Crossing The Border.
We hit the border at about 6:00 P.M. I led the way with Irene behind me and Shauna taking up the rear. I explained that we sold our primary property in Southern California and were moving the contents to our 'Hobby Farm' (not my term it came from the Canadian Embassy). They asked a bunch of questions which I responded to with good reasonable answers so they decided to let us pass. The rule is that we are allowed 6-months total 3-months contiguous each year as visitors and we are allowed a one-time waiver on transferring used property. I explained that we had been talking to the Embassy and were seeking permanent residence visa's. The biggest issue for the Canadian Government is that we're not illegally entering to become a burden on the already overstressed social system. Now this is all well and good but we really looked like we were not coming back to the U.S. Especially because of the cats. I informed them that the Embassy suggested that we not bring the cats (because it looks too permanent) but it was an economic dilemma. It cost me a few hundred dollars to vet them and get their international certificate papers (we knew exactly what to do because we have moved several horses across that border) vs. $5,000-$6,000 US to kennel them for three months aside from the cruelty of doing so. They accepted that. Thank you border officers.
Fortunately I had bargained with CKT www.ckt.com, my employer, and I managed to keep my job (telecommute) which was a major bonus. Remember we sold our house so we had only the profit to sustain us. With the opportunity to work, and have NO bills (we paid everything off), we can live a very satisfying life here in rural Canada. A few weeks ago I had set up broadband (with static IP) at the farm and was ready to start work. Thank you Shaw Cable.
Oh Yeah... The border...
The border officers interrogated us for an hour or so. They also contacted the immigration department which we talked to, individually, and informed them of out intent. They asked us for a list of items we were importing and an approximate value for each item. We did our best to comply. If we had known that ahead of time (the Embassy never told us this) we would have inventoried as we packed but the officers were only looking for a best estimation. Since we knew the rules, owned property for many years, the destination was a town (village) that Shauna's family founded and built in the mid 1800's, I had a job to return to, and we had a bunch of Canadians with us they figured we were an acceptable risk. Being property owners they knew exactly where to find us.
As you should remember from previous episodes, the tippy tonka was purchased to ultimately become our farm vehicle and had no registration or license plates. It was always our intent to import it and import it we did. We filled out the paperwork, paid GST and registration fees and received official documentation. Later we will be required to have a safety inspection before the Canadian Government will issue plates. I will keep you informed on the progress of that effort but for now they let it pass, as is.
In the end... The border, thankfully, never asked to see the contents of the trucks. If they had I was going to give them two options. They could put a customs seal on the Penske and inspect it (and hopefully unload it for us) at Irene's house only 8-miles above the border or I would drive it back to Idaho and rent a storage shed to warehouse it until I had proper paperwork. The tippy-tonka I would have been willing to unload and inspect (very easy). But they were satisfied so they issued us 90-day visitor visa's and let us pass.