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Crossing the border Canada-USA twice (as European...!!!)

Travel Forums North America Crossing the border Canada-USA twice (as European...!!!)

1. Posted by flocke1986 (Budding Member 12 posts) 11y

Hi! I am planning to go to Canada (Qu├ębec) this summer. However, the ordinary "Working Holiday Visa" (those you need to do Work&Travel) had run out in January already! THe only chance for me to go there now is by a special visa which only allows me to work and stay in a Canadian youth hostel (a special cooperation by Hostelling International). However, this visa is for 6 months at the maximum - but I still want to spend a whole year in Canada. Provided I am accepted for the Hostel programm and provided that I get a Working Holiday Visa for 2006 (it is possible to apply for it while not being in Germany) - I will have to cross the Canadian border to "activate" the new status, no longer being there for an internship but from January on as a Work&Traveller. (Complicated plan (not only due to my complicated explanation...sorry ) - so propably bound to fail....:()

Well, I do not have any experience in crossing a non-European border at all!!! So who can tell me exactely how to get out of Canada (do I get a stamp in the passport for that?), into the USA (as this is simply the closest country and therefore the cheapest destination) and back into Canada to get the stamp in the passport that I from then on will be in Canada as a Work&Traveller and allowed to earn money??!! How can I organize this kind of "change of official status" with as little expenses (do I need a Visa for the USA?), as little trouble and as little time as possible??? As I imagine it, it will be a question of a few nerve-wrecking hours only, or is this a utopia? What documents will I need as a German citizen? Has anyone ever done a similar thing???

Thanks for helping an inexperienced traveller!! :)

2. Posted by Tsjebber (Full Member 58 posts) 11y

I did exactely the same with my Working Holiday Visa. FIlled in the forms in The Netherlands. My parents sended them in and got the paper for my visa. They sended that to my address in Canada and I rented a car and drove up to the border. You need to cross it and come back. Took me 2 minutes to cross. You need 6 US $ for your visa stamp in the us. Be sure you carry us funds. Once you got the stamp you turn around and go back to the Canadian border for your working visa. Getting your working visa takes a little bit more time. Be sure you don't have things like meat, milk, fruit in your car. And of course all other illegal stuff.
Good luck man

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

My boyfriend has a working visa for Canada, and we went to the US on holiday just after Christmas. I went through no problem, since the US and Canada have a special agreement. He (with a British passport) had to give a fingerprint and have his digital photo taken, then after a barrage of questions they gave him a little green visa slip. From that I conclude you can get a visa for a short vacation right there at the border (or at customs)- but don't take my word for it. We simply didn't plan a thing to get him papers to cross into the US beforehand, and it went just fine.

One potential glitch, though: he landed in the US (flight change) back in April, but went home directly from Canada. Which means his temporary visa from last year was still in his passport. A big no-no, apparently. They let him through with a warning for that one. Someone in Canadian customs was supposed to catch it and send it back to their counterparts across the border.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Assuming you are a German citizen, you will be covered under the US Visa Waiver Program and will not be required to get a visa ahead of time. You should have a similar experience to Tway's boyfriend. Thus transit into the U.S. will only cost you the cost of transportation.

If, however, you aren't a citizen of one of the countries listed on the webpage linked above, then you would need to get a visa ahead of time from the U.S.

From Quebec, the cheapest option would probably be to take a bus or train down to New England, and then come back again (assuming you just want to cross and cross back again). If you want to make a weekend of it, you can find cheap flights to a number of holiday destinations in the U.S. Las Vegas usually has cheap flights going there.

Greg