I am a dual citizen, Canadian and Portuguese, living in Portugal. Last July, given the EU/US travel ban, I traveled to Canada to quarantine for 14 days so I could visit my girlfriend in the US. I did so successfully but I was grilled by the border officer in Toronto as entering the US. I was taken to further questioning where they then let me through. However, they questioned me and had issues with the following:
- I accidentally said I was visiting a friend instead of my girlfriend
- They caught the girlfriend slip-up because they asked who booked my ticket. I didn't understand this question at first (English not my native language) and said I booked my ticket, this triggered the extra questioning because they could see that my girlfriend booked my ticket for me.
- I was also given a hard time because I stated that I was going to stay for 40 days...they though this was weird in the middle of a pandemic.
My original plan was to stay for 40 days and I had an outgoing ticket to show that. However, due to the progression of the pandemic and airline restrictions I ended up cancelling my original flight and staying 5 months. I stayed longer than the 40 days that I stated upon entering, but as far as I know as a Canadian I am allowed to stay up to 6 months. My exit flight was back to Portugal, not Canada.
I'm still in Portugal and would like to travel to the US but my previous experience makes me worried that I will have issues re-entering the US.
Thanks for reading this long post. My questions are:
- I'm an independent worker (musician), so this makes it difficult for me to prove that I'm employed in Portugal. I teach as well but the lessons are currently remote and I don't want it to look like I'm going to be working remotely in the US, so I'm tentative to use that as proof of employment. What documentation can I bring to compensate for this?
- Does Border Control keep a record of interactions such as me accidentally "lying" and saying I was visiting a friend instead of my girlfriend.
- While I entered Canada and the US on my Canadian passport, I re-entered Portugal on my Portuguese passport (so no stamp because I'm Portuguese). Therefore I don't have a stamp in any passport that shows the date I left the US. Should my airline ticket and proof of boarding be enough or is there something else I can bring?