I am a US citizen completing my Master's degree in the states. I have a standing job offer from a friend's company in lower BC, and I am beginning the process of wading through paperwork. For a little background, I have not yet applied for my work permit but I am scheduled to move in early December. I have a few questions related to complications I may encounter during this transition.
(1) I am weary my work visa documents will not be ready before I need to go through customs at the Washington/BC border. If this occurs, will I be able to cross as a visitor, if I can demonstrate I have funds to support myself while I wait for the documentation? What is sufficient to demonstrate this fact? A pay stub? A bank account statement?
(2) If I am able to cross as a visitor and complete the work permit documents in Canada, would I be able to bring over personal belongings for the period of time I would be "visiting" exceeding a couple suitcases for a more standard visit? Specifically, if I were to cross as a visitor with my belongings packed tightly in my vehicle for the period I will be "visiting," would they allow me to cross? I ask because if I were to come to Canada, visiting friends for a period of 3 months or so, I would expect the border would allow me to pack items I would need for that stay in my vehicle. I just do not know the conditions in which me crossing would be suspicious.
(3) If I do not have complete documents for my work visa, ONLY because the LMO documents are still pending, does that essentially mean the rest of the paperwork I could present to the border agent is useless?
Thank you in advance, and I will browse the forums more in hopes of finding answers I may have missed! Lauren :)
No i have not actually applied for either a temporary resident visa (you do not need one if you are a US citizen) or a work permit... yet. My boyfriend lives and works in Canada (born and raised in southern BC) and I want to join him there. His friend has a company and is interested in hiring me. Initially I was going to go to BC on a student visa after getting into Simon Frasier University. However I realized recently that SFU was out of my budget, and that is why I am scrambling now.
My original post was aimed to see if someone had experience crossing the Canadian border with "personal baggage" for an extended stay in Canada as a visitor, because I believe that is the best way for *me* to get into Canada at this time. I know from researching work permits that you can apply for a work permit while inside Canada (see: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/informatio ... inside.asp) so I feel this is my best best at this time given the time required to get HRSC approval.
I did some research on the Canada Border Service Agency's website, and found the following document:
In this document the definitions for personal baggage are defined as clothing, camping/hiking equipment, sports equipment, computers, cameras, & camcorders. Basically anything for a vacation. When I called the Border Patrol and spoke with someone in person they suggested that when you get to customs and discuss the contents of your vehicle, it is best if you have a list of the contents. As well have a clear explanation of why you need the items you have with you for your stay in Canada as a visitor. This entry does pose a problem for people with furniture, or small kitchen appliances. But for a person bringing just bare essentials, crossing as a visitor with "personal baggage" as defined on the site I linked above, theoretically you should be fine. You must demonstrate financial independence, and that was one of the main questions I wanted addressed in my post.
I don't know if I answered your question, but I wish you well :) Scissortailed