how does a German citizen go through cutsoms on Montreal to New York t

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by sleepybobcat, Jun 7, 2010.

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  1. Jun 7, 2010 #1

    sleepybobcat

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    sleepybobcat

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    I have a German friend who plans to take a trip to the US this summer.

    She will visit her friends in Montreal first. After a week or two, she plans

    to ride Amtrak from Montreal to New York City.

    When the train crosses the US/Canada border, how do they handle

    immigration & customs? As a German citizen, she doesn't need a visa

    to visit the US, but I imagine that it's a little more complicated than the

    process for US & Canadian citizens, no?

    Last but not least, does the train wait until every passenger has cleared

    immigration before it leaves from the checkpoint?

    Any advice appreciated! :)
     
  2. Jun 7, 2010 #2

    Dutchrailnut

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    Dutchrailnut

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2010
  3. Jun 7, 2010 #3

    Guest

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    Guest

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    Good advice! Your friend doesnt want to be turned away @ the border by Homeland Security! There really isnt anything @ this border, and authorization to stay in canada might be iffy too! Better to check in advance than to be sorry! :eek: ;)
     
  4. Jun 7, 2010 #4

    zephyr17

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    zephyr17

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    Germany is a Visa Waiver (VWP) country, so a formal visa is not necessary. She will have to do the ESTA before she leaves Germany because that is required of all VWP country citizens. Do the I94 form, too and everything should be all right. There is no limit that only US and Canadian citizens can take the train, and nothing that someone normally admissible can't take that train.

    Out here, non-US/non-Canadian citizens take the Cascades to/from Vancouver all the time, with no unusual entry requirement. It is no different than any other border crossing, except the facilities are different.

    The train DOES wait until every person onboard is cleared or, if unfortunate, taken into custody.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2010
  5. Jun 7, 2010 #5

    Jean

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    Jean

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    We (two Australians) entered the US on this train last October. We had previously registered with ESTA, as we had originally flown in through San Francisco, then travelled to Canada. There was no fee, we just sat on the train and the Immigration agents gradually worked their way through the train. There were people from quite a few different countries on board - no problem, although the agents seemed to ask "Aliens" (love that term!) lots of questions. Took about an hour and a half. The Conductor warned us over the communication system to remain seated, do not attempt to pat/touch the dog if there is one.

    Further to ESTA, I recall that it has no option to click if you are entering the USA on a train (in the first instance), just airlines and shipping companies. I don't think the agents have a computer system on board the train, but obviously would in their offices (nearby, I presume). So maybe ESTA is not relevant for the train. Best check with some authority. The US embassy in Sydney never answered their phone when I called to check.

    Jean
     
  6. Jun 7, 2010 #6

    PerRock

    PerRock

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    As mentioned they board the train (usually as it sits in a station) and 'walk' it checking everyone's ID. I'm not sure if this has changed; but last time I took the EB they boarded and walked the train in some small town in Montana (which I thought was odd; as the EB doesn't go into Canada at all)

    However it is nothing like crossing over in Europe (even from Ireland to England). They will stop and ask you all the normal questions (where are you from; where are you going; what are you going to do; how much money; etc; etc)

    Customs stops used to be marked on the timetable (my guess is that they still are). So if your really curious about where they are conducting their searches you can look there.

    peter
     
  7. Jun 7, 2010 #7

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

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    According to the Homeland Security Website, you don't even need to apply for ESTA if you're from a a VWP Country and arriving via Canada or Mexico (click quote for reference):

    That being said, it wouldn't hurt to have the ESTA application on file - especially if you plan on leaving by air or sea.
     
  8. Jun 7, 2010 #8

    jis

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    A nit, but an important one.... For someone from VWP country the relevant form would be the green I94W and not the white I94
     
  9. Jun 7, 2010 #9

    sleepybobcat

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    sleepybobcat

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    US CBP has a new policy and they no longer requiring citizens from VWP countries

    to fill out the green I-94 forms when arriving by air.... not sure about land/sea/teletransportation/etc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2010
  10. Jun 7, 2010 #10

    jis

    jis

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    Yesterday when I arrived from Israel into EWR they had the WVP country folks fill up the I94W forms. I guess they have not been fully updated with the latest policy. It does happen sometimes.
     
  11. Jun 7, 2010 #11

    sleepybobcat

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    Israel is now a VWP country?

    I-94W will be completely eliminated in appx 3 to 5 months, according to news reports.
     
  12. Jun 8, 2010 #12

    jis

    jis

    jis

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    No. Israel is not a Visa Waiver Program participant. But that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that there were several VWP country passport holders on the flight, and they had the pleasure of filling the I94W.

    DHS is indeed getting rid of the I94W, but the process of eliminating them has not been completed yet - all this according to the DHS web site.
     

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