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President’s

Message

O

ne of the most frequent questions which CSA

staff is fielding these days regards what has come

to be known as the “30-day rule.” Many have

heard that unless you are out of the United States for

more than 30 days on those quick trips back to Canada,

those days on which you’re actually outside of the U.S. are

considered to be days spent IN the U.S. by U.S. Customs.

Confused yet? It’s just as confusing the second time you

read it.

This policy is outlined in the instructions to the I-94

Record of Departure Form, which states:

“In general, if you have been admitted to the United States

under most visa classifications, if you take a short trip

(30 days or fewer) to Canada or Mexico, you may retain

your I-94/I-94W, so that when you resume your visit to

the United States, you are readmitted for the balance of

the time remaining on your I-94/I-94W.”

While Canadians are generally exempt from having to

retain this form (we are rarely given one to begin with),

in practice, this policy may be applied to Canadian trav-

ellers at the discretion of the U.S. Customs and Border

Protection officer at the time of admission. We advise our

members that it is best to err on the side of caution and

to include short-term trips back home in their six-month

allotment, as the final determination is always made by

a border services officer.

The CSA is currently attempting to remedy this matter

through legislative means. As you may be aware, we are

currently working with the U.S Congress to amend the

Immigration and Nationality Act which would allow

retired Canadians to spend up to eight months in the

U.S. each year. In two bills (H.R. 1401 and H.R. 268)

currently before the U.S. House of Representatives, we

have included a provision to eliminate the so-called

30-day policy.

The text of the bills states: “During any single 365-day

period, an alien may be admitted as described in section

101(a)(15)(B) pursuant to this subsection for a period not

to exceed 240 days, beginning on the date of admission.

Periods of time spent outside the United States during

such 240-day period shall not toll the expiration of such

240-day period.” That’s a somewhat confusing sentence,

but we have been assured that, if passed, it solves the

problem.

It should be noted that this policy only relates to immi-

gration, and not taxation. For the purposes of IRS Form

8840, you should not include any days that you are back

in Canada or outside of the United States.

The Ontario government recently tabled legislation

changing the date of the next provincial election. Cur-

rently the next Ontario election is scheduled for October

2018, which is usually a busy month for snowbirds. The

proposal would move future elections to the spring

(which could potentially be even more inconvenient

for our members), but we’re hearing that the proposed

date would be sometime in June; if so, that would be a

positive change in my opinion. We will keep an eye on

this and keep our Ontario members posted.

Our next round of snowbird lifestyle presentations will

be here before you know it. This September, we begin

in Ontario with stops in Milton, Richmond Hill and

Nepean. We then head to central Canada for shows in

Brandon, Manitoba and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This

year’s tour finishes out West with shows in Sherwood

Park and Calgary, Alberta and Kelowna, British Col-

umbia. You will find dates and times for these shows

elsewhere in this edition of

CSANews

. As always, the

shows combine live musical entertainment with useful

information about getting the most out of your winters

in the sun. Admission is free so, if you’re available, please

stop by and say hello and feel free to bring a friend; we’re

always looking for new members!

To all of our current members who have already renewed

their CSAmembership, a sincere thank you! If you have

not yet sent in your renewal, I urge you to do so either

by mail, telephone or on the Internet. Our membership

continues to grow, but we can never have too many voices

when we approach governments to secure and enhance

the rights and privileges of travelling Canadians. Have a

safe and relaxing summer and, hopefully, we’ll see you

in September.

Bob Slack

CSA President

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