Author Topic: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question  (Read 1382 times)

spartana

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My understanding us that a US citizen can stay in Canada for 180 days without needing a Visa,  just a Passport, and can travel thru the different Providences. Is this correct? Also if I wanted to stay in one area and rent a place for that 6 months is that easy to do and allowed as a tourist with no tax or other implications like car insurance or registration if staying that long in one place with a lease? Can both of those be done with a US Citizen doggie too ;-). Properly licensed in the states with all shots. How easy (and likely) would it be for a Canadian Land Lord to rent to a ERd person who's not working if they have US retirement  income source and/or assets? TIA
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Cookie78

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 11:19:13 PM »
All of this is legal to my knowledge, based on my experience with American boyfriend staying in Canada for a summer. As for car insurance it might depend on your provider. fwiw, when I went to the states for 6 months I didn't need any additional vehicle insurance.

Renting a place depends completely on where you are planning to stay. Calgary would be easy. In fact, if you will be in Canada any time between mid-September and August 2018 and want to stay in Calgary you can rent my house for cheap. I'll be away almost all of the time. Anywhere where vacancy rates are low the biggest problem may be finding someone to agree to a 6 month lease. Certainly doable.

Dogs shouldn't have any problem, with updated shots and medical records. I can only speak for crossing the border the opposite direction, but I had all the records and the border guys didn't ask for any of it.

They just wanted proof I had enough money to support myself, and proof that I had a reason to return to Canada (home ownership).

spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 01:14:33 AM »
Thanks for the offer Cookie. Don't know if I'll be up near Calgary but will pm you if I am. Don't really have plans other than to head north up the west coast very soon to get out of the SoCal heat asap. Selling my house and will be wandering a bit up north and back east and wondered if it's possible and easy to rent in Canada if I find myself wanting to stay somewhere longer. Sounds like it is all legal and just as easy as renting somewhere in.the US.  BTW good luck on your own upcoming FIRE adventures. I enjoy reading your journal and excited for you.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 01:25:58 AM »
I don't know what the time limit is on being inside Canada.

For the time you are in Canada, you can freely travel amongst all provinces and territories, yes.

While you're permitted here, I'm pretty sure you're free to become a regular tenant. Like Cookie78 said, though, areas with very low vacancy rates (and there are lots of those) will make it harder to find a six-month term. You might look for housesits or sublets. But with dogs, housesits, sublets, and regular rentals are all harder to come by.

Some landlords are totally cool re: ER, sabbaticals, students, etc. Some only want people who go to work 40 hours per week. Again, the more vacancies in a town, the higher your chances; the fewer vacancies...your chances plummet, like with the many homeless professionals.

What about an RV? A home for you and your dogs, can drive to the available spots or boondock...

spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 02:41:23 AM »
I don't know what the time limit is on being inside Canada.

For the time you are in Canada, you can freely travel amongst all provinces and territories, yes.

While you're permitted here, I'm pretty sure you're free to become a regular tenant. Like Cookie78 said, though, areas with very low vacancy rates (and there are lots of those) will make it harder to find a six-month term. You might look for housesits or sublets. But with dogs, housesits, sublets, and regular rentals are all harder to come by.

Some landlords are totally cool re: ER, sabbaticals, students, etc. Some only want people who go to work 40 hours per week. Again, the more vacancies in a town, the higher your chances; the fewer vacancies...your chances plummet, like with the many homeless professionals.

What about an RV? A home for you and your dogs, can drive to the available spots or boondock...
I do have a small truck which has a topper/shell I  camp in while travelling or staying somewhere for a month or less.  But I prefer to rent a regular house or apt if staying in one area a month or longer. Plus I'd most likely stay the winter in a ski town so want someplace warm I can leave the dog alone in while I do some more human stuff ;-)
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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 04:35:31 AM »
Not directly related to the original question but I would add...
Canadian immigration needs to be convinced of:

Your ability to support yourself - Bank statements may be helpful or credit cards credit lines.
You will not be working  - Don't bring resumes or tools of a trade.
Your ties with the US - Showing your center of life is the US.  Also any signs you are fleeing the US for some reason.
Your willingness to leave when your trip is over - Proof of outward travel helps.  They may want your schedule and where you will be staying.
Your having no criminal record.

It is up to them to grant entry or not, they can also limit the time to less than 6 months.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 05:02:56 AM by jim555 »

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 09:28:01 AM »
Oh gosh, winter in ski towns... These are notorious for not having enough [reasonably-priced] accommodation even for their workers. So, an expensive rental. Some have RV parking near them, but you'd want your vehicle to be one that can keep you warm. Might be worth posting a thread re: "cheap accommodation ski towns Canada?" or "beautiful high vacancy areas Canada?".

spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 11:12:31 AM »
Oh gosh, winter in ski towns... These are notorious for not having enough [reasonably-priced] accommodation even for their workers. So, an expensive rental. Some have RV parking near them, but you'd want your vehicle to be one that can keep you warm. Might be worth posting a thread re: "cheap accommodation ski towns Canada?" or "beautiful high vacancy areas Canada?".
  So last year ;-).  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/best-(and-cheapest)-mountainski-towns-to-move-to-after-fire/msg1103353/#msg1103353 that thread is pretty disjointed as I removed my responses as they had to much personal info but got great replies and some Canadians also PMd me with info on Canada ski towns but at that time I was thinking of a perm place to live but now I'm open to doing a part time seasonal thing. Opens up so many more places - ski towns or not.

I did a ski- lease at resort town near my home this last winter and shared it with friends so was cheap. Hoping for something like that again this winter but in a different location. However this time I'll have sold my house and because of that will have a larger housing budget for a rental. Plus I'm extremely flexible so the really can go anywhere. Just don't like the travel part of travel so prefer to stay somewhere in a town or city for a few months when possible. So RVing wouldn't work for me as I don't need or want to be that encumbered. Little Ranger truck for camping when on the move and small apt or house when staying put works best for me. Glad to know its something I can do in Canada pretty easily and with the exchange rate it might not be too expensive.

Jim55 thanks for the info. I won't have a home base any longer (assuming the sale doesn't fall thru) but will use a friends address in Cali for residency purposes. That plus family,  financial and medical stuff here should show enough ties to the US. Don't know if I'd stay in Canada for whole 6 months but nice to know I have that option if I want with minimal hassle
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spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
Also if anyone has suggestions for cool (meaning both cute and fun and interesting as well as cooler weather) small cities to hole up in for the late summer and fall I'd love to hear them.  Original plan was to stay in Calif until beginning Sept, travel for 2 months then rent for the winter but I'm free to leave now and with the constant heat waves (I hate heat) so Im very anxious to get out asap and stay somewhere with cooler weather. Prefer coastal BC or Maritimes. TIA
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2017, 05:06:33 PM »
Two of the ski towns mentioned in the thread (and six others in BC and Alberta) I'm super familiar with. I or friends have lived at them, or attempted to keep or get housing in. But, if it's a "money's no object" sort of opportunity, you're in a different boat, yes :)   Vacancy rate issues generally apply to those of us trying to spend under $2k/mo.

Rentals in those areas are usually advertised:
*on Craigslist
*inside the brains of property managers
*on local (physical) bulletin boards
*via networks (FB, neighbourhood email lists)

Craigslist per community can help give you a sense of which have zero places on offer vs 50. That might help you narrow places down.

SweetLife

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2017, 06:07:42 PM »
Short answer: Yes, upon entering Canada you can stay and play for a maximum of 6 months.

As someone else mentioned you must be able to prove that you have ties to the USA - cell phone bills etc... also proof that you have the $$ to stay in Canada for the time you are planning. Proof of medical coverage for the entire time is also a good idea. If you have lined up a rental place by then also print out the details.


These things show the Immigration officer that you are prepared to stay a certain length of time, you have a plan and you have the cash to do it.

You may be put on a "visitor record" which is a way to track your entry/exit from Canada. It is just a form and nothing to worry about.

Don't bring any guns/holsters/ammunition (unless it is a rifle and you will be hunting)
Don't bring any medication without it being in the proper bottles (with YOUR name on them) or even better bring a copy of your prescriptions (valid).
Don't bring any illegal substances across the border.
If you have pepper spray - it HAS to have a dog pictured on it and you use it for that purpose only (or a bear if you are going north/west) - however even then you are better to leave yours at home and buy some here. It is a hassle at the border and will lead to delays.

If you have a criminal record - including DUI's/OWI's/Assault/ and many others .... these are all felonies in Canada you cannot come to Canada ... if in doubt go to the Government of Canada website
www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Happy travels!!! :)


jooniFLORisploo

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 06:17:10 PM »
I just found you a nice place, Spartana :)
A rarity in Rossland, a cute, happy town with awesome (sporty, smart, and artsy) people and a ski hill.
$1600/mo, all inclusive (even a cat!), Aug-April.
Dogs allowed.
https://kootenays.craigslist.ca/apa/6179321888.html

Daisy

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 06:44:25 PM »
I don't want to derail spartana's thread, but this topic got me wondering about my ttavel to CMC plans.

I plan to buy a one way ticket to Montreal on one airline, then return from Buffalo on another airline 2 weeks later.

Am I going to run into issues with immigration when I first arrive in Montreal?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 07:07:23 PM by Daisy »

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2017, 06:58:07 PM »
Just realized the home I got you is too long for your six-months maximum :(

spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2017, 07:09:42 PM »
Short answer: Yes, upon entering Canada you can stay and play for a maximum of 6 months.

As someone else mentioned you must be able to prove that you have ties to the USA - cell phone bills etc... also proof that you have the $$ to stay in Canada for the time you are planning. Proof of medical coverage for the entire time is also a good idea. If you have lined up a rental place by then also print out the details.


These things show the Immigration officer that you are prepared to stay a certain length of time, you have a plan and you have the cash to do it.

You may be put on a "visitor record" which is a way to track your entry/exit from Canada. It is just a form and nothing to worry about.

Don't bring any guns/holsters/ammunition (unless it is a rifle and you will be hunting)
Don't bring any medication without it being in the proper bottles (with YOUR name on them) or even better bring a copy of your prescriptions (valid).
Don't bring any illegal substances across the border.
If you have pepper spray - it HAS to have a dog pictured on it and you use it for that purpose only (or a bear if you are going north/west) - however even then you are better to leave yours at home and buy some here. It is a hassle at the border and will lead to delays.

If you have a criminal record - including DUI's/OWI's/Assault/ and many others .... these are all felonies in Canada you cannot come to Canada ... if in doubt go to the Government of Canada website
www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Happy travels!!! :)
Thanks for all the info. Very helpful. I probably wouldn't get anyplace until I was either done travelling around (I seem to last 6 weeks to 2 months before I need to settle somewhere for a bit) or just happen upon a great place and would like to stay longer. But I think I'd have enough documentation to be able to get a 6 month stay from the border guards.

Joon - thanks for the house tip! Although The Barkinator isn't very fond of cats so can't do that. I haven't figured out what kind of budget I'll need once I sell my house and travel and rent. Right now its super low with the paid off house (which costs around $350/month for prop taxes, insurance and utilities) so I'll have to increase it by quite a bit. But I figure I can off set higher housing costs by having a few months of "homeless" budget travel.

Daisy - Derail away! I'd like to try to get to CMC too so like hearing everyone's plans. Especially since I don't really have any plans except to go somewhere with cooler weather and actual growing things and maybe stay awhile.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 07:14:23 PM by spartana »
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step-in-time

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2017, 05:47:12 AM »
I've done this before as a US citizen with a dog. You need your dog's rabies certificate. At the border, they usually ask about "where", "why", "how long", and the usual contraband questions (guns, pepperspray, etc). My dog's food was confiscated one year because apparently chicken ingredients were an issue; you can check their current list of importing dog food requirements.

I've never had to show proof of income or been detained for further information (passport has always been sufficient). As long as you're clear that you'll be travelling around as a tourist and will not exceed 6 months, that's generally fine, and tons of snowbirds do the same. Enjoy!

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2017, 06:05:00 AM »
Rabies certificate both directions, for sure.  I have never been asked for anything but rabies for Missy, but they always want to see that.  Dog food in original bag is usually OK.
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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2017, 06:16:38 AM »
The dog food has to be made in America. And yes, the rabies certificate--not just the tag on the dog.

spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2017, 08:12:34 AM »
Interesting tip about dog food. Good to know as I generally don't have it in its original container. What happens if you cross the border, stay a month or two, then cross back to the US for a few days and want to go back into Canada for awhile again? Does that re-set your 6 month max allowable stay date or does your original "get out of Canada" exit date still apply? Can you go back and forth like that easily and fairly often? I know you can do that to Mexico and its no problem.
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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2017, 09:34:06 AM »
Interesting tip about dog food. Good to know as I generally don't have it in its original container. What happens if you cross the border, stay a month or two, then cross back to the US for a few days and want to go back into Canada for awhile again? Does that re-set your 6 month max allowable stay date or does your original "get out of Canada" exit date still apply? Can you go back and forth like that easily and fairly often? I know you can do that to Mexico and its no problem.

The Canadian and American governments tell each other about when citizens of either country cross the boarder. A big part of this was to ensure that either country could levy income tax on individuals that overstay the 182 day limit.

For clarity, the USA knows when you return to the USA and informs the Canadian Government of that fact. The Canadian government tells the USA when you enter Canada.
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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2017, 01:58:37 PM »
I don't want to derail spartana's thread, but this topic got me wondering about my ttavel to CMC plans.

I plan to buy a one way ticket to Montreal on one airline, then return from Buffalo on another airline 2 weeks later.

Am I going to run into issues with immigration when I first arrive in Montreal?

Daisy,

If you buy a one way ticket be sure to have all of the information I put on the other thread with you. If you have a house/condo/apartment bring your rental agreement. It will make your travel easier if Immigration knows you have a place to go back to.

:)

Have a nice trip.

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2017, 02:08:53 PM »
HELLO SPARTANA! I wanna come w/you & Barkinator to Canada. :D
How exciting, you plans.
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spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2017, 03:32:13 PM »
Interesting tip about dog food. Good to know as I generally don't have it in its original container. What happens if you cross the border, stay a month or two, then cross back to the US for a few days and want to go back into Canada for awhile again? Does that re-set your 6 month max allowable stay date or does your original "get out of Canada" exit date still apply? Can you go back and forth like that easily and fairly often? I know you can do that to Mexico and its no problem.

The Canadian and American governments tell each other about when citizens of either country cross the boarder. A big part of this was to ensure that either country could levy income tax on individuals that overstay the 182 day limit.

For clarity, the USA knows when you return to the USA and informs the Canadian Government of that fact. The Canadian government tells the USA when you enter Canada.
OK I figured they must do something like that. Canada's probably checks more now that Trump is pres and all us 'Muricans are trying to escape for healthcare and maple syrup ;-).

OK so hypothetical question: If I entered Canada mid-August I'd have until mid Feb before I'd have to leave right? Now what would happen if I entered in mid-Aug, stayed 3 months then re entered US, stayed in the US a month and then re entered Canada around Jan 1st. Would I be able to start a new stay for 6 months or just 3 months? Is there a certain length of time you have to be out of Canada before you can return with a new 6 month stay? IOW is the 182 day limit per year or can you technically stay longer by breaking up your stay but not have to worry about taxes or residency stuff?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 03:34:51 PM by spartana »
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spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2017, 03:38:48 PM »
HELLO SPARTANA! I wanna come w/you & Barkinator to Canada. :D
How exciting, you plans.
Come! Join us on the Dark Side - which as everyone knows is the Fun Side. Be packed and ready by this Sat ;-). Didn't plan to go anywhere until Sept but this heat is killing me. So. Much. Sun. It burnssss ussss precioussss.
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Cookie78

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2017, 03:41:54 PM »
Interesting tip about dog food. Good to know as I generally don't have it in its original container. What happens if you cross the border, stay a month or two, then cross back to the US for a few days and want to go back into Canada for awhile again? Does that re-set your 6 month max allowable stay date or does your original "get out of Canada" exit date still apply? Can you go back and forth like that easily and fairly often? I know you can do that to Mexico and its no problem.

The Canadian and American governments tell each other about when citizens of either country cross the boarder. A big part of this was to ensure that either country could levy income tax on individuals that overstay the 182 day limit.

For clarity, the USA knows when you return to the USA and informs the Canadian Government of that fact. The Canadian government tells the USA when you enter Canada.
OK I figured they must do something like that. Canada's probably checks more now that Trump is pres and all us 'Muricans are trying to escape for healthcare and maple syrup ;-).

OK so hypothetical question: If I entered Canada mid-August I'd have until mid Feb before I'd have to leave right? Now what would happen if I entered in mid-Aug, stayed 3 months then re entered US, stayed in the US a month and then re entered Canada around Jan 1st. Would I be able to start a new stay for 6 months or just 3 months? Is there a certain length of time you have to be out of Canada before you can return with a new 6 month stay? IOW is the 182 day limit per year or can you technically stay longer by breaking up your stay but not have to worry about taxes or residency stuff?

You can stay for 6 months (182 days) total out of any 12 month period (not necessarily calendar year). In your example if you re enter Jan 1, you can stay for 3 more months, then you would have to leave again until mid-august*.


*There is additional tricky math if you start doing this every year that I don't really understand. Ie: the following year you would be able to stay slightly less time (for tax reasons).

spartana

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2017, 03:49:13 PM »
Interesting tip about dog food. Good to know as I generally don't have it in its original container. What happens if you cross the border, stay a month or two, then cross back to the US for a few days and want to go back into Canada for awhile again? Does that re-set your 6 month max allowable stay date or does your original "get out of Canada" exit date still apply? Can you go back and forth like that easily and fairly often? I know you can do that to Mexico and its no problem.

The Canadian and American governments tell each other about when citizens of either country cross the boarder. A big part of this was to ensure that either country could levy income tax on individuals that overstay the 182 day limit.

For clarity, the USA knows when you return to the USA and informs the Canadian Government of that fact. The Canadian government tells the USA when you enter Canada.
OK I figured they must do something like that. Canada's probably checks more now that Trump is pres and all us 'Muricans are trying to escape for healthcare and maple syrup ;-).

OK so hypothetical question: If I entered Canada mid-August I'd have until mid Feb before I'd have to leave right? Now what would happen if I entered in mid-Aug, stayed 3 months then re entered US, stayed in the US a month and then re entered Canada around Jan 1st. Would I be able to start a new stay for 6 months or just 3 months? Is there a certain length of time you have to be out of Canada before you can return with a new 6 month stay? IOW is the 182 day limit per year or can you technically stay longer by breaking up your stay but not have to worry about taxes or residency stuff?

You can stay for 6 months (182 days) total out of any 12 month period (not necessarily calendar year). In your example if you re enter Jan 1, you can stay for 3 more months, then you would have to leave again until mid-august*.


*There is additional tricky math if you start doing this every year that I don't really understand. Ie: the following year you would be able to stay slightly less time (for tax reasons).
Thanks that clarifies things and makes sense. The 12 month year starts when you first enter and you have 6 months (assuming the allow that) within that 12 month time - all together or broken up. Good to know as I'd have to time any entry and stay a little more rigidly.
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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2017, 10:06:06 PM »
I don't want to derail spartana's thread, but this topic got me wondering about my ttavel to CMC plans.

I plan to buy a one way ticket to Montreal on one airline, then return from Buffalo on another airline 2 weeks later.

Am I going to run into issues with immigration when I first arrive in Montreal?

Daisy,

If you buy a one way ticket be sure to have all of the information I put on the other thread with you. If you have a house/condo/apartment bring your rental agreement. It will make your travel easier if Immigration knows you have a place to go back to.

:)

Have a nice trip.

Thank you.

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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2017, 05:20:43 PM »
Back to dog food - I visited a friend in the US this past winter, and had the bag of dog food.  No problem.  Coming back, the Canada Customs Agent asked about it, and I replied it was what was left of what I took with me into the US (which it was, I always take extra in winter, just in case a big storm comes up and my return is delayed).  So they do look at it.  Silly thing was, it was President's Choice, so "only in Canada".
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Re: U.S. Citizen travelling/renting in Canada for 6 months question
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2017, 09:42:08 PM »
Not totally on topic, but sound like you're doing more outdoorsy stuff, so just wanted to say that this year the Canadian government's done a thing where we can get sent a free park pass for the year, and as a result most national parks have been quite a bit busier than usual- just something to keep in mind for accommodations and such.