Prolonged Stays in the USA/Homeland Security/Income Taxes

Spring 2010 CSANews Issue 74  |  Posted date : May 27, 2010.Back to list

I am not sure that the advice you gave William in B.C. is correct regarding prolonged stays in the U.S. with respect to consequences from the U.S. government.

There appear to be two issues and two major U.S. agencies at stake here. One is the verbal B2 visa (Homeland Security), which is violated in any one calendar year if you exceed 183 days in the U.S. This could have some dire consequences if you do stay beyond this number of days as you point out.

The second issue is the need to file an income tax form with the IRS. This need is predicated on a formula based on your last three years of residing in the U.S. If you 'do the math' and you stay more than 122 days for three consecutive years, you will exceed again a number of 183 and have to file IRS forms (see your own info on form 8840).

Have I missed something here? Interestingly, I cross the border very frequently and am aware that the U.S. border officials usually know the visa rules (why wouldn't they; they are part of Homeland Security), but are unaware of the IRS regulations.

M. Girotti
London, ON


Response:
Ed: You missed nothing, but I would stay away from talking about 183 days. It is six months and border guards might think that you are being smart with them when you give an exact number of days. They could think that you are trying to "work the system' and may "penalize" you.