its way within 4-6 weeks and congratulated me.
The officer here was very nice as well
So finally, everything was done in about 12 minutes.
Sorry about the long winded e-mail - Hope this helps folks and if you have any questions or would like to get any additional information let me know. I would be more than happy to share my experience and provide any suggestions.
P.S: I applied under the FSW Class (with arranged employment) in Jan 2009 and landed Nov 17, 2010, it took long than usual my case