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Jan 31, 2017

Clear as Mud – How the U.S. Travel Ban Affects Canadians and Permanent Residents

January 31, 2017 – After discussions with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Toronto Pearson International Airport yesterday and considering that the Trudeau government has received assurances that Canadian passport holders will not be caught up in an American travel ban that has barred citizens of seven countries from entering the United States, things are as clear as mud for many Canadians and Permanent Residents traveling and working in the U.S.
 
This is what we can tell you….
 
With the recent travel legislation changes in the U.S., individuals carrying passports from the following countries are not permitted to travel to the United States at this time:
1.     Iran
2.     Iraq
3.     Libya
4.     Syria
5.     Yemen
6.     Sudan
7.     Somalia
 
Anyone with Permanent Resident status in Canada who carries a passport from any of the countries listed above cannot travel into the US at this time.   That is inclusive of individuals with valid U.S. travel visas.  Those visas will be cancelled.
 
We further caution that anyone with  Canadian Citizenship who is from any of the countries listed above limit travel into the US at this time and more importantly pursue the below suggested means of travel.
 
If a Canadian Citizen MUST fly into the U.S., they should avoid any travel that does not have U.S. customs PRE-FLIGHT INSPECTION (ex: small airports such as Billy Bishop).   Pre-flight inspection allows for the review to occur on Canadian soil, and a result  they may exit the airport without issue. 
 
If a Canadian Citizen MUST drive into the US, via regular border crossing,  the expectation is that if denied entry, the individual will be allowed to return directly to Canada.
 
The ultimate scenario to be avoided for individuals associated with these seven countries is flying directly into the U.S.  That puts an individual at the greatest risk of potential detention in the U.S.,  as the interpretation of the U.S. Executive Order is determined by the individual U.S. officer.  Moreover, although unlikely, if entry is denied, the officer may have difficulty determining whether the individual should be removed back to Canada or the country of birth/dual nationality, i.e. the determined “citizenship” of the traveler.
 
Canadian federal government has received assurance from the U.S. government that Canadians born in and/or with dual citizenship with one of these nations is permitted entry.  Unfortunately, we have to be overly cautious as the Executive Order continues to take form.  These suggested means of travel minimize the identified risks.
 
For additional information on the specifics of your case, please contact us

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