Tills Visa Law

Stephen K. Tills, Attorney at LAW

Canadian Snow Birds Visit The Sunshine States

snowbirds_floridaCANADIANS in Florida
Canadians can stay in the United States a maximum of 182 days, or six months during the calendar year .
The purported “Canadian Retiree Visa bill“, which would allow Canadians over the age of 50 to stay in the States eight months, instead of the current six is still in limbo. Retired Canadians need to follow the Canadian rules to maintain their Canadian medical insurance. That requires Canadians to live in Canada for a certain time frame to remain eligible for health benefits in Canada. This may supersede any new bills being passed in the United States. (OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan): The (Canadian) person must be physically present in Ontario for 153 days (about 6 months) in the calendar year to get coverage all year round.)
SNOW BIRDS MEMO
For now,  you can refer to the 2010 snow birds memo which addresses several issues for Canadians vacationing in the U.S.:
Summer 2010 Issue 75 Jul 16, 2010.
“A Canadian citizen who is granted entry into the United States under a B-2 Visitors Visa may be permitted to remain in the country for six months less a day. This could be 181, 182 or 183 days, depending on the date on which you enter. It is important to note that each time you enter the United States, even just for a few hours, it counts as one day. Each day that you visit the U.S. in a 12-month period will be counted and should be subtracted from the “six months less a day” that you intend to visit the United States in the winter.

Canada US Border Crossing

Canada US Border Crossing in 1941 Pipeline Ceremony with a Canadian RCMP (Quebec) and a State Trooper (Maine) photo provided by familypedia.wikia.com

Also, when you enter the U.S. for an extended period, such as six months, shorter trips outside of the country departing from and returning to the U.S. do not count as days that you can subtract from your “six months less a day” count. This is the case even if you return to Canada for a week or two during the holiday season.

Those seeking to stay beyond 6 months are advised to formally request the extension at a Port of entry or by filing an I-539, application to change / extend visitor status.
BORDER CROSSING
It is important to note that a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has the authority to limit your visit to the United States to any period of time that he/she sees fit. So, do your best to be accommodating when they question your intentions and length of stay. The wrong attitude could cost you days in the sun.

What Happened to the 240-day Visa?
About the JOLT Bill

JOLT Act (Jobs Originating through Launching Travel Act), a measure that has already been passed by the Senate but still needs to be acted on by the House of Representatives. published by Ingleinternational.com

The JOLT bill was introduced in 2011. The bill has nearly 150 sponsors in the ‘House’ but is not yet a law. On January 3, 2017, congress reconvenes. Another year to see what happens with the Jolt proposal. Historically, not a lot of bills get passed.
snowbirdsTRAVEL Insurance
When you prepare for your long travels across the border, it is important that you contact your insurance company to get the latest guidelines. You provincial Health insurance may have certain limitations on coverage to emergencies that could happen after you have crossed the border for your snow bird migration. Contact the Royal Canadian legion and Canadian Snow-birds Association (CSA) for details. The CSA has recommended Medipac Travel Insurance as their preferred choice in travel insurance for the past 19 years.

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