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Old Nov 6, 17, 9:37 pm #1
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Told can't drive into Canada with Passport Card on work visa

We recently moved to Canada as US citizens on work permits. A few weeks after moving, my parter was driving into Canada (Osoyoos, BC) with just her US passport card. The border guard said that the passport card can only be used when entering as a tourist and that he was supposed to send her inside for an extended interview because she didn't have the full passport book (which has the work permit stapled inside it) with her. (He ultimately let her go without sending her inside.) Is that correct?

I see no wording on the work permit or anywhere on the CBSA web site that suggests this requirement, but I also don't see any wording anywhere that says otherwise. The only working on the work permit about re-entry is "THIS DOES NOT AUTHORIZE RE-ENTRY".

We're planning to apply for Nexus momentarily, but this makes me nervous; if we try to enter Canada with the Nexus card and get another border guard who insists that the passport book is required, that would be concerning. Obviously we'll take the book in the car with us at least for a while. And maybe it's not worth bothering, since by far our most common crossing point has no Nexus anyway.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 6:39 am #2
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I recall something about US citizens assigned to Canada for work told not to use US passport cards to cross into Canada. But I don't know much more about that. I have to assume Canada too has procedures to admit admissible persons even in the absence of a passport.

There are at least a couple of FTers who worked for or work for CBSA. Perhaps one of them will chime in.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 10:11 am #3

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Info from the Government of Canada website shown below.........there is no differentiation stated between your modes of travel. Of course, YMMV at the border obviously.

FWIW NEXUS does not "guarantee" you entry into Canada (or the US) on it's own, as it is for expedited US entry, and while it does speed your re-entry somewhat back into Canada at certain places, you still need make sure that you can access your passport.

I am a Canadian citizen and have re-entered Canada at many airports (I realise you are driving, but read on) with just my NEXUS card and the NEXUS slip from the machine, but, with my passport in my pocket obviously "if they ask for it".........so, can you walk thru the process "today" without showing your passport ?

Well, with the old NEXUS terminals in airports, it was possible if CBSA was lazy or busy when you were leaving customs, but, there are a whole bunch of new style terminals popping up everywhere that need to scan your passport, and while I haven't crossed the border using NEXUS for about 3 months, as I've been travelling with my wife who doesn't have one, I cannot say what they are now using in the airport NEXUS lines coming back into Canada, or at the land crossings.

http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-vo...c-rnc-eng.html

Identification requirements for U. S. citizens and permanent residents

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.

Last edited by KDS777; Nov 7, 17 at 10:52 am
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Old Nov 7, 17, 1:11 pm #4

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I would not enter Canada without your passport card if you're entering for work on a work permit. I've only crossed the land border once since getting a work permit and the CBSA officer wanted to see the actual work permit (stapled in my US Passport Book, which I had on your person).

My work permit at least lists the passport book number, which is different than the passport card number, and thus I would recommend you cross with the passport book + work permit, regardless of whether or not you use a NEXUS lane.
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Old Nov 7, 17, 2:27 pm #5
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Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
Info from the Government of Canada website shown below.........there is no differentiation stated between your modes of travel. Of course, YMMV at the border obviously.
Yeah, I couldn't find anything other than that, which indicates that a passport card should be fine for land crossings. But the page header is "Visitors to Canada", and I guess the distinction is that I'm not a visitor. (But in other contexts, they make it very clear that I'm not a "resident", even when they don't specify "permanent resident".)
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Old Nov 8, 17, 8:45 am #6

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Ashill......

Our "government speak" roughly translates into three categories.......citizens, permanent residents, and everyone else is construed to be a "visitor" regardless of purpose, like tourism, work visa's, etc.

Everyone here is referring to a US passport "card". What is that ?

Last edited by KDS777; Nov 8, 17 at 9:33 am
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Old Nov 8, 17, 10:43 am #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
Ashill......

Our "government speak" roughly translates into three categories.......citizens, permanent residents, and everyone else is construed to be a "visitor" regardless of purpose, like tourism, work visa's, etc.

Everyone here is referring to a US passport "card". What is that ?
A U.S. passport card is a laminated card, like a Nexus card, that you can get with your passport for an additional fee. It's really just another WHTI document that cannot be substituted for regular passport. For the most part it's really no better than an enhanced driver's license (another WHTI document).
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Old Nov 8, 17, 10:49 am #8
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Folks,

The OP's question is about a person with a work visa driving into Canada using a Passport Card.

This is not the thread to debate WHTI compliant documents and which documents are valid for entry at Canadian airports.

Off topic posts have been deleted.

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Old Nov 8, 17, 11:24 pm #9
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Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
Ashill......

Our "government speak" roughly translates into three categories.......citizens, permanent residents, and everyone else is construed to be a "visitor" regardless of purpose, like tourism, work visa's, etc.
Are you sure? If so, that's very helpful, but I'm not sure that's true. Because the Canada Revenue Agency (part of the government) certainly considers us Canadian residents (as does the US's IRS). When we enter Canada, we are "residents returning to Canada" for import/duty free exemption purposes, as far as I can tell. (The paper customs declaration form when you fly in is explicit about that.) But it is true in my experience that in other contexts, both government and non-government agencies (eg banks when considering loan/credit card applications) treat "resident" and "permanent resident" as synonymous and "non-permanent residents" as something else. So I don't understand when we (living in Canada as US citizens with work permits -- not to be confused with visas) count as "residents" and when we don't.

Having crossed the border a couple more times since my original post, it is clear that as soon as I say I live in Canada (carefully avoiding the word "resident", since I don't understand what it means), they want to see the work permit, whether I'm driving or flying; sounds like phltraveler gets the same. So sadly, it seems that the answer to my question really is that we can no longer drive into Canada without the full passport book (specifically the work permit stapled inside it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
Everyone here is referring to a US passport "card". What is that ?
Wikipedia article about Passport Cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubesl View Post
A U.S. passport card is a laminated card, like a Nexus card, that you can get with your passport for an additional fee. It's really just another WHTI document that cannot be substituted for regular passport. For the most part it's really no better than an enhanced driver's license (another WHTI document).
It's much better than an enhanced driver license for those of us who either live in one of the 45 states or 7 provinces that don't issue enhanced driver licenses, or Americans living in Canada who aren't Canadian citizens or permanent residents (and thus aren't eligible for Canadian enhanced driver licenses, unless I'm mistaken), and presumably also for Canadians living in the US.

Nitpicking: it's not really an "additional fee" compared to a passport book; there is no requirement to have a passport book in order to get a passport card. The passport card costs US$30 (compared to $110 a book), irrespective of whether you're getting it with the passport book or have a passport book; if you're not going to travel internationally by air, there's no need for a passport book (and ≈65% of Americans don't have passports, of course). I have a number of relatives in Washington state who drive across the border occasionally and thus have either a passport card or enhanced driver license but no passport book.

We much would much prefer to be able to only need a card that fits in a wallet because a card in my wallet is much easier to keep track of and harder to lose than the passport book. (Hence the thread!) I may not know in the morning when I leave for work if I'm going to cross the border, so I don't know if I need to grab the passport book. (We have family not far across the border, so trips are not necessarily planned more than a few hours in advance.) It's something of a pain to have to have the passport book with me to cross the border. Manageable, but annoying; hence my question about whether it really is legally required.
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Old Yesterday, 9:32 am #10

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Ashill......

Please don't overlap your viewpoint of the CRA's wording, with the immigration department's classification of your technical "in country" legal status. You're always a visitor for immigration purposes, even while living/working here, unless you become a permanent resident (our green card equivalent), or become an actual citizen. Having said that, you're always fair game for tax purposes regardless, as that is a whole different rule book...........heh.



I remember that the mandatory use of passports for Americans at land crossings (not these passport cards) was announced formally around 2 years ago, but was postponed for about 6-12 months due to numerous protests. Looks like it is getting enforced now. There are lot of changes taking place at the border crossings, not just the airports.

Last edited by KDS777; Yesterday at 1:46 pm
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Old Yesterday, 11:53 am #11

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Originally Posted by KDS777 View Post
I remember that the mandatory use of passports for Americans at land crossings (not these passport cards) was announced formally around 2 years ago, but was postponed for about 6-12 months due to numerous protests. Looks like it is getting enforced now.
Do you have a reference for this? I ask because I had not heard anything about such a change, and everything I can find online still says that passport cards are acceptable for land crossings.

In OP's case, however, the work permit must be carried, even with NEXUS, so there doesn't appear to be a card-only solution.
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Old Yesterday, 1:17 pm #12

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Originally Posted by Rare
Do you have a reference for this?
Nope.......just my fading memory from Canadian news broadcasts.........sorry.

Last edited by KDS777; Yesterday at 1:49 pm
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Old Yesterday, 2:05 pm #13

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I was trying to find an old news article on Google as well, but no luck.
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Old Yesterday, 2:38 pm #14
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Reminder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
Folks,

The OP's question is about a person with a work visa driving into Canada using a Passport Card.

This is not the thread to debate WHTI compliant documents and which documents are valid for entry at Canadian airports.

Off topic posts have been deleted.

TWA884
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Future off topic posts will be summarily deleted and the offenders will be subjected to discipline! Please consider this to be your one and only warning.

This thread is about which documents can be used by a US citizen with a Canadian work visa to enter Canada via a land crossing. It is not about American tourists entering Canada.

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Old Yesterday, 4:09 pm #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashill View Post
We recently moved to Canada as US citizens on work permits. A few weeks after moving, my parter was driving into Canada (Osoyoos, BC) with just her US passport card. The border guard said that the passport card can only be used when entering as a tourist and that he was supposed to send her inside for an extended interview because she didn't have the full passport book (which has the work permit stapled inside it) with her. (He ultimately let her go without sending her inside.) Is that correct?
It’s correct (except that the “extended interview” may be skipped — just as your partner discovered in practice) when the allowance to enter and remain in Canada is for a purpose that requires a visa or some other permit/permission other than that applicable to those US citizens coming in with CBSA-accepted identity/citizenship documents for purposes that don’t generally require a separate or attachable Canadian document issued in Canada or by the likes of Canadian consular/embassy officials outside of Canada.

Last edited by GUWonder; Yesterday at 4:30 pm
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