How Canadian Immigration helps Amtrak compete with airlines for user-unfriendliness.

Today was the day I was scheduled to go back up to Canada, after 3 weeks down here in Seattle training at the offices of the company I contract for. In an ideal world, I would have headed back to Vancouver, whereupon I would have located a furnished apartment to stay in until the end of June, or, with an application to Canadian immigration, possibly as late as October.

Instead, I spent 4 hours getting down there, 3/4 of an hour being interrogated by Canadian Immigration personnell, 6 hours sitting in a stationary train being watched over by a security guard, and another 4 hours back to Seattle.

Basically, the Canadian customs officer decided my reasons for wanting to (re)enter Canada weren't wholesome enough. The fact that I was contracting for a Seattle company, and planning on staying in Vancouver with trips down to Seattle at intervals, apparrently indicated to him that:
1) I was doing this to avoid US visa requirements, which prohibit me from working for the Seattle company as an employee in Seattle, by tele-commuting from the conveniently-nearby Vancouver.
2) He had no proof that my company was even applying for an H1B VISA, and that they weren't just bullshitting me, or that I wasn't intending to just stay in Canada indefinitely.

So, here I am back in Seattle. In a different hotel, since my old one had already cleaned and re-rented my old room.

Oh, and someone remind me to tell you all about the least competent security guard I've ever met, when I'm less tired and pissed off.

Edited: More paranoia - removed the name of the company I work for. Sorry.


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