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US Customs in Canada

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This past weekend was my first trip to Canada since the new passport regulations took place.

I didn't think it would have much to do with me as I just assumed it meant "carry your passport" and show it instead of a driver's license.

I was surprised that it now means that US Citizens must pass through Canadian customs upon entering the country, stand in one of those l-o-n-g lines and fill out one of those entry declaration forms -- all for a 50 minute flight.

It was the departure that was really problematic. We arrive at the Toronto airport for our return flight. We found out that US Customs is physically located at the airport, so we had to fill in a arrival sheet and go through US customs with our boarding passes. Seemed to make sense -- it would save us a line back in DC.

Unfortunately, our flight was cancelled after we waited 5 hours for incremental delay announcements. Toronto does not have an in-transit lounge for traveling from Canada to the US, so we had to exit Canadian customs again to go to a hotel. The next morning, with our new boarding passes, we once again had to pass through US Customs. He actually questioned our assertion that we had purchased nothing -- after all we had only been in Canada for 7 hours to sleep.

I guess my primary feeling in all this is the dilution that Canada is our neighbor to the North. It feels less friendly and more like a foreign country.

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