Getting a straight answer on how the U.S. counts days

Fall 2015 CSANews Issue 96  |   Posted date : Sep 29, 2015.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

Here's another question about the 182-day issue. We live in Vancouver and have a vacation home in Washington State. Unlike true snowbirds, we use it on many weekends through the year and most of the summer. I keep track of our days (for example, if we go down on Friday afternoon and leave on Monday morning, we'd count four days). I have never been able to get a straight answer regarding how the U.S. counts the days – do you know?

David Smith from B.C.

Response:
Ed.: We haven’t been able to get a straight answer either. This also applies to many people who live on the border and go in and out of the U.S. on a regular basis. If we look at all of the various answers which we have received from many U.S. government sources, the general “opinion” is that “as long as it is reasonable, you will be OK.” Border guards generally do not want excessive information and, if you are going for a few days or weeks, they really do not pay that much attention. Their computers do, of course, and that is where issues will arise if you are abusing their good will. Count both the first day and the last day and stay well within your allotted six months and you should be fine. This applies to those snowbirds who make multiple trips each year. A 10-day cruise, a trip home for Christmas or running into Mexico for a few days – these days should not be deducted when calculating your six-month allotment.

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