Two Canadian Teenagers Commit Inadvertent Illegal Border Crossing While Playing Pokémon Go

Alexander J. Segal's picture

I recently came across a peculiar instance of illegal immigration that could quite literally have only happened in 2016. As reported by Reuters, two Canadian teenagers in Alberta were fixated on searching for Pokémon while playing Pokémon Go on their phones.1 They were in fact so fixated that when they were discovered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), they had crossed over the Canadian border into what the article describes as a “remote part of Montana.” Fortunately for the two teenagers, no immigration proceedings were required as the CBP reunited them with their parents at a nearby CBP border patrol station.

In many cases, Canadian citizens seeking to enter the United States from Canada will not even need to procure a visa in order to be admitted to the United States temporarily for business or pleasure [see category]. It is even possible under certain conditions for a Canadian citizen to be admitted on TN status for employment without a visa [see article to learn more]. A Canadian citizen with questions about visiting the United States for business or pleasure or who is seeking a nonimmigrant or immigrant status in the United States should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. With regard to wandering into a different country while playing Pokémon Go, one should not need the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney to know that it is best to look up once in a while and be aware of one's immediate surroundings, much less one's country of current location.


  1. Herskovitz, Jon. “Pokemon GO Blamed for Illegal Border Crossing from Canada to U.S.” Reuters. Ed. Bernard Orr. Thomson Reuters, 23 July 2016. Web. 04 Aug. 2016.