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[pct-l] Re: Entering the US southbound - the word from the INS
You aren't going to like this. Here is the official word from the Sumas, =
Washington INS office (phone 360-988-4781):
There is NO LEGAL way to enter the US from Manning Park on the PCT for a =
foreign national who needs traveling papers (passport, visa, etc.). =
Flying into Seattle will not work. Going to the border at Sumas won't =
work. Nothing will work.
Here is the deal:
A foreign national with passport and visa needs to present themselves =
for inspection of their documents at a US border office and obtain a =
form I-94 which will certifies that they can be in the US and gives a =
date by when they must leave. This form needs to be obtained for each =
entry to the US. The "inspection" and form must be obtained at the time =
Since there is no office on the PCT at the border, one cannot be =
"inspected" nor obtain the form. Thus, entry is illegal. Even if you =
have a valid visa.
Additionally, the form is suppose to be presented to the US border =
office when leaving the country. So, theoretically, that means you can't =
fly into Seattle, obtain the form, and then go to Canada; same for =
Sumas. Don't even ask the border staff for it.
The penalties: fine, imprisonment, deportation, no right to return to =
the U.S. Will there be border people at the PCT border to catch people? =
Who knows. Anything is possible. How about at another place? Anything is =
possible. What is the probability of getting caught? ???
So, the INS staff say there is no way to hike from Canada into the US =
So, now you need to get practical. And, do what you must do.
Will anyone stop you at the border on the PCT. I doubt it. Although =
staff know when the bus arrives at Manning, that doesn't mean that is =
when a person starts hiking. I have never seen any official people on =
the trail except one ranger in Yosemite. Yet, the INS staff person said =
that they might put someone on the trail to inspect hikers. Down the =
trail you pass into roads in the Pesaytan Wilderness and then at Rainy =
I know that when going into Canada at Sumas, one never stops at the US =
border station - only the Canadian. Would they ask for the I-94? When =
you fly from the US, does anyone ask for the I-94? Is this a new thing? =
I know that there were many foreigners going North bound and passed into =
Canada and then the US, wonder if they also had this type of document?
I imagine one could get a ride to Sumas, get the I-94 (but do not tell =
anyone you are going to return to Canada immediately), then get to =
Manning without turning in the I-94.=20
To be legal, one could fly to Seattle, get to Steven's Pass, hike north =
to Manning, return to Stevens Pass and then hike South. That is, =
presuming you can enter the US twice with the same visa.
Don't you just love our country's red tape. Canada has form for people =
to complete who are entering Canada from the US. And you can get that =
directly at the Canadian Sumas border station and have it signed there =
(I did that once).
Ask, and you learn what you didn't want to know. =20
----- Original Message -----=20
From: Matti Urla=DF=20
Cc: Marshall Karon ; dude ; Marge Prothman=20
Sent: Sunday, May 19, 2002 1:06 PM
Subject: Entering the US southbound
Thank you very much for your help and advice.
But is there realy noone on the list who has crossed the border =
southbound on the PCT??? I'm looking for first hand Information.
Because I'm afraid of getting in trouble when I do want to leave the =
US and an I do not have a stamp (Okay what els can they do then throw me =
out. they could fine me they could forbid me to come back... ( for =
hiking the CD and the AT)) What a nightmare...
I think you do have the Shaffer and Selters guidebook PCT =
Could you read pages 22 and 23. he tells some things about border =
I do not realy understand what he is suggesting. Does it meen I shoul =
cross the border from Canada on a official place then walk back into =
Canada and hike back (illegaly) into the US...???!!! sounds stupid (or =
am I stupid and do not understand what he tries to tell me?)
Ofcours I do have:
will take my driverslicence (for secound document with a Photo)
Will get my Visa (wich I do need as a german because I will hike more =
than 3 month)
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