[yapc] passport and tourism

James Keenan jkeen at verizon.net
Sat Jun 12 11:11:33 CDT 2004

On Jun 11, 2004, at 11:55 AM, Uri Guttman wrote:

> given all the security hoopla, should i bring my passport just to cross
> into canada for tourist stuff? in my previous forays north, i just
> needed my driver's license and in some cases at small town crossovers,
> nothing happened.
> anyone know the current trends at niagara falls (like over rainbow
> bridge)?

1.  It never hurts to have your passport.
2.  All non-U.S. citizens currently living in the US and attending the 
conference should check in advance as to what documentation they might 
need to enter Canada and re-enter the U.S. on a day trip.
3.  The time needed to pass through Customs and Immigration varies 
maddeningly.  I've driven into and out of Canada four times since 9/11. 
  I never have a problem getting into Canada.  I show them my passport 
and my license number is already in their system.
	Getting back into the U.S. is a different question.  I've entered the 
U.S. via the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge (most direct route from Canada 
to northern Erie County and points east) three times since Sept 2001 -- 
once just 3 weeks after the attacks.  The first two times:  no problem, 
no more than 15 minute waits, even though I was asked to open my trunk. 
  But in early May, returning from Toronto (where, once again, I had a 
great time with to.pm), it took me 90 minutes to cross the Bridge and 
get through C&I -- and I don't really know why the processing was going 
so slowly.  And the Q-L Bridge always had a reputation of being faster 
than the Peace Bridge!
	Implication:  Be sure you take a bathroom break before approaching the 
border, particularly entering the US.
4.  Uri:  Given the above, I would recommend taking the Maid of the 
Mist from the U.S. side, so as to not waste time crossing the border on 
a peak traffic summer weekend.


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