I’ll be in Montreal on business soon and was told that while a passport isn’t required, having one helps on the Canadian side if you are there on business and will most especially help upon returning to the States. Since, in this post 9/11 hysteria, I do wish to see my wife again, off I went to get my passport renewed.
The Post Office can process passport requests, but even an expedited request takes two weeks, which was more time than I had.
After booking the flight on Expedia, up popped a screen saying, should I need a passport quickly, to clickthrough to CIBT.com, who can process at passports overnight. They must have some kind of serious ju-ju with Customs, because they did just that – a 24 hr turnaround after I overnighted the documents to their Florida office. Go figure.
In the past, business travelers to Canada may have fibbed, saying they were on there on vacation in order to speed their entrance into the country. In the current climate lying to Customs, any Customs, is seriously stupid. Don’t even think of doing it with US Customs, it’s a felony, and a federal one at that.
Activists who have been to countries like Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Cuba say that upon entry, those countries ask if you want your passport stamped. You can say no. Uncle Sam didn’t used to check where you’ve been. Those days are gone. So, if you go to Cuba, come back with an unstamped passport showing no Cuba entry, then lie about it when asked where you went, well, if they can prove you are lying, you may be seriously phucked.
So,when it comes to Customs, be a Boy Scout. Always tell the truth.