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Author Topic: Montreal Border Crossing  (Read 94947 times)

1995hoo

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2012, 02:20:02 PM »

One last Customs point for people travelling to Canada: Don't forget that even though you can legally buy Cuban cigars in Canada, you cannot legally bring them back to the United States. I don't smoke and so this hasn't been an issue for me, but I've been told that if you bring back cigars and you try to hide their Cuban origin by removing labels or the like it just makes it look more suspicious. Of course you could try to smuggle them in your spare tire well or something like that, but in my mind it's not worth it.

While I've never brought cigars back from Canada, I have brought back cigars on cruises. I've had no issue bringing back small quantities of unlabeled cigars. I just declare them as "hand rolled". Usually the customs officer wants to see them, but once he sees that they don't have Cuban bands I get waved through. I wouldn't think there would be any easy way to tell a Cuban cigar from an actual hand rolled, unlabeled cigar, and bringing back four or five isn't large enough quantity for them to act on even if it is suspicious.

Don't smuggle though. The above is advice on how to bring home legal, hand rolled, unlabeled cigars. Enjoy your Cubans before you come home.

I agree with agentsteel about the whole embargo being stupid, but I'm not going to roll the dice on violating it in terms of bringing back cigars or liquor, simply because in my case it's not worth running the risk. While I don't think a conviction for that sort of thing would be the sort of conviction that would pose a problem with the State Bar, I don't wind to find out otherwise the hard way, you know?
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2012, 07:45:47 PM »

The guy acted puzzled that they made rain gear for playing golf. I think on the whole he was just picking something off the form to test how I answered him and to see if I got tripped up, which might be an indicator of something else suspicious. That wouldn't surprise me at all because several times the guy checking passports at the airport has asked some seemingly odd questions. I assume it's similar in theory to the way El Al security personnel do behavior profiling.
They've done similar things with me pretty often. "How come are you skiing in May?" - "The resort's still open" ...and it's only a few miles from that port of entry, so it's impossible that they didn't know.

I am okay with believing that Cubans are people too, despite their grievous sin of having been born on the wrong side of an invisible line.
Agreed.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2013, 05:59:22 PM »

I would like to remind everyone that we have NAFTA.  This means you have to declare BUT no duty or tax should be imposed regardless of the monetary amount of goods you are bringing back.  This rule affects all goods manufactures in any three of the NAFTA signature countries-USA, Canada, and Mexico.  As for the treatment from some Customs agents, you are not required to be treated in a threatening, disrespectful, or degrading manner.  You are crossing the border for legitimate reasons.  Even if it is just to sight-see for the afternoon.  Is there a problem driving from Pennsylvania to New York for the day.  What's the difference except for the fact you have to explain yourself to someone who is trained to be suspicious!  And yes, 9/11 has made it a lot rougher, even with a NEXUS or SENTRI card.  I truly agree with the writer above.  If you do have real hassles, get names and ask to see the Port Director.  Also, do mention the Federal Code which the writer has thankfully posted and write a complaint to Justice AND CBP.  Most important, don't let a simpleton agent deter you from going to Canada/USA and back.  If you do because you don't need the hassles, they won.  I've crossed the Canada/USA border hundreds of times.  More times than not, it was a few questions and off I went. One time I was asked one question (how long was I in Canada) not even what country I was a citizen of, and I was on my way.  Other times I got the full grilling-car search, stupid questions asked over and over again only in a slightly different context.  One time I was even interrogated why I was crossing into Minnesota from Ontario (I live in Philadelphia).  I answered "I'm a US Citizen; I'll cross where ever I want, and I’m not allowed to enter my country where I want?  Don't let them destroy your day or your trip.  Just write those letters.  You will get a response. :-D
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2013, 01:25:22 PM »

This means you have to declare BUT no duty or tax should be imposed regardless of the monetary amount of goods you are bringing back.  This rule affects all goods manufactures in any three of the NAFTA signature countries-USA, Canada, and Mexico.

That is incorrect. The standard rules apply when entering the United States from Canada and Mexico - namely, $800 duty free (once every 30 days, $200 otherwise) and 1L of alcohol. NAFTA is about commercial import/export, not personal.
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Dr Frankenstein

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2013, 01:51:40 PM »

realjd beat me to it. Non-commercial import is still subject to duties, with a threshold depending on the length of the stay outside of the country.
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vdeane

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2013, 05:15:15 PM »

What would happen if you created a business whose sole purpose was to manage your life and assets, thus making all personal transactions business transactions?
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2013, 12:30:51 AM »

What would happen if you created a business whose sole purpose was to manage your life and assets, thus making all personal transactions business transactions?

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/trade_programs/international_agreements/free_trade/nafta/

Read this dense nonsense, hire a good lawyer, and good luck!

FWIW, I've never been charged duty on entry to the US. I've never gone over the $800 limit but I have declared alcohol volumes much greater than the 1L limit. They always just wave me through.

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2013, 08:32:45 AM »

I've never had to pay duty on alcohol purchased either, and I have brought excess back on a few occasions myself.

I think if you start crossing regularly and bringing more than your allowance of alcohol back they will start to enforce the limits.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2013, 10:51:54 AM »

What would happen if you created a business whose sole purpose was to manage your life and assets, thus making all personal transactions business transactions?

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/trade_programs/international_agreements/free_trade/nafta/

Read this dense nonsense, hire a good lawyer, and good luck!

FWIW, I've never been charged duty on entry to the US. I've never gone over the $800 limit but I have declared alcohol volumes much greater than the 1L limit. They always just wave me through.


Come to think of it, you don't need to found a company, at least in the US.  Corporations are people, and people are people, so therefore people must have all the rights corporations have or else it's discrimination!
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Dr Frankenstein

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2013, 10:25:31 PM »

I've brought stuff back after stays of less than 24 hours and Canada's CBSA agents have never charged me anything either.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2013, 03:04:42 AM »

One thing to bear in mind is that if you're in a trusted traveler program (NEXUS, Global Entry, SENTRI) you have to know the rules and make sure you're within them when you take advantage of the trusted traveler lane.  If you don't declare something in that lane and you get caught, that's bad voodoo.  (Of course you probably got the speech when you got the card.)
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2013, 09:20:42 AM »

I think a party of three including myself once brought back 5 or 5.25 liters of tequila.  they asked "how much did you bring back?" and we pointed to the back seat and said "that much".  they looked quickly and waved us through.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2013, 02:18:46 PM »

Great thread!  And I've read it with interest.  Having made border crossings/arrivals at every corner of the USA, including Puerto Rico - literally hundreds of times - I have a couple of observations:

The first comment is simple: always say you have nothing to declare.  Unless you have purchased a large or big-ticket item (i.e. something obvious), that's always your best answer.  Sure, you can play Dudley Do-Right and declare every little thing you bought.  In doing so, you actually have more exposure to being searched and delayed (which is my main issue, usually).  The rules are so byzantine that you're opening yourself up to trouble without even knowing it.

Another thing that's good to know: if you are polite and don't have the appearance of a druggie/trouble maker, the odds of you being searched in any sort of thorough manner are minimal.  Simply stated, they don't have time to give everyone a thorough going over. 

About Cuban cigars (note my moniker), I've "smuggled" dozens of them into the USA (though not in the past 5 years). Never for resale or anything like that; only for my personal enjoyment.  They're expensive and I worked hard to pay for them.  I'll be damned if I let a stupid, bullshit, rule that predates my own birth, deny me from enjoying an otherwise legal product that anyone else in the world can legally enjoy!  And what good does the stupid embargo do?  NOTHING.  It has kept Castro in power for 50 years, that's what.   And our testicle-less politicians refuse to do the right thing and drop it.  Given this, I have no respect for a stupid rule enforced by stupid people and I find ways around it.   Frankly, Cubans are costly and I can usually only afford a few at a time.  I tend to have a little baggie of cigars with me anyway and, they've never generated any interest from anyone.  So, no issues there - ever.

It IS a little more difficult to talk your way across the border when traveling alone, especially with the Canadians.  In fact, of anywhere I've traveled, I have had more hassles from Canadian Customs/Immigration than all of the other countries I've visited.....combined!  Seriously.  I've even been interrogated in the other room at the airport.  Why?  Because they think I might be doing work there and they want $$$ for a work permit.  They do accept Visa and Mastercard for it, by the way.  Even if that was true (and I was there on a project), I've stayed calm and cool and stuck to my story and - ultimately - won out every single time.  But it's a pain.  And the Canadian politeness is an inaccurate stereotype.  I've encountered plenty of rude agents, especially the women. 

As for getting back into the 'states, ironically I've never had an issue.  Yes, they can be gruff and less than polite.  But I always do fine with them.  When they ask if I've bought anything, I usually comment on how everything is so expensive up there, which is quite true and they agree with that.  The truth is that we never buy that much anyway, but I don't care to have to argue over every little item and whether we owe duty.   

In both cases, have a good reason handy as to why you traveled across the border and you're fine.  The Canadians like "tourism, visiting the casino, shopping".  But don't tell the American side that last one. "Work" is the one that they like the very best.   Whatever reason you give, be consistent with it.  My last visit to Windsor, Canada last month had a 10 minute interrogation at the border from the (female) agent there and I really was going to do some Christmas shopping.  I was relaxed as I had nothing to hide, but it still gives one a bad taste. 

But, ultimately, I always crossed successfully and enjoyed whatever it was that I came over to enjoy.  And Canada is a wonderful place to visit.   

Lastly, traveling with your wife and/or family makes detailed interrogations or searches even less likely.  Last time we arrived at ORD from Latin America, my (then) 4 year old threw such a fit that we went through US immigration and then customs without a single question being asked of any of us at either place!!  They just wanted us OUT!  That was a first...... 
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agentsteel53

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #63 on: January 25, 2013, 04:15:24 PM »

Lastly, traveling with your wife and/or family makes detailed interrogations or searches even less likely.  Last time we arrived at ORD from Latin America, my (then) 4 year old threw such a fit that we went through US immigration and then customs without a single question being asked of any of us at either place!!  They just wanted us OUT!  That was a first......

I'll just have to borrow a four year old.  I'm sure border authorities don't care much about child trafficking.
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StogieGuy7

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #64 on: January 25, 2013, 08:02:57 PM »

Lastly, traveling with your wife and/or family makes detailed interrogations or searches even less likely.  Last time we arrived at ORD from Latin America, my (then) 4 year old threw such a fit that we went through US immigration and then customs without a single question being asked of any of us at either place!!  They just wanted us OUT!  That was a first......

I'll just have to borrow a four year old.  I'm sure border authorities don't care much about child trafficking.

Well, naturally I had everyone's passports to show.  That they checked.  Very quickly.  And having Mom there with the kids is somewhat of a necessity.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 08:04:58 PM by StogieGuy7 »
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #65 on: March 05, 2013, 09:45:07 PM »

My border crossing tips....

1) Always have a destination.  It is pretty standard to have to provide a destination address when you enter a foreign country, and just because you don't have to fill out forms to drive into Canada does not make an exception to this general rule. 

2) Never lie.  Border officers tend to be really good at spotting inconsistencies in stories and if they catch you, you're blacklisted and will get searched each and every time.  Entering the foreign country, they will generally ask you what you plan to do there, where you are going, and no one says you cannot make adjustments after you are in, but at least stick to your story.  When coming back home, they will ask you about what you did and where you were. No reason to not be honest.  Remember, they can ask all the questions they want, but they cannot deny you entry to your own country. 

3) Coming from really far away and only spending a very short time in the other country tends to raise red flags.  It helps if you have an established reason to be near the border on your own side.  This is one place where I may deviate from the rule of not volunteering information.  For example, I'm from Washington DC, and I am driving across the Rainbow Bridge and say I will only be in Canada for 2 hours.  "Really, you came all this way and are only staying 2 hours?"  But Niagara Falls, ON is not my "primary destination" for the long trip, visiting family in Buffalo is.  If I'm up visiting family in Buffalo for a week, and want to go drive 20 minutes to Casino Niagara and spend 2 hours there, that doesn't seem too odd.  A couple of times I saw the questioning going towards "why did you come all this way..." and ended up mentioning visiting family in my own country 2 minutes into the questioning.  A couple of times I've proactively stated when asked the purpose of my visit, "I'm in Buffalo visiting family and decided to take a few hours to check out...."  That usually makes the questioning go a lot smoother!

4) Join one of the trusted traveler programs if you plan to cross frequently.  Global Entry or SENTRI will give you US-bound access to NEXUS lanes at the Canadian border, and NEXUS will give you access to both directions at the Canadian border.  Assuming you have a clean criminal record, haven't violated customs laws, and don't mind handing over some biometrics, applying is easy, and the interview isn't too difficult by any means.  They really spend more time explaining the program than asking questions.  You don't  need a reason to cross the border "a lot", saying you cross occasionally and want to use the shorter lines is legit (saying you want it so you can avoid questioning or inspection procedures is not legit..don't go there when asked).  These programs make crossing easier most of the time, with fewer questions, but not "no questions"...and in fact some times, you might get the full round of questions if the line isn't busy.  There are random inspections, and while you'll get "head of the line benefits", keep in mind that these programs are one strike, you're out. 

Otherwise, I've crossed the US/Canadian border probably about 25 times and never had a problem.  Been grilled pretty good a few times by the US side.  Been sent to secondary by the Canadians a couple times.  But have always thought the border guards on both sides are professional, but thorough, and just doing their job.  I'd far prefer that their screening method is asking questions and looking for inconsistencies to pick whom to search, rather than trying to search everyone.  And although the US/Canada border isn't exactly an open border like intra-Schengen borders in Europe, it is still far less of a barrier than most other international borders, which tend to have lines lasting hours, lots of forms and fees, and generally you have to park and get out of your car, while the vast majority of US/Canada trips are cleared in the primary lanes without anyone having to leave their vehicle. 
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #66 on: March 05, 2013, 10:20:11 PM »

My border crossing tips....

1) Always have a destination.  It is pretty standard to have to provide a destination address when you enter a foreign country, and just because you don't have to fill out forms to drive into Canada does not make an exception to this general rule.

Agreed. The only time I ever got seriously hassled was when I did not, indeed, have a particular destination in mind. This was crossing back to the US at Detroit, after cutting across Ontario from my home in Rochester. I was taking a pretty aimless spring break roadtrip and planned to continue aimlessly from Detroit. For some reason I thought I should be a little more definitive with my story, but I didn't really succeed. I'd probably have been better off just being honest about having no set destination.

2) Never lie.

Or to put it another way, don't try to tailor your story so it seems more palatable to them. As I said, although my trip was aimless, being upfront about that was probably a better idea than trying to justify my uncertainty.

I had another series of trips recently involving four border crossings in less than two days. I was picking up my girlfriend in Ontario during the dead of night, returning to NYS to attend a funeral service, then returning her the next day to Montreal where she was working, and returning alone. Although it was a pretty wild scenario, I explained it matter-of-factly at each crossing and there was no apparent suspicion.
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Dr Frankenstein

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #67 on: March 05, 2013, 11:43:43 PM »

I had the same issue of having no specific destination in Detroit, which ended me up with a 5-6 minute, very annoying series of questions and a very condescending explanation of how dangerous Detroit is (cue Nick Cage: "You don't say?"), and a request for hotel reservations which I didn't have because I have family in the area.

Mike: In fact, I just applied for NEXUS this week and my case is currently pending review, after which I'll have to book an interview.

To be continued...
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vdeane

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #68 on: March 06, 2013, 12:01:41 PM »

Nexus would be even more important these days, since Obama is targeting customs on the Canadian border for the sequestration.  Napoletano is doing everything she can to make it like the Mexican border wait time.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #69 on: March 06, 2013, 04:03:55 PM »

I had the same issue of having no specific destination in Detroit, which ended me up with a 5-6 minute, very annoying series of questions and a very condescending explanation of how dangerous Detroit is (cue Nick Cage: "You don't say?"), and a request for hotel reservations which I didn't have because I have family in the area.

Mike: In fact, I just applied for NEXUS this week and my case is currently pending review, after which I'll have to book an interview.

To be continued...

Haha, me too!  I applied for Global Entry last month, went for my interview this past weekend at JFK, then realized, "what the heck is the point of only having expedited access in one direction at the Canadian border?"  So I just submitted my "add trusted traveler program" application for NEXUS yesterday.  My GE application was approved in a week, but I hear NEXUS is a little slower since the application goes through the two reviews, one on each side.  Interview slots for NEXUS are hard to come by in the major cites (YYZ/YVR/YUL) though, so who knows, I may end up roadtripping to an oddball location like Sault St. Marie. 

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #70 on: March 06, 2013, 04:15:04 PM »


Haha, me too!  I applied for Global Entry last month, went for my interview this past weekend at JFK, then realized, "what the heck is the point of only having expedited access in one direction at the Canadian border?"  So I just submitted my "add trusted traveler program" application for NEXUS yesterday.  My GE application was approved in a week, but I hear NEXUS is a little slower since the application goes through the two reviews, one on each side.  Interview slots for NEXUS are hard to come by in the major cites (YYZ/YVR/YUL) though, so who knows, I may end up roadtripping to an oddball location like Sault St. Marie.

SENTRI interviews are hard to come by as well.  I applied at the end of January and my interview is April 18th. 

can someone tell me what the difference is between NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry, Trusted Traveler, GOES, etc?

all I know is that NEXUS and SENTRI are basically the same thing, except for different borders.  the others ... ??
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #71 on: March 06, 2013, 06:39:21 PM »

Global Entry is essentially NEXUS except it works when entering the US from any country.  Trusted Traveler is the umbrella term for both the programs and people enrolled in them.  I think GOES is just the name of the website used to apply for any of these programs.
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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #72 on: March 06, 2013, 07:24:10 PM »

SENTRI interviews are hard to come by as well.  I applied at the end of January and my interview is April 18th. 

can someone tell me what the difference is between NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry, Trusted Traveler, GOES, etc?

all I know is that NEXUS and SENTRI are basically the same thing, except for different borders.  the others ... ??

Short version: NEXUS = US/Canadian border, SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) = US/Mexican border, Global Entry = US airports (and preclearance sites), GOES (Global Online Enrollment System) is the US online enrollment system for all of those programs. 

Long version......

Once upon a time, someone had a great idea that those who could be trusted to comply with customs and immigration rules could get expedited processing at international borders.  In Europe, this was done pre-Schengen where the border checks were really just formalities.  But unlike Europe where they harmonized customs (EU) and immigration (Schengen) and eliminated their border controls, and thus the trusted traveler programs, here in the USA we are strengthening our borders.  So trusted traveler status basically gives you "old fashioned 1990's treatment"...a few questions, verbal declarations, possibility of a random search, but most of the time you are through pretty quickly.  Of course, you still need the fancy secure document to prove your trusted traveler status. 

But even before 9/11 when the Canadian border was a mere formality, the northbound Mexican border was serious business, as were airport borders for those flying into the US and Canada.  So those had trusted traveler programs going way back.  CanPass for those flying into Canada, INSpass for those flying into the USA, and SENTRI at one of the busier border crossings on the Mexican border (Otay Mesa was the first SENTRI lane in the late 1990's).  INSpass used handprints to identify the traveler, and was sponsored by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which manned the immigration checks at airports, which was a separate agency from US Customs, which were concerned with goods, not people (now both immigration and customs are staffed by agents from US Customs and Border Protection). 

NEXUS was a big breakthrough, because this program actually required extensive cooperation between US and Canadian agencies, one program, you were approved by both US CBP and CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) and you could travel across the US/Canadian border.  Of course, things weren't too simple, as there were actually two NEXUS programs, one for land border crossings which required you to have a card and register your car, and another called "Air NEXUS" for flying, which also required a card but was based on iris scans.  The machines were set up to process travelers both into Canada and into the US at Canadian airports with US pre-clearance.  I think there may have even been a marine version of NEXUS for boaters. 

So, NEXUS expanded, SENTRI at the southern border expanded, and even included a "pedestrian SENTRI" lane at San Ysidro, which of course was a completely separate program.  INSpass vanished after 9/11.  And CanPass still existed.  Air NEXUS could be used to enter Canada from anywhere in the world, not just from the USA. If you were a Canadian who flys back and forth to Europe often, you can use NEXUS to enter when returning...but this requires US approval.  If for some reason, the Canadians trust you, but you don't have access to the US (a likely situation would be a Canadian permanent resident, who's citizenship requires a visa to enter the US), you could still get the CanPass program.  I think it still exists to this day. 

Then someone had a bright idea that some of these programs should be streamlined.  All of the NEXUS programs were combined, so any member could cross the US/Canadian border (and fly into Canada from a third country) by any means.  The pedestrian and vehicle SENTRI programs were combined.  The vehicle registration requirement for NEXUS was dropped, since taking an unregistered car isn't really a security risk, and it would enable travelers to use rental cars, etc. For SENTRI, the vehicle registration/inspection was kept because of smuggling concerns. 

Then the US decided to roll out a program to expedite trusted US Citizens into the US from third countries, and developed the Global Entry program, which was at US airports, and uses passport scan and fingerprints for ID purposes.  Then they started installing Global Entry kiosks at Canadian pre-clearance airports, and there was a little confusion.  A NEXUS member could use the NEXUS kiosk, and could possibly use the Global Entry kiosk entering the US if all of their biometrics were up to date.  A Global Entry member could only use the Global Entry kiosk entering the US from a Canadian airport, and had to use a standard customs line entering Canada.  If you had both programs, you could use both. 

Then someone had another bright idea.  Lets combine these programs into one!  If someone is trusted to enter the US from Mexico, why can't they be trusted to enter from Canada or fly in from Brazil?  But they never really did combine them completely, the separate names are floating out there in seemingly random places.  When you apply, your background is checked for "Into the United States", and if approved, you can enter from Canada, Mexico, or via a US airport.  You can also chose to apply for "Into Canada", meaning you can cross the US Canadian border, fly across the US Canadian border, enter either the US or Canada from a third country by air, and enter the US by land from Mexico. 

But of course the application process on GOES is somewhat confusing, because part of the application deals with "Into the US" and "Into Canada" questions, but then at the very end, you have to pick a program which chooses who gets the application and where you can enroll.  Global Entry = $100 fee, "Into the US" access, and enrollment at a US (or Canadian with preclearance) airport.  NEXUS = $50 fee, "Into the US"/"Into Canada" access, and enrollment at a Canadian airport with pre-clearance or along the US border.  SENTRI = "Into the US" access plus the required vehicle inspection to use the SENTRI lanes, with a $122.50 fee.  What makes no sense at all (this is the government afterall) is that NEXUS = Global Entry + "Into Canada", but is half the price of Global Entry!  If you are a Global Entry or NEXUS member, you can do a vehicle inspection to use SENTRI lanes for $42.  Apply for NEXUS and add on the vehicle inspection later = $92.  Apply for SENTRI and apply for NEXUS later for "Into Canada" access...$172.50.  Both give the same result, just switching up the order!

Another difference is eligibility.  Global Entry is open to all residents of the US, including some temporary residents in the US on a visa...but Canadians can use Global Entry becuase they have "Into the US" access with NEXUS.  NEXUS is only open to residents of the US and Canada, but Global Entry and SENTRI members can use US bound NEXUS lanes at the land border.  SENTRI only to US and Mexicans...for a US resident, it is essentially Global Entry with a vehicle inspection.  Mexicans can add-on Global Entry access to their SENTRI benefits if they submit extra paperwork, which presumably would give them access to US-bound NEXUS lanes.  I don't think there is any way for a Mexican that is not a resident of the US or Canada to be able to use Canadian-bound NEXUS lanes, as Mexicans require a visa to enter Canada. 

So essentially, NEXUS/SENTRI/Global Entry just means the name of the lane or kiosk you use, but the access is extended not based on the name of the program on the card, but based on "Into the US" or "Into Canada" rights assigned to the card, with the caveat that to use SENTRI lanes, the vehicle must be inspected. 

So after applying for Global Entry, my GOES account says I have both "Global Entry" and "SENTRI", meaning I have "Into the US" access...and mentions nothing about entering from Canada in NEXUS Lanes, but the documentation that came with my card confirms that it will indeed work coming in from Canada.  Of course, I cannot use SENTRI lanes unless I get my car registered/inspected, or travel in someone else's car that is already inspected. 

Now to add to the confusion, there is FAST (Free and Secure Trade), which is for truck drivers crossing both the US/Canadian and US/Mexican border.  There is also FLUX (Fast Low-risk Universal Crossing), which is a program started by the US and Dutch governments to link the US Global Entry program and the Dutch equivalent, giving citizens "Into the US" and "Into the Netherlands" access.  Supposidly other countries are supposed to become part of the FLUX network, meaning you'll ultimately be able to get "Into.......fill in the blank....." access if you are a member of your own country's program.  Though not part of FLUX, US Global Entry members are invited to apply for South Korea's "Smart Entry Service", and vice versa.  US Global Entry members can also use "Smart Gate" kiosks to enter Australia, though you have to have a card, and it's not clear if you can still use Smart Gate if you have Global Entry by way of a NEXUS or SENTRI card.  Global Entry members also get expedited processing through the "Aussie/New Zealand" citizens line entering New Zealand, but you still get processed manually I think. 

Then there is expedited airport security.  CATSA (Canadian TSA) has expedited lines for NEXUS members, but I think it is just a shorter line.  Global Entry and SENTRI means nothing to CATSA, so those don't get any Canadian benefits.  In the US, TSA has its "Pre-check" program.  But there's a catch.  It is only open to US and Canadian members of Global Entry/NEXUS/SENTRI, only if you are flying on a participating airline at a participating airport, only if you are flying domestically, and only if you provide you membership ID number to TSA in advance of your flight at the time of reservation.  If you meet all of those requirements, you get to use the TSA pre-check line to get to the document checker.  They scan your boarding pass.  Then you find out if you actually get pre-check or not!  If you do, you can keep on your shoes, coat, and keep laptop and liquids in the case.  If you don't end up with pre-check, it is a normal screening, but at least you get a shorter line!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 07:32:52 PM by mtantillo »
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Dr Frankenstein

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #73 on: March 06, 2013, 09:03:47 PM »

What. A. Clusterfuck. Of. Nonsense. They really need to simplify this.

I'm still hesitating between YUL and Champlain for the interview. If YUL has too much wait, I'll just head down to Champlain... but they're only open on weekdays!
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mtantillo

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Re: Montreal Border Crossing
« Reply #74 on: March 06, 2013, 09:32:46 PM »

What. A. Clusterfuck. Of. Nonsense. They really need to simplify this.

I'm still hesitating between YUL and Champlain for the interview. If YUL has too much wait, I'll just head down to Champlain... but they're only open on weekdays!

No kidding!  I liken it to what will soon become electronic toll collection interoperability in the US.  Transponder X is accepted at facility A and B, but transponder Y is only accepted at B and transponder Z is only accepted at A, but can be image tolled at B if you have the license plate associated with the account......just wait, its coming to a toll road near you soon! 

Different states have different protocols, some states have multiple ETC protocols and have to use all of the "channels" on their readers for their tags, other states have only one protocol and can use a spare "channel" to read out of state tags, some facilities with the same brand ETC have gates and can't do image tolls while other facilities have no gates, some facilities (HOT Lanes mostly) can't do image tolls of single occupant vehicles because the lack of a tag means you are declaring yourself as HOV........but the deadline for national interoperability is in 2016, so they have to scrape together some rudimentary interoperability before then. 

As for trusted traveler programs, my guess is that the names of the lanes are either so commonly used that to change them now would be more trouble than it is worth, or in some cases might be legally required (I bet an act of Canadian govt. would be required to change the name NEXUS).  Ideally, they'd just use Global Entry everywhere going into the US, and NEXUS going into Canada.  As a Canadian, its pretty simple.  You get all the benefits, at the lowest price, through the only program you can qualify for: NEXUS.  Had I fully understood the process before I applied, I would have applied for NEXUS first too ($50 = NEXUS with GE benefits), instead of Global Entry first and then NEXUS ($100 for GE, $50 to add "into Canada" benfits/NEXUS).  Oh well, wouldn't have been the first time I threw $100 out the window by mistake...I only wish it wasn't to the government!

Carl: If YUL and Champlain are both booked solid, try Lansdowne, ON (I-81/ON 137 crossing).  The wait for big city appointments can be awful, but every crossing with NEXUS has an enrollment center nearby with the same number of available appointments, even the little ones like Houlton and Pembina!  Apparently people from Montreal go to Champlain, and people from Toronto travel to Niagara/Buffalo, but not nearly as many use Lansdowne.  The one catch is that the iris scans used for airport NEXUS clearance can only be done on Canadian soil (???), so if you go to Champlain, you'll have to get the iris scan done some other time.  I think they might do them at St. Bernard-de-Lacolle just across from Champlain, or you can just go to YUL, no appointment necessary once you're approved.  Or you could just not do iris scans if you only plan to use it for land crossings. 
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