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Visiting Canada from the US

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Visiting Canada from the US

Post by USKode » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:52 pm

I searched for a thread on this topic and didn't find one. I hope my search was not flawed.

As life-long US residents, I understand that my wife and I are exempt from visa requirements. (We are both retired and have plenty of income to support ourselves.) I also understand that we may remain in Canada visiting and touring for up to 6 months. If that is not true, please advise.

It also appears that we may apply for an extension beyond the 6 months. (??)

If I've not accurately represented the facts that apply to us, please advise.

We would like to "move to Canada" for a year or more to tour and get the "flavor" of life in Canada and want to preserve flexibility. (Our initial interest is in B.C.)

A question that comes up is, if we need not have a visa or other Canadian documentation or registration, how would the length of our visit be tracked and how would the Canadian authorities know when it is time for us to leave Canada? If we must apply for "extension", what would we be applying for if we have no visa requirements? I must be missing something and I want to be sure we comply with all related requirements.

Another possibility is, if we absolutely love Canada we may want to buy a vacation home in Canada to visit annually and spend the summer. But that is something we could look into afterward when we are actually in Canada visiting and touring.

Any clarification of these issues or reference to other informational documents would be greatly appreciated.

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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:16 pm

Re: Visiting Canada from the US

Post by avro1959 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:46 am

You mention you are life-long US residents - I'm assuming you are US citizens as well. If not, that merits a different look at the circumstances.

If you are US citizens, indeed you do not need a visa to visit Canada for up to 6 months. Upon entry at a land border, the border officer is not likely to stamp your passport (based on the experiences of US friends who drive up from Idaho). However we are now in a digital world so know that your entry has been logged and the 6 month clock starts from that day. From the moment you enter, you have a temporary resident status for 6 months, even if there is no stamp on your passport. It is your responsibility to remember the date you entered.

There is a process for extending your temporary resident status. Google "extending temporary resident status Canada" and you'll find the official word on it. It doesn't say so on the page, but I believe it's recommended to apply 30 days before your status expires. When you apply, the officers will be able to see when you entered so don't worry about that.

Basically, you will have to prove that you have a plan, have the financial means to continue your stay, and have the intention to return to the US, in order for the extension to be granted.

All the best!