Author Topic: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada  (Read 2919 times)

spoonman

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Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« on: March 20, 2015, 04:27:21 PM »
My wife and I are planning on spending about 5 months in Montreal, Canada.  I understand that Americans can visit Canada for up to 180 days in a 12 month period without worrying about acquiring a special visa, but I have the following questions:

1) Can we stay 180 consecutive days without having to do a "border run" after the first 90 days? 
2) Are border officers known to be restrictive?  I've heard that it's in their discretion to limit your stay to a specific number of days.

It would be great if we didn't have to do a border run during our stay.

zoltani

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 04:47:03 PM »
We go up to Canada quite a bit, but usually for short duration. My understanding is that the 180 days is consecutive and you will not need to do a border run.

Have you ever been arrested? They will not let you into Canada, even for DUI.

JLee

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 04:54:22 PM »
You can stay for 180 consecutive days - no border run is required. I may be going to Canada for 4 months over the summer - last time I went through Canadian customs, I asked about that and the only thing she said I'd probably want to have is a letter from my employer saying that I was working for them (US company) and not seeking Canadian employment. If you're not planning on working, having some documentation to that effect may be helpful (i.e. proof of FI), but I don't expect you'd have problems.

spoonman

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 05:38:47 PM »
Thanks for the responses, it's a relief to know we won't have to do a border run.  For proof of FI, I think we'll just bring a snapshot of one of our accounts and show them that our lodging is purely temporary.

Spondulix

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 01:34:19 PM »
It depends on the border how strict they are, and it may raise a red flag if you have a lot of stuff with you. I'd check into Quebec rules just to be safe. (I went to McGill and crossed the border a lot, but it was also 10 years ago. Sometimes I got bugged even with a student visa.)

RetiredAt63

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2015, 12:24:56 PM »
This is a Federal jurisdiction, nothing to do with Quebec. 

I know when I drive to the US, I get asked how long I will be staying.  So you would expect the same thing coming to Canada - proof of long-term residency in the US, short term stay here should be fine, but it is not a situation I have direct experience with.

If I were going someplace for 4 months, I would have a fair bit of stuff with me too.  I had a fairly full car visiting a freind for a week (but that included the dog).

Pets?  You will probably need proof of rabies vaccination, you should check that.

It depends on the border how strict they are, and it may raise a red flag if you have a lot of stuff with you. I'd check into Quebec rules just to be safe. (I went to McGill and crossed the border a lot, but it was also 10 years ago. Sometimes I got bugged even with a student visa.)

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 12:28:48 PM »
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5082-eng.html

This is the Canada Boarder Services FAQ section.  Hopefully it helps you.

Spondulix

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Re: Questions about American tourist visa in Canada
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 04:13:57 AM »
This is a Federal jurisdiction, nothing to do with Quebec. 
It shouldn't, but that's not what happened with me. I actually wasn't allowed to bring my stuff across the border until I had a Quebec student permit (even though I had a Canadian one). Even after I got the Quebec permit, I still had a fair amount of hassle at the Canadian border whenever my car had household items (Was it for my use? Was I planning on selling it?) I had an officer once asking me 20 questions about a basket of laundry... no joke. The only time I had something confiscated was an Ontario crossing, though.

I'm just saying do your diligence and don't blindly trust the "6 months rule". Crossing the border with 5 months of luggage it's going to raise some red flags. It's a totally different experience going through customs at an airport with 2 suitcases (even if you're staying for 5 months) vs driving across the border with a bunch of personal belongings - especially without a work or study permit.