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Author Topic: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?  (Read 2490 times)

akacake

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multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« on: August 20, 2010, 07:47:57 PM »
Hello,

I am glad that I found this forum! 

we are on a one year sabbatical until August 2011. We have rented our house out for a year to relatives and are living/traveling in our RV and we are homeschooling our 10 year old son for the year.

We departed our home in BC in May and are now in PEI and won't move back into our house until July 2011.

We are wanting to avoid the colder Canadian winter weather and head south to Florida and beyond and not be back home to BC until late spring at the earliest. Since we are living in our RV we can't arrive in Canada in March or April, the parks are not even open yet!

I have read many different conflicting stories so not sure what to believe about lengths of stay in the USA. We were thinking of leaving PEI and traveling through Maine and Vermont etc for one month in mid September and then visiting family in Montreal at the end of October. If we spend one month in the USA in September then head south to the USA in November are we allowed 6 more months or only 5 more? We spent 2 weeks in Florida last winter, will that take away from the 6 months? This is our biggest concern that we will be forced back into Canada too early in the snowy spring next year and need to time our departure into the USA accordingly....

The perfect length would be 8 months in the USA from October until May but not sure we are eligible for an extension or how to go about getting one....I have read somewhere that you can apply to the USA for an extension beyond the 6 months, does anyone have any info on this? Is there a fee for this or what is involved, ie, where to drop off the form, when to apply etc.

I have checked with BC Medical and we are allowed a leave of absence for up to 24 months ( available once every 5 years) so we are okay in that area at least.

What kind if any documents are required from us to cross the border for the 6 months. We own our house but since we have rented it out for the year we have no utility bills etc. Will I need a letter from my work stating my leave of absence? What about a letter from a school in regards to our son who is homeschooled?



It would be nice to know all these answers before we hit the border so we are prepared!

Cheers, Kelly
on the road for a year, a dad, a mom, 10 year old boy and their JRT dog!

Tom

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Re: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 07:53:31 PM »
The clock restarts each time you enter the USA. However, don't assume you'll be automatically granted a 6 months stay; It's entirely up to the USBP (aka immigration) officer at the port of entry, although I haven't heard any reports of them granting a shorter stay if 6 months was requested.

We've heard/read of isolated cases where multiple consecutive visits raised a flag, and the visitors were denied entry. However, these were cases where someone from the UK entered the US, spent 6 months here, entered Canada for a couple of weeks, then returned to the US (to restart the clock), and the flag went up on the third entry. These were folks who were clearly trying to get around the 6 months limit.

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What kind if any documents are required from us to cross the border for the 6 months.

Normally, all you should need is your passport. I suspect you also need a visa in your passport, but I haven't checked the requirements for US citizens. The USBP couldn't care less if you own property in another country, or if you're on extended vacation from your job.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 08:13:48 PM by Tom »
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akacake

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Re: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 07:56:31 PM »
thanks for your quick reply!
on the road for a year, a dad, a mom, 10 year old boy and their JRT dog!

Tom

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Re: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 08:18:07 PM »
Hopefully, our Canadian members who visit the USA annually will have some additional info.

BTW I added a short paragraph to my prior message while you were posting, so you may not have seen it.
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akacake

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Re: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 08:39:24 PM »
thanks!
on the road for a year, a dad, a mom, 10 year old boy and their JRT dog!

akacake

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Re: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 09:50:30 PM »
thanks for your replies.  I have just found this info as well  https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/619/session/L3NpZC9pbDJKelo3aw%3D%3D

I was wondering if anyone has any info on extending their stay?  What is involved?

on the road for a year, a dad, a mom, 10 year old boy and their JRT dog!

Tom

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Re: multiple trips into USA and/or extended stay?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 10:06:52 PM »
There's a form I-539 that can be filed to stay beyond the 6 months limit, but I didn't realize you were asking about a stay beyond the limit on a single visit. Be sure to read the caveats in this message.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 10:23:56 PM by Tom »
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