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Can my Canadian spouse just live here for 2-3 years?

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Hello - I am a US citizen married to a Canadian. At the moment we're both living in our respective countries.

Here's the thing: I have a family situation down here in New York that will require me to stay here for 2-3 years to help out for a bit. After that, my husband and I DO want to settle down permanently in Canada; we do NOT intend on living in the US for any long-term situation.

Is there any possible way that my husband would be allowed to live here for just a few years without having to go through the entire spousal visa/green card process? I've heard that the entire process for a foreign spouse to be able to live/work here can take 8 months to a year - and in addition to the financial sacrifice, it doesn't really seem worth it to wait that long if we're only staying for 1-2 years after that.

Is there some way he can come for just a few years without having to do all of that? Even if it isn't through a spousal visa? Any advice helps! Thanks!!

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No. It’s not possible for him to live down in the US without going through the immigration process.

He could possibly try and do the snowbird thing where he lives in Canada for at least 183 days per year and goes down to visit but he would have to prove to the border guards each and every time he crosses that he is staying out of the country more than he is in it and bring proof of ties to Canada.

Just as a quick thought though. If you decide to go for the spousal visa and he gets his green card he can apply for naturalization after 3 years and get his US citizenship (he’d then be dual) . Then you guys could then move to Canada and go through immigration once again and then get dual US/Canadian Citizenship for you. Then you could choose to live in either country.

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Nope, else we all probably would've jumped on that opportunity! :P

Your best bet is to go with a spousal visa. You'll end up residing in the US for a year or so longer than you want, but then he can apply for citizenship which will make relocation much easier should you have to move back to the US.

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