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Pickle_slushy

6 Month Rule for Being in the US (Canadian)

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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How long can a Canadian stay in the US? I know there's the 6 month rule, but is this accumulative or all at once? I've been told by various border agents different things. An attorney told me it was 6 months from the last arrival even if she's been visiting on and off a lot the past 2 years (coming every other weekend for a few days).

 

We are going through a K1 visa process, so we don't want her to overstay and run into issues.

She was never issued a I-94 or a passport stamp at the land border, and never did in the past either. 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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28 minutes ago, Pickle_slushy said:

How long can a Canadian stay in the US? I know there's the 6 month rule, but is this accumulative or all at once? I've been told by various border agents different things. An attorney told me it was 6 months from the last arrival even if she's been visiting on and off a lot the past 2 years (coming every other weekend for a few days).

 

We are going through a K1 visa process, so we don't want her to overstay and run into issues.

She was never issued a I-94 or a passport stamp at the land border, and never did in the past either. 

I-94 is electronic and available online.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
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~~Moved to the Canada forum, from K1 P&P - as this topic is country specific.~~

 

 

Mod hat off

It really depends as you have noticed by the official that lets you in. Some say 6 months combine, some say 6 months all at once.

 

If she is spending 4ish days a month with you there is nothing to worry about. 

 

For others reading trying to find the answers:

To be safe and not mess up Health insurance do not do more than 6 months at a time a year. If out more than six months you will not be able to use Canada's health care for a certain amount of time. 


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
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I also had this issue. I emailed the US border agency and they responded that it was not cumulative but they said the longer you stay the more likely you will be not allowed in the next time you visit, so you can't spend 6 months in the US, go back to Canada for a week and then go back to the US again. When you're going through the K1 process, they define overstaying a visa as overstaying the amount of time stamped on the I-94, which is almost always 6 months (and they say if there is no stamp then it's assumed it's 6 months). That being said it is risky because you can get different answers depending on who you ask. 

 

For the health care aspect, yes that's true although I don't know if they really monitor that. I think for that they only track if you've been gone one time for more than 183 days.

 

One other thing, the IRS tax rule says that they can tax you if you spend a lot of time in the US. They use a formula combining the days in the previous 3 years so even if you're not there for 6 months in any one year it can add up. You would only pay taxes if you owe money above the amount you've already paid to Canada so it's probably not an issue. For me as a grad student, scholarships are not taxed in Canada but they are in the US so it would have been an expensive.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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For CBA it's per visit. I was in the US from October 2019 - March 2020 and then reentered in June 2020 and was given another 6 months (I was lucky to get a sympathetic officer though and I don't think such a short turnaround would fly normally). Generally it's advised that you stay in Canada for at least as long as you were in the US for, if not double. They can still let you in in less time, but it can be quite difficult to convince the officer that you're not living in the US on a tourist visa if you're consistently going for long visits.

 

For the IRS, it's per calendar year and also takes into account a portion of the days in the 2 prior years, but going over that just means you'll have to file US taxes for that year. I was considered a resident for tax purposes in 2019 but I had no income so I'm not filing (will probably file once I get my SSN but that's just because I'd like to have them for my own records). 

 

My i94 never updated online when I crossed at the land border either, it only updates when I fly. Up until recently I'd do the few days every other weekend thing and was never denied entry (though I was given a more thorough questioning on occasion).


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