Travel

USA customs young adult question

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 17th, 2021 11:02 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 12, 2011
197 posts
91 upvotes
Hawkesbury

USA customs young adult question

My son is travelling to Florida for 6 weeks to see his g/f that he has never met. He will hardly have any cash on him. He doesn’t have a job. How strict are customs on young kids travelling for long periods with hardly any money. He doesn’t have a job, so I’m wondering if they might think he is going to work since he is staying 6 weeks with hardly any cash and no credit cards. He has never left Canada ever.
47 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
17751 posts
15206 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Ya ... this whole scenario is a BIG BRIGHT RED FLAG for CBP
US Customs & Border Protection = US Customs

Without a job back in Canada
He’s not got much proof that he intends to return to Canada

Without money to back him ... or on him (or access thru Credit Cards etc )
He’s got little in the way of proof he is able to support himself
Esp if he’s looking at weeks vs days

And that opens up the question of HOW HE’LL SUPPORT HIMSELF while in the USA
Clearly he intends to stay with the GF
But who’s to say ... their plan isn’t full on move in together / cohabitation ? **

** Translation = Stay & Live in the USA illegally ... look for a job etc

CBP are gonna see him as an Illegal Immigration Risk ... vs someone coming to America as a Tourist

My best advice ... don’t even attempt it
Cuz if they turn him away at the US Border
They have the ability to flag him ... on the computer
Minimum ... cannot attempt recently for 1 year
Worst case ...
And once the flag is in the database it’s dang near impossible to get removed for many years to come
“Suspicion of Entering to Work or Live in the USA Illegally “

He should stay in Canada
Get established ... a job etc

In the meantime ...
Once the border reopens entirely ... maybe his GF could visit him here
That’s if her situation is better than his as far as employment status goes, place of residency etc
Cuz CBSA (Customs Border Services Agency = Canada Customs) are gonna look at her in much the same light
Is she truly coming to Canada as a tourist ?
Does she have a home & job to go back to etc
Deal Guru
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Jan 9, 2011
12115 posts
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Vancouver
kennyg1966 wrote: My son is travelling to Florida for 6 weeks to see his g/f that he has never met. He will hardly have any cash on him. He doesn’t have a job. How strict are customs on young kids travelling for long periods with hardly any money. He doesn’t have a job, so I’m wondering if they might think he is going to work since he is staying 6 weeks with hardly any cash and no credit cards. He has never left Canada ever.
Just to clarify a point: Customs and immigration are often spoken of as being the same thing, but they are very different.
Customs is concerned with the movement of goods. Not people. Customs cares about what you have with you and/or what is being shipped across the border, and not about you personally. Immigration very much cares about you personally, they decide if you are fit to enter the country or not. Often one border officer will fulfill both roles, but he is wearing two different hats when he does so.

When I was in my early 20s I tried to enter the USA on a 1-way Greyhound ticket and was denied. They didn't believe my story that my friends had driven down the day before but I had to stay behind to work, and that we'd all come home in the same car two days in the future. This was the truth, but it didn't convince them. I couldn't satisfy them that I wasn't trying to enter the US illegally to work or be a deadbeat. So they wouldn't let me back on the bus and I had to wait at the border for two hours for the return bus to take me home. Just a warning of what your son might be facing.
Last edited by Kiraly on May 29th, 2021 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 6, 2002
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Either troll or horrible parent.

You want your kid going to Florida to meet someone who may or may even not show up with no access to cash.

I suspect troll
Autocorrect sucks
Deal Guru
May 9, 2007
11624 posts
3459 upvotes
Vancouver Island, BC
GangStarr wrote: I suspect troll
I actually used the OP to explain to someone today what a troll is and what trolling is.

I told them that a comment in such threads is...

“Don’t feed the troll!’
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Upton Sinclair

Our house is on fire.” Greta Thunberg
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
17751 posts
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Eastern Ontario
GangStarr wrote: Either troll or horrible parent.

You want your kid going to Florida to meet someone who may or may even not show up with no access to cash.

I suspect troll
I disagree ...

My guess is the son is of legal age ... OVER 18

So the Parent here has very little control over what their kid actually does
(that control actually ends in many regards legally much younger ... which comes as great surprise to many parents ... as their kids reach the milestones of 12, 14, and 16 )

I suspect the parent asked the question ... so they actually can show their kid what they found out off the internet when they posed the question / outlined the scenario.

As to being a troll ...
OP is not an RFD Newbie ... which is the far more normal trolling pattern
They’ve been around since 2011
And have over 150 posts
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
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Markham
Is it normal these days that people consider each other as girlfriends or boyfriend without even meet?
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2005
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Mississauga
The customs officer will most likely flag it as a red flag, but if he really wants to go, I recommend the following:
1. Documentation showing his round trip and when he's coming back
2. Some sort of proof that he has no intent of staying in the US and will be coming back to Canada on the desired date.
3. Some sort of proof the he can "survive" in the US, i.e. enough cash, reservation for a hotel, etc.

No income and no way to survive (without dependent of GF) will raise a lot of red flags. It will be easier if he has something like a sibling or parents go with him.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 14, 2003
4836 posts
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LaLaLand
All signs point to him getting denied entry to the US. They want tourists that have money to spend. A young person traveling alone that has never visited the US before also raises questions.

No job - How did he pay for the plane ticket and the money he is bringing with him? This also shows he doesn't need to return to Canada in a specific timeframe.
Limited funds - How will he get around and support his stay?
No credit card - What if is there is an emergency, how will he pay for it?
Meeting a stranger - What if it a scam, they are a shady person or if plans change?
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 6, 2002
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PointsHubby wrote: I disagree ...

My guess is the son is of legal age ... OVER 18

So the Parent here has very little control over what their kid actually does
(that control actually ends in many regards legally much younger ... which comes as great surprise to many parents ... as their kids reach the milestones of 12, 14, and 16 )

I suspect the parent asked the question ... so they actually can show their kid what they found out off the internet when they posed the question / outlined the scenario.

As to being a troll ...
OP is not an RFD Newbie ... which is the far more normal trolling pattern
They’ve been around since 2011
And have over 150 posts
Fair perspective. I would recommend flying in if he’s going to do this. Getting turned around at a customs pre clearance airport is far simpler land border.

At least loan your kid some cash. I’ve seen the types who sleep on south besch. You can make it through a. Rough night on that besch but doubt you’ll have your wallet and cell in the morn
Autocorrect sucks
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 12, 2011
197 posts
91 upvotes
Hawkesbury
Definitely not a troll or bad parent. He still lives with his mom and is 20 years old. I’ve done everything possible to discourage this trip. I offered once quarantine is over to go with him for a week to meet this girlfriend and he went and booked the ticket(June 13) I made him read the reply’s here and still nothing. I’m in ontario and flying out of Montreal with the interprovincial borders are closed to essential travel. I might not even be able to get him to the airport . Thank you for all the reply’s unfortunately it did nothing to discourage him.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 12, 2011
197 posts
91 upvotes
Hawkesbury
Kiraly wrote: OP your son is going have much more success on all fronts if he goes for 4 or 5 days instead of 45 days.
I tried
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 12, 2011
197 posts
91 upvotes
Hawkesbury
PointsHubby wrote: Ya ... this whole scenario is a BIG BRIGHT RED FLAG for CBP
US Customs & Border Protection = US Customs

Without a job back in Canada
He’s not got much proof that he intends to return to Canada

Without money to back him ... or on him (or access thru Credit Cards etc )
He’s got little in the way of proof he is able to support himself
Esp if he’s looking at weeks vs days

And that opens up the question of HOW HE’LL SUPPORT HIMSELF while in the USA
Clearly he intends to stay with the GF
But who’s to say ... their plan isn’t full on move in together / cohabitation ? **

** Translation = Stay & Live in the USA illegally ... look for a job etc

CBP are gonna see him as an Illegal Immigration Risk ... vs someone coming to America as a Tourist

My best advice ... don’t even attempt it
Cuz if they turn him away at the US Border
They have the ability to flag him ... on the computer
Minimum ... cannot attempt recently for 1 year
Worst case ...
And once the flag is in the database it’s dang near impossible to get removed for many years to come
“Suspicion of Entering to Work or Live in the USA Illegally “

He should stay in Canada
Get established ... a job etc

In the meantime ...
Once the border reopens entirely ... maybe his GF could visit him here
That’s if her situation is better than his as far as employment status goes, place of residency etc
Cuz CBSA (Customs Border Services Agency = Canada Customs) are gonna look at her in much the same light
Is she truly coming to Canada as a tourist ?
Does she have a home & job to go back to etc
Thank you and that’s what I expected the answer to be. I said once quarantine is over I’ll take you. With me with him it’s not a problem. I have one of those kids that knows everything.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
10656 posts
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Markham
kennyg1966 wrote: Thank you and that’s what I expected the answer to be. I said once quarantine is over I’ll take you. With me with him it’s not a problem. I have one of those kids that knows everything.
I think another concern is how to make sure he will be safe in US, especially you go to meet someone who you never meet in person. Do you have some friends or family in that area who can checkout?
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
17751 posts
15206 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
kennyg1966 wrote: Definitely not a troll or bad parent. He still lives with his mom and is 20 years old. I’ve done everything possible to discourage this trip. I offered once quarantine is over to go with him for a week to meet this girlfriend and he went and booked the ticket(June 13) I made him read the reply’s here and still nothing. I’m in ontario and flying out of Montreal with the interprovincial borders are closed to essential travel. I might not even be able to get him to the airport . Thank you for all the reply’s unfortunately it did nothing to discourage him.
kennyg1966 wrote: I tried
kennyg1966 wrote: Thank you and that’s what I expected the answer to be. I said once quarantine is over I’ll take you. With me with him it’s not a problem. I have one of those kids that knows everything.
Exactly what I thought ...

Now the bigger Question ...

How is he gonna afford the MANDATORY HOTEL QUARANTINE upon his return ?

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/ ... oking.html

Might be time to enlist Mom, with the documentation you’ve gathered so far.

As the Cdn Govt says ... including the first line in that attached document

Now is not the time to travel. We strongly advise you to cancel or postpone non-essential trips.

Truly stupid if he gets red flagged by US Customs & Immigration ... that could eff up his entry into the USA for years to come!

Kid needs to be more long term focussed

PS ... depending upon who he booked airfare with ... not all is lost
Most airlines are allowing for a one time any reason flight changes / rebooking during Covid
Deal Addict
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Jul 25, 2008
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Richmond Hill
I hope your son has actually did some live video chat with said girlfriend...
Too many horror stories about situations like this.

Even if my son was 20 yrs old, I would forbid this to ever happen.
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Sep 6, 2002
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Vancouver
First apologize for the bad parent comments.

Second. He’s 20. He may need to learn the hard way. Then again this could work out perfectly fine.

I remember meeting IRC strangers (well text buddies) while on a family road trip to Texas when I was 17 and telling the parents I was out walking our friends dog. Nothing happened and we mostly chatted about warez and politics in the irc community and stuff. Parents would have never allowed it.

Maybe the girls rich in Florida and will take care of him

Let’s see how your kid does face to face with usa immigration. If he’s flying, hopefully a return ticket hopefully he slips through.

Worst case maybe familArize himself how to received western union so you can send him a few bucks if he ends up screwed over or abandoned.

Hope all works out well
Autocorrect sucks
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 12, 2011
197 posts
91 upvotes
Hawkesbury
. They have been “together” over a year. We have all tried to discourage this. They have sent gifts back and forth. I told him anything goes wrong to get to an airport and I’ll book his flight. He has video chatted with her whole family. Part that worries me is he hates to leave the house for anything, never been in an airport in his life. Hopefully something happens he will change his mind.

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