Nova Scotia

Trump travel ban will impact Canadians, immigration lawyer warns

One of Halifax's busiest immigration lawyers says if you're from a country targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban and living legally in Canada, don't try to cross the American border right now.

Don't even try entering the U.S. if you're from one of the Muslim-majority countries, Lee Cohen says

Lee Cohen said people who fail to get into the U.S. once could have more problems crossing in the future. (CBC)

One of Halifax's busiest immigration lawyers says anyone from a country targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban who is living legally in Canada shouldn't try to cross the American border right now.

"I think your chances of getting into the United States are very very slim," says Lee Cohen. "And if one can avoid trying, one should avoid trying."  

Not only will you likely be refused entry, but that refusal will only make it more difficult to ever have success crossing the American border.

"In most Western countries, if you are refused entry to a particular country, that gets recorded in their system and getting in on a subsequent occasion after a refusal or rejection can be problematic, so one wants to take that chance only if one needs to," Cohen says.

Cohen says he's discouraged by the Supreme Court of the United States decision to reinstate portions of the Trump administration's travel ban. 

Regular rules apply in Canada

Cohen says there is nothing stopping anyone from the six majority Muslim countries listed in the Trump ban from getting into Canada.

"Canada has its entry requirements, we have our visa requirements. We do have some restrictions."

Immigrants from Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and Libya are still required to have visas to come to Canada and will have to go through the normal protocols and be assessed in the regular way.   

While Canada does not enforce any American-style travel ban, that doesn't mean getting into Canada from Muslim-majority nations is easy.   

Over the past six or seven years, Cohen says he's noticed that such citizens applying for a "generalized visa" to get into Canada often hit roadblocks.

"Particularly if you're a single male, you'll have a problem getting a visa to Canada."

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