U.S. Border Patrol officers have detained an Australian man at the Canadian border for violating his U.S. visa rules for just one hour. He violated his visa conditions because of a delay to get clearance in entering Canada.
According to a report from The Guardian, Baxter Reid is in the U.S. with a five-year visa and he was traveling to Canada as part of a requirement to exit and re-enter America every six months to keep the visa valid. But there was some delay in entering Canada, which led to the Sydney man being in the U.S. illegally for just one hour.
Heather Kansco, Reid's American girlfriend, said that they were delayed for more than four hours at the US-Canada border before Canadian authorities referred them back to the U.S. Border Patrol. By this time, the Australian man "technically violated his visa requirements."
"The US Border Patrol ended up taking Baxter away because after waiting for hours with the Canadians, he ... was illegally in the US for a SINGLE HOUR," Kansco said. She adds that this incident would make her "innocent" boyfriend a criminal.
The report said that Reid is being held at the Buffalo detention center but has not been charged yet. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs Trade is said to be providing consular assistance to Reid, while Kansco said his boyfriend had two choices, either to go back to Australia or get married to remain in the U.S. legally, options that they're both "not willing to comply with."
The Telegraph reports that Reid's older brother Alexander Reid said that Canadian officials were hesitant to let his brother cross the border because his visa is already close to expiring. He adds that his brother is "just an easygoing guy who has been traveling with his girlfriend."
Tom Reid, their father, said that Baxter could wait up to three weeks for a court appearance and it might take another six months for him to see a judge. It is also believed that Baxter would not have been able to reenter the U.S. because leaving the country for Canada is not considered a "meaningful exit." Check out the video below for more information about getting a U.S. visa if you're Australian.