So much beauty out there

January 14, 2010

US Immigration Travails

Filed under: All,Dear Diary,Travel — Josh @ 5:48 pm
Tags: , ,

So, the trip to Canada was accompanied with various difficulties, most notably that my flight to Paris was delayed so I missed my connection to Toronto. The best alternative they could set up was for me going via Detroit. Now obviously nothing could possibly go wrong flying to Detroit, even if it meant I’d arrive in Canada around midnight rather than mid-afternoon. By which time I’d not have slept for 40 hours (one thing I’d really love is the ability to sleep sitting down on planes/trains/buses) but hey.

Only problem was that even a 2 hour stop-off in Detroit meant I had to go through US immigration proceedures. Queue for 40 minutes. Then:

  • Why do you want to come to the US – I don’t. I want to go to Canada.
  • Why haven’t you filled in the compulsory USA visa waiver programme? – Because I don’t want to go to the US
  • It’s compulsory – But I didn’t know I was coming to the US until 7 hours ago, and I’ve spent all that time at 40,000 feet.

…and so on. Finger-printing, photos the whole deal. I wonder if they thought I’d carefully engineered a cold weather snap in the UK and a strike of air controllers in Paris in order to inveigle my way onto a US bound flight. All the time all the poor buggers in the queue behind me were missing the connecting flights. Still, they finally, graciously, allowed me to stay in their fine country for 2 hours. I’m shocked and appalled at such treatment for educated middle-class white people. Surely it should be reserved for poor black people fleeing war zones?

I had a pretty hard time with Canadian Immigration too, but I think it was more reasonable here. After all, they are trying to stop people immigrating without visas to do so. What was I there to do? Consider immigrating, without a visa. So I must have ticked a few of their boxes.

Oh yeah, but Rachel you were wrong about them throwing in a compulsory seal clubbing exam in at the last minute. I guess that must only be for people seeking residence.

Finally arrived in Toronto. Sleep, blessed sleep.

2 Comments »

  1. What was I there to do? Consider immigrating, without a visa.

    Did you actually say that to them?

    Comment by Tea Drinker — January 14, 2010 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  2. Well, I told them that I wanted to check out Toronto for purposes of immigrating in the future. I thought it was easier to tell the truth than to pretend that I thought January was the perfect month for a tourist trip to the city.

    Comment by Josh — January 14, 2010 @ 8:55 pm | Reply


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