Vancouver Olympics – Travel Documents

If you are American or Canadian, to travel across the border between the 2 countries, since 2007 there have been “new” rules for entry by air; for land and sea entry, “new” rules went into effect in June 2009. You need to know what travel documents are required now to cross the Canadian border.

To see the rules operating now, which are quite different from those of the past, when there was an almost-open border for the citizens of both countries, then please head over to America’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. You will find passport and the new I.D. card information there.

It’s essential. You do NOT want to be stranded. You do NOT want to be refused or extradited! You want your travel plans to go smoothly, and if you still have to obtain the documents, you’ll already be hard-pressed to get them in time for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver!

The border guards have always had “discretion”, and in 1997, before all this “terrorism” stuff, my family and I had spent hours waiting at the Washington state-British Columbia border, in sweltering heat.

We had my 60+ year old aunt visiting with us on an Australian passport. She had been traveling around the world often, as that was her business. She had previous visas from all over the place, and many applied to the current trip.

For some reason, the guards “targeted” her, and she was “held and interrogated” for about another 2 hours before they decided to admit her to Canada — and she was from a fellow member of the British Commonwealth country! I have never forgotten that incident, and regard it as an abuse of power.

But, when these things happen you are stuck; you are at their mercy. So, make sure you have done everything you are supposed to (as she had), and then hope the border guards don’t behave as they did to her, for no reason.

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