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Author Topic: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!  (Read 5430 times)

Dougie Brown

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FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« on: November 06, 2012, 12:09:47 PM »
Owing to popular and relentless demand :o , I've put together our experiences with many of the various issues which arise when Brits want to live the American (and Canadian....) RV dream.

There is a disclaimer on the site to which you must agree before proceeding, but true to fashion, it's a pretty clear one in its understated and typically British way.  ::)

http://rv-and.us/travel/?page_id=2344

Hope it's of some use to someone, somewhere, sometime.

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
www.rv-and.us

Tom

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 02:05:21 PM »
Nice job Dougie, and really well written. You covered a few items I didn't in this library article, and I was particularly interested in the way you solved the banking question that comes up periodically. Also, the non-renewal of the I-94. However, you didn't mention the suggestion for overcoming DVLA registration issues  ;D

BTW the linked experience on your blog was hillarious.
 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 02:10:00 PM by Tom »
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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 02:16:57 PM »
Quote
Unlike Canadians who are only admitted to the US for a maximum of 183 days in any 365 ...

I must be having a brain fart; For some reason, I thought that was a Canadian rule associated with their medical coverage while in the US. It could also have something to do with taxes, but it's been too long, and I need to go back and research it.
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Dougie Brown

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 02:23:42 PM »
Hilarious Tom. :)  I may or may not include it, lol.

I'm sure you're right about Canadians being restricted by their own admin, and also reasonably sure that there's a US limit too. However, it doesn't affect Brits abroad, so I don't much care  ;)

Dougie.
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G (F53 chassis, Ford 6.8 V10 gas)
1999 Ford Escort SE (2.0L 4cyl gas)
Brits spending half each year in the US and/or Canada
www.rv-and.us

ArdraF

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 03:22:57 PM »
Dougie, you did a very nice writeup which I expect will help a lot of people wanting to come to the U.S.A. for an RVing experience.  To me, the most interesting part was the logic of setting up an LLC.  It's come up in previous discussions and I couldn't see why a foreigner would want to do it, but I now understand why it's not only a viable option but also perhaps a very good one.  The part about banking was also interesting.  It sure has gotten more complex since 9/11!!  Finally, thankfully not all the border agents (everywhere) are like the one you encountered.  Unfortunately, there seems to be one at almost every border crossing which is too bad.  We too have encountered the good, the bad, and the ugly but happily most have been decent people just trying to do their job well.

Cheers,
ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Tom

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 05:49:42 PM »
Aye Ardra, we've read a few reports over the years of issues crossing into the USA from Canada, but fortunately they were few. I think of all the years I traveled extensively internationally (Europe-North America-Asia), and I can't recall a single border incident. When I'd mislaid our passports coming up from Mexico in our boat, a Border Patrol agent went out of his way to give me the OK.

Maybe they just pick on RVers, especially RVing Brits  ???   I recall that Terry and Liliane had a particularly bad experience crossing from Canada in their RV.
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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 09:02:12 PM »
Quote
... I thought that was a Canadian rule associated with their medical coverage while in the US. It could also have something to do with taxes, but it's been too long, and I need to go back and research it.

Here's a discussion right here in The RV Forum that covers several issues for Canadians spending long durations in the U.S. It seems that it can affect their Medicare benefits and their pension, but the length of time varies by province.
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Alfa38User

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 11:25:39 AM »
I must be having a brain fart; For some reason, I thought that was a Canadian rule associated with their medical coverage while in the US. It could also have something to do with taxes, but it's been too long, and I need to go back and research it.


It is that too Tom, but it is principally a US Immigration rule that a 'B' class visa is issued only for 180 days or so. A 'B' class visa is a verbally issued visa granted by the US Immigration Officer when he admits a visitor to USA. (for ex. to a Canadian snowbird...)

Taxes are something else, The US Revenue people require each person to complete an Form 8840 each year after reaching a Magic Number over a 3 year span and thus prove our tax home is elsewhere than USA. (I do know of some longtime snowbirds who claim to have never heard about this rule but......) An American Financial Institution (bank) will require a W8BEN form filled out every 3 years as well.

AFIK, our pensions, once earned, are payable anywhere in the world. Where you pay taxes on them can vary.....
 
AFIK, all Provinces (since medicare is a provincially controlled thing), might not yet use 180 or so days as the benchmark for their systems.

The exact number of days for each province along with much, much more information for travelling Canadians, can be found on the Canadian Snowbird Org. site here:www.snowbirds.org/
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 11:42:11 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Tom

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 12:12:26 PM »
Thanks Stu. I'm conversant with the 6 months limit on entry, which applies to all visitors, not just Canadians. There are (legal) ways to extend the 6 months limit, specifically by filing Form I-539, and this has been used by some folks visiting here, e.g. Mick and Pat from the UK - see this discussion. My understanding is that this wouldn't help Canadians because it could affect their Medicare benefits and their pension, although the length of time apparently varies by province.

 
Quote
... a 'B' class visa is issued only for 180 days or so. A 'B' class visa is a verbally issued visa granted by the US Immigration Officer when he admits a visitor to USA.

It was my understanding that Canadians do not require a B1 or B2 visa to enter the US for a stay of up to 6 months. For visitors from other countries, a B1/B2 visa is issued by a US Consulate (or Embassy) outside the US, is stamped in their passport, and is often valid for 10 years. But the length of any given stay for anyone with or without a B1 or B2 visa is determined by the Border Patrol Officer at the port of entry; This usually won't be for longer than 6 months (90 days max for someone using the Visa waiver program). The time restriction will be entered on a Form I-94 that is stapled to a page of the passport.

Meanwhile, the second part of the brain fart cleared ....

Visitors to the US staying here more than 182 days could be considered to be resident, and thus subject to US income tax. Some classes of visitors are supposed to obtain a Sailing Permit (Form 2063, tax clearance) from the IRS before leaving, but this is not usually applicable to tourist visitors or anyone not having a source of income in the US.

Steve Pally, a Canadian citizen and annual snowbird, wrote a lengthy message on the subject of US tax implications for visitors to the US here and it was subsequently put in a forum library article here.
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Alfa38User

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 11:38:51 PM »
Quote
It was my understanding that Canadians do not require a B1 or B2 visa to enter the US for a stay of up to 6 months.


You could be quite right on that point, but my understanding was as I said and since I am not really conversant with US Law on the subject, I will accept that. We certainly don't need to apply through an embassy, but simply show up at the border with our passports or the new special drivers licences in hand.

I too am a snowbird and I have never received any paperwork granting me access but I have been told our entry was on the basis of a "verbal" B1 Visa. The officer never actually says anything about limits or Visas but simply "Have a nice day" when we have been accepted for admittance. Our passports are not stamped but simply scanned each time.

We keep exact personal records to the day of all of our cross-border visits as the US limit of 182 days for stays in USA is a yearly maximum, not just a single visit maximum. The yearly totals  for the last 3 years are  required to be able to complete the F8840 form each April.

I believe any incidental absences/visits such as a week or two don't count towards the Canadian Medicare system absence limits but this too may vary by province. They would have no way of knowing about visits to other parts of Canada without a claim being made but they are able to (and do) check out of country visits, especially when a claim is made!!!

(The Canadian Federal Employment Insurance people check very closely on people claiming  insurance benefits and will deny them and penalize anyone caught visiting outside of Canada while claiming because they are not available for work while gone!!)

But I do know the US system follows us from year to year. It was on my second or third year of snowbirding and when I was asked where I was going to stay, I made a simple mistake on the street number of my home. The officer said "Did you mean 1698 Diamond... etc??" Of course he was correct!!! ;D

Steve, in his message has said, essentially, the same thing I did. I had seen that note several years ago I think but I had forgotten about it!!!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 12:06:26 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Tom

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Re: FAQs which I'm frequently asked!
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 12:47:10 AM »
Thanks again Stu, this all helps clarify and improve understanding. Things are certainly more complicated for Canadians visiting the U.S. than for visitors from other countries.

Meanwhile, I continue to urge intended visitors from any country to read the latest information posted by U.S. authorities (I usually post links to relevant pages).
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