I thought I’d drop you a note.
Those Homeland Security people can be pretty tough.
I arrived at the Toronto Airport for my US Work Permit application 6:30am and found a list outside. I wrote my name in and noticed well more than a dozen names above mine starting at 5:00 am.
I grabbed a coffee and came back at 7am. They had opened the doors at seven for paperwork review only. My timing lucked out and I was only in line for a few minutes. The few people in front of me were getting a hard time with their paper work. Old application versions, missing reference letters, no property tax bills, no personal statement, or really much of any documentation showing their ties to Canada. They were dealt with pretty sternly.
When it was my turn, the agent flipped through my papers. First thing out of her mouth “Good, you have the new version of the application, excellent”. As she found the various items she’d say something like “property tax bill good, reference letters good” etc. The paper work preview took less than 3 minutes and I was given an approximate appointment time of 12:30.
I got back to the airport at 11:30. Within 5 minutes my name was called. When I went up to the door I was told “We’ve been calling you forever”. I reminded her that she told me to come back for 12:30. “I did? Well I lied. There were a lot of incomplete application so you got bumped up”. The “I lied” was the one and only glimmer of humor…
The process from that point took about 15 minutes. I noticed on the sign in sheet that about 3/4 of the names were crossed off with notations like “missing paper work” or “no reference letters” and that sort of thing. While I was there, there was another guy getting his temporary work visa renewed. When he mentioned that he lived in the states and only came up to Canada to vacation or to renew his application I thought they were going to be very hard on him.. it may have been more merciful than the tongue lashing he got “Sir, you’re supposed to maintain a residence abroad, not live in the States. I don’t know how many other ways to tell you that. You’re in violation”
The agent did make one comment about that guy when I was lead away to the cashier… “Do you believe these people? We’re in the middle of a huge recession and he can’t understand why he’s not supposed to have a permanent job and residence in the States”.
Anyhow, the point of all this–is that the money I paid to the Immigration Lawyers at Niren and Associates was worth every penny.
US Customs and Border Protection has very little patience for anyone that doesn’t come 100% prepared with perfect visa paperwork. The US Visa application package you supplied me seemed to be perfect and was met with zero criticism by the customs agent. That must have softened their approach to me to some degree. I can’t help but think that you saved me several visits, an embarrassing tongue lashing, and who knows how many hours of frustration.
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