Proposed Change to U.S. B-2 Visitor Regulation

Posted date : Apr 23, 2002.Back to list

Proposed Change to U.S. B-2 Visitor Regulation - Canadian Snowbird Association Receives Assurance of Canadian Status

Toronto, ON - The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) has reacted swiftly to the proposed changes to the B-2 visitors regulation by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

"As soon as it was announced, we started receiving calls from our members both in Canada and the United States who are extremely concerned about this change," says CSA President, Ellen White. "We fully understand and support the need for the INS to 'control the alien population within the United States.' However, we need to know where Canadians stand in the picture. Will we still be allowed in for 6 months – or is 30 days our new maximum as well? The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) went to great lengths to assist us in edifying the position of Canadian retirees."

DFAIT has assured the Canadian Snowbird Association that as a result of discussions held between the Canadian Embassy in Washington and the INS, they are confident that Canadians will not be affected by the proposed change in regulation. While the new rules do not specifically state that Canadian citizens do not require a visa to enter the United States, a memorandum will be sent to all INS officers at ports of entry.

"Canadians choose to go to the States for up to six months for a number of reasons - their health being a priority. We are grateful that they will not be affected by the proposed regulations giving a maximum 30-day stay in the U.S.," says Mrs. White. "Ideally, we'd like the INS to put this into their regulations - we're concerned about memos getting lost."

The Canadian Snowbird Association has sent a letter of appeal to the INS, copying the Governors of Florida, Arizona, Texas and California, as well as Tourism Boards, Economic Development Boards and Chambers of Commerce. We are seeking the assistance and support of the Sunbelt governments and businesses to join with us in our proposal to have the status of Canadians clarified in the regulation.