Skip to content

Australian Man Held in the US for Overstaying Visa by 90 Minutes

May 04, 2017
5 min read
Australian Man Held in the US for Overstaying Visa by 90 Minutes
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The travel industry has had a tough time staying out of the news lately, and for all the wrong reasons. If it’s not a news story on the travel ban or a primer on how to best protect your electronics when you need to check them, it could be a viral video of a bumped passenger being forcibly removed from a plane or a fist fight between travelers making the rounds.

The latest incident that has Twitter all atwitter is the story of Baxter Reid, a 26-year-old from Canberra, Australia, who was arrested at the Canadian border on April 24 after overstaying his visa for 90 minutes. Yes, you read that right: 90 minutes.

According to Heather Kancso, Reid’s American girlfriend, it all started when the couple was attempting to leave and reenter the US via Canada, as the terms of Reid’s five-year B1 / B2 visa require him to exit and reenter the United States every six months. With his visa set to expire at midnight on April 24, the couple drove to the Canadian border on April 23, where Reid’s troubles began when they arrived around 10:00pm. Kancso told news.com.au that Canadian border officials immediately began to give the couple a hard time, making them wait several hours and grilling them with "remedial questions."

After being detained for more than four hours by Canadian authorities, Reid, who has served in the Australian Army, was eventually refused admission into Canada and the couple was directed back to US border patrol authorities. Unfortunately, during that span of time, Reid’s visa officially expired, meaning he'd been on US soil illegally for 90 minutes and was now a criminal.

Baxter Reid was arrested at the Canadian border on April 24. Image courtesy of Heather Brianna via GoFundMe.

It didn’t take long for news of Reid’s arrest to spread, especially once Kancso turned to social media for help. On April 29, she created a GoFundMe page with the hashtag #FREEBAXTER to draw attention to Reid’s situation and raise funds for his legal costs.

“Both [Reid’s] family and mine are trying to find nickels and dimes to help us out, but at this stage the estimated costs are unrealistic,” wrote Kancso. “This is going to make a criminal out of an innocent man. With this legal counsel, his options are still limited: either get sent back to Australia with no criminal record, or have us get married so he can be here legally—both of which we are willing to comply with. Without this legal support, he will be sent back to Australia not only actually in cuffs, but as a criminal not being allowed to reenter the US.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

In just five days, the page has managed to exceed its initial fundraising goal; at the time of this writing more than $9,800 of the $8,000 needed had been raised, courtesy of more than 204 donors. But then they hit another snag: GoFundMe froze their page until more information can be confirmed and those funds can be dispersed. “In order to protect donors, it's not uncommon to get additional information about the campaign before the funds are transferred to the individual," said Kelly Galvin, a spokesperson for GoFundMe told news.com.au.

Andrew David, an immigration attorney (who is not involved with Reid’s case) told The Sydney Morning Herald that it’s clear the US is taking a firmer stance when it comes to immigration violations, saying that the visa Reid has is usually reserved for people who frequently travel to the United States but don’t live there. "Some people who get this, will go: 'Great, I've got six months, all I have to do is go out and come back in,' and that's where the danger happens," David said. "There's no hard and fast rule, that's generally not how it's supposed to work. They want you to do a bit of time out of the US. The concern in this situation is, well, it's down to the minute."

Still, David believes that an arrest was unnecessary in Reid’s case. "You've got this young kid that's tied up in this ridiculous situation, it's not good," David said.

Despite all the roadblocks, Reid — who spoke with press from the Batavia, New York, detention center where he is being held — remains hopeful. "I have the best support team of friends and family that anyone could ask for," Reid said. "I'm just hoping that I can return to the States and be with my girlfriend, Heather. And just hoping that life doesn't change very much for me, and I continue to see all my friends in America again."

H/T: news.com.au

Featured image by Getty Images

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more