Hedging our bets at the border - good or bad idea?
May 22, 2014 7:11 PM Subscribe
My husband and I will be travelling to the States next month, for the first time since he became a Canadian Citizen and got his passport. Technically speaking, it should be easiest to use his Canadian Passport given Canadian/US relations, but his name is such that there is a significant chance that he will be pulled over for questioning. If he does get pulled aside, will pulling out his original passport to show his American Visa make things better or worse?
posted by scrute to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know, YANML, YANMCA (customs agent). I also realize that this may be largely dependent on whoever he happens to get and their mood that day. But general guidance would be appreciated.
On our trip to New York State next month, my husband really wants to cross on his new Canadian Passport, and in theory, it should be easier than crossing on an Egyptian one (his country of origin). But given the stories and experiences of friends and friends of friends, I am concerned that he will be pulled aside for extensive questions based on his name (first name rhymes with Obama, last name is Mohamed) and his country of birth.
My question: His Egyptian passport has a valid American visa in it that involved significant security screening. If he uses his Canadian Passport and gets called in for questioning, is it wise to pull out the Egyptian passport and show the visa? Is there is a rule against pulling out a second passport once you've already presented the first? If there is not a rule, would it be helpful or unwise?
Other relevant information: we'll be crossing by land at a medium-traffic crossing so it's probably going to be a crapshoot on whether we get someone who is more or less likely to profile him based on his name and religion.
Bonus question: If they question him, as his wife, can I be part of that process?