maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

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dfachNew Member
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Joined: 31 Aug 2009

maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:34 am

I cannot find anything in writing and I get mixed stories at the boarder and from Nexus and from friends. Are Canadians allowed 6 months less a day in a calander year total ? Or is it revolving, ie. 6 months backwards from the day you are entering? Or is it 6 month continueously , in other words, you could spend 6 months come home for a day, and then return for another 6 months?
My wife and I own a condo in California and are worried she may spend more than 6 months during a calendar year.
Last question, is there anything in writing?
lawsrlawsCanuckAbroad VIP
Posts: 228
Joined: 28 Jun 2009

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:45 am

6 months per year. Be that 2 months here and there, or 6 months at one time. Why is she staying so long would be the major question. If you spend more time in the USA than in Canada, then you would be living in the USA.
lawsrlawsCanuckAbroad VIP
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Joined: 28 Jun 2009

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:20 pm

Ah very good. But you forget that us Port-lurkers will not allow her back in if we feel that she is spending too much time in the USA.

"So a visitor could enter for 180 days, go back for one day and re-enter again for another period." This is great advice. agnelson must be an immigration Lawyer. (they know everything)

Doing so will likely get you refused, but us port-lurkers don't know anything.....lol.
lawsrlawsCanuckAbroad VIP
Posts: 228
Joined: 28 Jun 2009

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:27 pm

"Your supervisor would likey overturn your decision in a heartbeat if the Cdn has documantary evidence of domicile, or indeed if she took a lawyer."

Wrong. And Lawyers have less than no say at the border. You should not give advice to someone that may get them hung up at the border. She can indeed file for an extension, and that would be the way to go. Assuming that we would let her stay here by continuing to leave for a day and then return is completely wrong, as most Officers would not believe that she was actually maintaining a foreign residence.

My heart is melting? Its people like you that make people fear coming to the Border. I am here merely to to guide people in the right direction and not get hassled when they make entry. If you don't like my opinion, fine, im not here for you. The way USCIS handles things and the way we handle them at the POE is usually somewhat different.

And I think I was right about you being an Immigration Lawyer, because all you can do is quote the law books, but have no idea how its handled in the real world.
lawsrlawsCanuckAbroad VIP
Posts: 228
Joined: 28 Jun 2009

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:58 pm

If I didn't like Canadians, I wouldn't be trying to help them.

And if I am correct, your comments were the negative ones. "port-lurkers"

So is it CBP you don't like, or our laws?
Reba

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:12 am

I have known several DOZENS of Canadians who were denied entry at the border because of previous length of stay and they tried to "flagpole" back over. US CBP is quite within their right to deny entry to anyone who is spending more time in the US than in their home country, whether that person is Canadian, Mexican, British, or African. It is entirely up to the CBP whether or not you can enter the US, even if you haven't been for any visit at all! And thinking otherwise is going to get you into trouble.

I think it's on the DOS website that says visits of up to 6 months are allowed, and it is up to the discretion of US CBP whether another visit of any length will be permitted. Or maybe the CBP website, I forget.

http://www.state.gov/
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/home.xml

Not jeopardizing your Canadian health benefits if you're out of the country for extended stay is another issue entirely.
lawsrlawsCanuckAbroad VIP
Posts: 228
Joined: 28 Jun 2009

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:54 am

"6 months per year. Be that 2 months here and there, or 6 months at one time. Why is she staying so long would be the major question. If you spend more time in the USA than in Canada, then you would be living in the USA."

Actually I answered his question on how long one could stay in the USA. More than 6 months would require an exit and re-entry or an extension filed from within. I also suggested that leaving for one day and returning would be unwise as it usually leads to a refusal. Get your facts straight before you quote what I say. Thank you Reba for stating the real world facts about entry and exit.

"Obviously, a 'round the flagpole' attempt to re-enter would raise the ire of our CBP friends, and is not recommended (although is not illegal)"

Isn't that what I said?
StevenCanuckAbroad VIP
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Location: Calgary

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:45 pm

Wow this is fascinating but anyway it does say six months on the CBP website as I posted in the other thread, which is wrong. :lol: So even the person who typed up their website was generalizing. Which I've got to say every single person who has ever posted on here has done because if you wanted a legal answer you wouldn't be asking for a layman answer, because you can look up the law easily enough or hire a lawyer who you can sue later on for giving you bad advice. :lol:

Caselaw is that it is about intent and your duration of stay as there is no I-94 for Canadian visitors, although CBP can impose one if they're suspicious for whatever reason or you can request one.

So the reality is that the six-month stay thing is a rule of thumb which CBP do follow as their website illustrates and I dare say a lot of CBP personnel follow it quite strictly in determining your entry, however legally if you want to go and argue with the immigration judge later on it's mainly about your intent when you enter and complying with the other provisions of 8 USC 1101(a)(15)(B) that establish that you are a visitor to the United States, i.e. having an abode abroad, sufficient funds to cover the stay etc.

It is subjective, for example if you live on the border there may well be a better reason for your being in the US more than six months in the year and CBP may accept that at the POE.

-- Thu Sep 03, 2009 1:57 pm --

Wouldn't it be worth a sticky on this topic. I can't seem to find the other one with the caselaw quoted in it.

I note this topic always boils down to people arguing about their personal experience and quoting various laws, regulations and caselaw.
Steve.
Reba

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:51 pm

And at POE, it usually boils down to whatever the CBP officer you're facing says.
lawsrlawsCanuckAbroad VIP
Posts: 228
Joined: 28 Jun 2009

Re: maximum time allowed per year for Canadians visiting USA

Post Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:12 pm

My response is usually based on how the ports actually operate, and how CBP Officers see things. My answers are obviously not always enjoyed or liked by others. BUT my answers are the day to day reality of Port operations. Yes you can spend more than six months in the USA, but the likelyhood that one can prove they are not living in the USA dissolves the longer you are here. Yes the Law states that there is no real limit to how long one can spend here, but it also states that you have to satisfy the CBP Officer that you intend to leave the country. (hard to do if you only leave two times a year)
So far my responses on this board have been to help people stay out of the red tape at the Border. Like Steven said, the actual Law can be Googled easy enough.

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