More than the 183 days in the US

Winter 2009 CSANews Issue 73  |   Posted date : Dec 12, 2009.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I would like to know how it affects us Canadians if we stay down in the USA for more than the 183 days.

William in BC

Response :
Ed.: Currently, when a Canadian is admitted into the U.S. as a visitor, it is under a verbal B-2 Visitor’s Visa. You are permitted to remain in the U.S. for up to six months unless you are told otherwise, and this usually happens at the border. In an effort to avoid ambiguity, the Canadian Snowbird Association typically refers to this as 182 days. By remaining in the U.S. for a period longer than permitted, you are now "illegal" and subject to some very nasty consequences. The least of these is a ban on entering the United States, usually for five years. There are instances in which people have been banned from the U.S. for life.
Upon returning to Canada, if it is determined that you have been outside of your home province for longer than permitted, your province has the right to revoke your residential status. One big problem would be the three-month waiting period to re-qualify for coverage under your provincial health insurance program. While you are waiting, you have no health coverage. In British Columbia, you are required to be present in your province for at least six months in a calendar year in order to retain your benefits, and we do know of instances where this has happened.
There is a last issue to deal with and that is taxes. If the U.S. government finds that you have been in the U.S. for longer than six months, without proper permission, you are taxable as a U.S. resident on your worldwide income. You are also going to be taxed in Canada, of course. This gets very messy and very expensive, as the Canada/U.S. tax treaty does not deal well with this issue. I recommend a relaxing cruise somewhere (not Cuba) to eat up that extra time you want to stay away.

Back to list | More articles