How Canada's New Marijuana Laws Impact Employees Who Travel Between Canada and the US | Evelyn Ackah | Ackah Business Immigration Law

HR Advisory:
How Canada’s New Marijuana Laws Affect US and Canadian Cross-Border Business

America and Canada have long enjoyed a friendly personal and business relationship. Many US and Canadian businesses conduct cross-border business and have employees who regularly or occasionally travel between the US and Canada for work or business. With Canada’s new marijuana laws impact employees who legally smoke pot while in Canada may face difficulty crossing the border into the United States – even if they are American citizens. Corporate HR policies must reflect the changing issues confronting employees who cross borders for business.

Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah explains,

Human Resource departments in Canada and the US should update their HR policies and notify all employees who currently or in the future may travel between Canada and the US for work, business, education – or even vacations – about how the new marijuana laws impact employees – and what they should and shouldn’t do when crossing the Canadian border into the United States. 

  • Americans who admit to US border guards that they legally used marijuana while in Canada could face difficulties re-entering the US.
  • Canadians who legally purchase marijuana in Canada may be barred from entering the United States.
  • Canadians who legally invest in or work in the cannabis industry – even if they do not use marijuana themselves – are subject to the same US federal laws that ban the use, purchase or distribution of cannabis – for any reason.
  • Electronic records which show the purchase of legal marijuana in Canada may be available to US border patrol agents – including credit card records, cell phone records and other electronic data.

Evelyn Ackah advises,

Never lie about marijuana use at the border crossing, but instead refuse to answer the question about marijuana use. In that case, Canadians will be denied admission to the United States on that occasion, but will not be banned for life. Americans returning to the US from Canada can be questioned about their legal use or purchase of marijuana in Canada, and are subject to US penalties and laws.  

Review HR Policies and Practices and Consult a Canadian Immigration Expert 

Ackah Business Immigration Law offers employment law and human resources advisory services for companies that do cross-border business. Ackah Law’s legal team works with HR departments to protect their business interests and employees. We recommend you review your HR policies and practices and consult a Canadian immigration expert if your business to see how Canada’s new marijuana laws impact employees:

  • sends employees to meetings, events or conferences for educational, sales or networking reasons to the US or Canada from the other country
  • has locations and employees in both the US and Canada
  • is considering expanding from the US to Canada, or vice versa
  • recruits and hires employees from Canada to work in the United States
  • has American employees who visit Canada on holiday, for study or other personal reasons

Learn more about Canada’s marijuana legalization and cross-border travel:  

What US and Canadian Employers Need to Know About Canada’s New Marijuana Laws

How Canada’s New Marijuana Laws May Impact Your US Travel

Marijuana Legalization in Canada Causes Issues for Investors at the US Border

Canadians Who Legally Buy Marijuana in Canada May be Denied Entry to the US

Book a Consultation Today Evelyn Ackah Immigration Lawyer

Do you have questions about US / Canada border immigration?
We Can Help

Evelyn Ackah is a US and Canada immigration law expert and founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Business immigration law focuses on helping people move into new opportunities — both personally and professionally. Ackah Immigration Law helps you to navigate the complex maze of rules and regulations involved with Canadian, US and international immigration law with confidence. Headquartered in Calgary and with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides legal immigration advice for those looking to move for work, education or personal reasons.

We provide expertise in all areas of immigration law ranging from corporate immigration to personal and family immigration matters. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients around the world representing corporations, institutions, not for profit organizations and individual clients. As your immigration lawyers and paralegals, we provide you with timely and strategic advice relating to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations.

Contact Ackah Business Immigration Law

Calgary: (403) 452‑9515     Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512     Toronto: (416) 643‑7177

North America: 1 (800) 932-1190

contact@ackahlaw.com 

 

Prevent Being Permanently Banned From Entering The US: Canada’s New Marijuana Laws | Evelyn Ackah | Immigration Lawyer

When Canada’s new marijuana laws that legalize cannabis use go into effect October 1, 2018, “U.S. customs and border agents are bracing for Canada’s legalization of recreational marijuana, saying they will continue to enforce federal law along the northern border,” according to Newsweek, and

“Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some U.S. States and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana all remain illegal under U.S. federal law,” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials told Detroit’s Local 4 news.

Canadians should consult an immigration lawyer if they have ever used, bought, sold or invested in a marijuana business or service and want to visit the United States after October 1. Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah explains that even when Canada’s new marijuana laws go into effect if a Canadian enters a U.S. state where marijuana use is legal, federal law bans the use, sale and investment in the marijuana industry and the U.S. Canada Border is patrolled by Federal agents:

It can be a catch-22: if a Canadian crossing the U.S. border lies about legally using marijuana in Canada – even for medical reasons – they can be banned from entering the United States for lying to immigration officials. 

Non-Americans using a credit card to purchase marijuana and other online financial data is not protected under United States privacy laws and may be available to U.S. immigration officials. 

Canadians should never lie about marijuana use at the border crossing, but instead to refuse to answer the question about marijuana use. In that case, you will be denied admission to the United States on that occasion, but will not be banned for life. 

Prevent Being Banned for Life From Entering The United States

Ackah advises Canadians who have used or invested in the cannabis industry. “You may want to consult an immigration lawyer before trying to cross the Canada / U.S. border. Hopefully the border issues surrounding Canadians’ legal use of marijuana will be resolved soon. In the meantime, if you do legally use marijuana in Canada and are traveling to the United State for business or as a tourist, I recommend:

  1. When crossing the Canada / U.S. border, make sure you are not carrying any marijuana or cannabis paraphernalia in your pockets or bags.
  2. Put passwords on your electronic devices so your photos, emails and texts cannot be read.
  3. Do not use a credit card to purchase marijuana, as the legal electronic sharing of data between countries could make that information available to the border agents.”

Inadmissibility to the United States

If you are permanently banned from entering the United States for your legal Canadian purchase and use of marijuana, you can appeal the decision. Ackah Business Immigration Law provides comprehensive expertise in all areas of Canadian and United States immigration law. Our innovative legal practice combines professional knowledge, personal attention, and supportive advice. With knowledge and expertise, we navigate complex Canada / U.S. cross-border immigration rules and regulations to solve problems and remove obstacles, before you get to the border.

Learn more:  

Marijuana Legalization in Canada Causes Issues for Investors at the US Border

Canadians Who Legally Buy Marijuana in Canada May be Denied Entry to the US

Book a Consultation Today Evelyn Ackah Immigration Lawyer

Do you have questions about Canada’s new marijuana laws?
We Can Help

Evelyn Ackah is a U.S. and Canada immigration law expert and founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Business immigration law focuses on helping people move into new opportunities — both personally and professionally. Ackah Immigration Law helps you to navigate the complex maze of rules and regulations involved with Canadian, U.S. and international immigration law with confidence. Headquartered in Calgary and with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, Ackah Business Immigration Law provides legal immigration advice for those looking to move for work, education or personal reasons.

We provide expertise in all areas of immigration law ranging from corporate immigration to personal and family immigration matters. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients around the world representing corporations, institutions, not for profit organizations and individual clients. As your immigration lawyers and paralegals, we provide you with timely and strategic advice relating to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations.

Contact Ackah Business Immigration Law

Calgary: (403) 452‑9515     Vancouver: (604) 985‑9512     Toronto: (416) 643‑7177

North America: 1 (800) 932-1190

contact@ackahlaw.com 

For Immediate Release 

Ackah Business Immigration Law

Source: Ackah Business Immigration Law 

August 23, 2018 10:00 MT 

Soaring Canada Temporary Resident Visa Refusal Rates Negatively Impacts Tourism and the Economy

CALGARY, AB—  The rate at which Canada rejects Foreign Nationals applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Visitor Visa has increased to more than one-in-four in 2018, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). “This has a concerning impact for the tourism industry and the overall economy of Canada, as this deters people from wanting to come to Canada as visitors,” says Evelyn Ackah, a lawyer practicing business immigration law exclusively since 2000 and Founder and Managing Lawyer of Ackah Business Immigration Law. 

In 2017, nearly 600,000 Visitor Visa applications were denied, which equates to more than a quarter of all Visitor Visa applications. The number of refusals has steadily increased from 18 percent in 2012 to 21 percent in 2016. Early 2018 figures suggest the number of refusals is still increasing and applicants are likely to see their applications denied with projects of a 30 percent refusal rate in the first quarter of the year.

According to a Globe and Mail newspaper report, published on July 8 and data obtained by IRCC, both the number of Visitor Visa applications for purposes including tourism, school, business, conferences and family visits and the number of refusals has increased significantly since 2012. In 2017, there were over 2.3 million visitor applications filed.

The refusal rate for student visa applications was even higher — increasing from 26% in 2012 to 33% in 2017. 

“This is significant for the Canadian economy. It’s really showing that the government policy is changing as it relates to visitor visas and temporary visa status,” says Ackah. 

“It’s becoming much more difficult to try to do the TRV application on your own. I  highly encourage you to consider working with a legal professional – a lawyer who understands immigration law to give yourself the best opportunity for a successful visa application. Although of course we can never guarantee it, knowing the risk of refusal and that refusal a second time weakens your application.” 

The data reveals that it is becoming more difficult to get a Canadian Visitor Visa approved. Refusal rates were highest for applicants from Africa and Middle East, with 75 percent of applications from Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan being rejected in the last two years. Applicants who are applying to attend conferences and business meetings are also facing refusals. As well, it looks like Venezuelan applicants are added to that list of higher refusal rates given their political instability and humanitarian crisis.

In many of the circumstances where a Visitor Visa is refused, it is because the Canadian Visa Officer is not satisfied that they would leave Canada at the end of their stay. The Visa Officer may also have concerns about the applicant’s ability to demonstrate they have sufficient funds to support their stay or their familial connections in Canada and the economic and political stability in their home country. 

To ensure a successful Visitor Visa Application Ackah recommends applicants contact an immigration lawyer to assist with the application to ensure accuracy and completeness. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Evelyn Ackah
Founder and Managing Lawyer
Ackah Business Immigration Law
evelyn@ackahlaw.com
(403) 452-9515, ext. 100