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Author Topic: Questions from a prospective visitor  (Read 1895 times)


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Questions from a prospective visitor
« on: May 20, 2011, 09:39:35 AM »
I received a PM from a member asking a number of questions about visiting the US and Canada. I thought I'd share my response for the benefit of others, including those who come here seeking answers in the future. I've made minor editorial corrections.

If you have something to add (e.g. an answer to the Canada visa question), feel free to respond.

Those would be great questions for the public area of the forum, allowing others in the future to get the benefit of the answers. Some/most of them have been answered in recent discussions on this Visitors to the USA board, but I'll try to give you a synopsis.

what are the boarder officers like these days ....

It's been a year (almost to the day) since we re-entered the US, but we're US citizens anyway, so it's not a good comparison. Last year we had several visits from family in the UK, and they didn't seem to have any trouble, and that was using the ESTA (visa waiver) provisions. Recent posts on the forum suggest that Brits are coming and going with no issues.

we will apply for our B2 visa well in advance, which allows for 6 months, however this depends upon the boarder officer to how long, so question is do they give the maximum as a norm?

I've never heard of a case where they didn't grant what was asked, but I always state the caveat that the final decision is up to the agent at the port of entry, but in any even they won't/can't give you more than 6 months. That was until a few weeks ago when one couple from the UK reported asking for 8 months and were granted the full 8 months. It took approval by a supervisor, but you can read the full story on this board.

There's also a discussion on this board where I previously reported some new (to me) facts about extending a stay without having to leave the US - by filing a Form I-539 while you're still here.

do we need a visa to stay in Canada for 6 months (I think not from what I have found)

I've only crossed into Canada on short trips (a few weeks), so I don't really know the answer for a longer stay. But I suspect there's an answer, either on this board or in the section of our forum library with the same name. We also have several Canadians on our forum staff and forum members who are Canadian, and they might be able to help.

can we cross back on our B2 visa to the USA easily or would the officer knock us back (seen a lot of folks have crossed back) as we would need to decide from where to ship the RV back from, either Canada or USA

A B2 visa allows multiple entries for the duration of the visa, but each time you re-enter the USA you run the gauntlet again. However, it does re-start the clock on the 6 months limit (i.e. you get up to 6 months from the re-entry date). Many folks have reported crossing back into the USA from Canada, and most do it for a few weeks just to extend their stay here. However, I've seen one report of a British couple being denied re-entry because they made several consecutive border crossings, and it was 'obvious' they were doing it merely to get around the 6 months limit. I believe they spent 6 months in the USA followed by a brief visit to Canada, re-entered the USA for 6 months, another brief visit to Canada, and were denied entry when they tried to re-enter the USA again. I wouldn't worry about it if you were making only one re-entry, and especially if you'll be in Canada for several months.

I understand a lot depends upon proving that the person can prove intent to return to the UK, so we would have deeds for property to show we have our home to return to, also we have our children (adults not kids, but like everyone we call them kids) and grand children. We would also have a lot proof of finances to support us with rental income, savings credit cards, bank statements etc

Intent, or perceived intent, is one of two main criteria. I once stood in line behind an Englishman at a US consulate in Canada; He had nothing more than a return air ticket, trying to convince consulate staff that he didn't plan to stay in the USA forever. They sent him away without a visa.

Having the ability to support yourself financially while in the USA is the other main criteria.

I've often wondered if talking about family back in the UK might actually have an undesired effect. i.e. it might suggest you're coming here with a plan to eventually bring the clan over to live.
The only problem I am having is trying to persuade the boss that we can liver in a RV

I can't help there but, if you could convince her to participate in the forum, she'd find many of our female members who would willingly share their perspectives.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 05:42:16 PM by Tom »
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