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Author Topic: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA  (Read 8398 times)

buchanan

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6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« on: August 08, 2014, 08:11:22 AM »
anyone out there have an opinion on legal stay in the US ?? in one calander year? is it 180 days in total over 12 months or 6 months no matter the days
Like 160 days in 6 months and 15 days in the seventh type senerio

Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 08:45:01 AM »
For non-Canadians, it's 6 months maximum on a single visit. Leaving the U.S. and returning will (usually) restart the clock. Alternatively, folks can file for an extension of the 6 months without leaving the U.S.

There are some issues that prevent someone from some Canadian provinces staying out of Canada for more than 6 months; IIRC it affects their home province healthcare benefits.

There are numerous discussions on the subject on our Visitors to the USA board.

Edit: There are a number of Canadians on this forum who spend quite a bit of time in the U.S. annually; Maybe one or more can explain the "home healthcare benefits" issue.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 09:44:42 AM by Tom »
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 11:12:12 AM »
This is NOT my opinion but...

The total is cumulative. The number of days a Canadian citizen can spend in the USA is a 182 Day (6 months less 1 day) TOTAL for any given year (Jan to Dec.) whether it is in 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or multiple months increments.  US Border Services have been known to block entry to the US if they determine (ie: think, not necessarily prove) you have already exceeded the limit in a given year (See below, new Data Sharing agreement).

This may change for seniors in the future as there are several Omnibus bills proposing to change this limit that are currently lost in congressional and senate committees in the USA.

 For Medicare purposes, allowable absence from your province varies from province to province nowadays as many have now changed the original 180 day limit to 7 months, more or less. Quebec is still 6 months. BC did change theirs. (In Quebec, absences of up to 2 weeks are not counted in our 180 day allowance.)

How do the Medicare services know you are gone?? Try making a claim for out of province care and you will quickly find out!!! (And Yes! I have had to go through it!!) Out of Province is exactly that, not just to USA, but anywhere!!

US Form 8840 (US Rev. Closer Connection Form) should be filed each year for each person if they meet the requirements as stated on the form itself IF you wish to avoid hassles with the US taxman. Keeping track of YOUR days in the USA is becoming much more important now with the new cooperation between the USA and Canadian Boarder services data sharing agreement.

As Ned indicated, the rules for NON-Canadian visitors are similar but somewhat different. Canadians can apply to get the allowed period extended with legitimate and compelling reasons.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:14:45 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 11:36:15 AM »
thanks for the replys.I am well aware of the Provicial health care rules and regulations.I am also well aware of Form 8840
I was Only asking about stay in USA Nothing else.
The reason I asked the question is because I crossed in july 28 and was gone for 4 days making my total OFC days 177 over 8 months.
The women at the osooyos border crossing was very stern and said 6 months or "180 days" as I too suggested it was 182 days when she asked me If I knew how long I could spend in the USA.She warned me about not returning too soon? Whatever she was getting at and for what reason at I have no clue.I have never in my many years of crossing had such a harsh Border guard. The fruit,meat and Vegtable inspector(another female) was almost as nasty.Took 4 mini tins of cat food because it did not say made in America It said made to American standards.So now Iam a little gun shy so just wanted to double check whats what

Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 12:07:36 PM »
Thanks for filling in the blanks re provincial rules Stu.
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 12:12:11 PM »
You were fortunate it was not picked up on your way down but you were under the limit though when all said and done!! Osooyos was the Canadian re-entry point, right?  otherwise Oroville is the US side I think. Pretty much best to shut up and take it when some of these Border Services people are having a bad day. The US officials have great power and anyone on a power trip can say BANNED and you are, up to 5 years, NO appeal possible. Not sure the Canadians have quite as much power as that though, especially with returning Canadians.

AFIK, the new data sharing agreement is not yet in full operation for Canadians and US citzens as the legal legislation required was not yet in place based on the latest info I had. But when it does come into force, data showing our departure from Canada and our entry into USA and visa-versa will be available to both border officials with one swipe of the passport!! The same will apply to USA citizens arriving and departing Canada.

Buchanan, I knew you were aware of many of these items based on our recent prior discussions but I included them simply for completeness for any one else following the discussion.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:33:15 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 12:23:13 PM »
Back to your original question ...

Quote from: buchanan
... an opinion on legal stay in the US ?? in one calander year? is it 180 days in total over 12 months or 6 months no matter the days
Like 160 days in 6 months and 15 days in the seventh type senerio

Sorry, I expressed fact, not opinion. I'm not aware of a limit for non-Canadians in a calendar year, or total over 12 months or 6 months. Some of my prior posts on this board contain links to the "official" word. Do a little browsing &/or searching here.

We occasionally read about bad experiences with border agents, but my experience of entering the U.S. over approx 40 years under different nationalities and different immigration statuses, by land, air and sea, have always been positive. OTOH I always make sure I don't do or say enything that might raise the hackles or suspicions of the border agent. The agents display far more patience and courtesy than I probably would or could in that job.
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 12:26:40 PM »
Quote from: Alfa38User
but I included them simply for completeness for any one else following the discussion.

Aye Stu, folks focused on a response to their own question tend to forget that others may be reading along &/or searching for the answer at a later date.
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 12:28:14 PM »
You were fortunate it was not picked up on your way down!! Osooyos was the Canadian re-entry point, right? If so, your discussion was with Canadian Border services. Pretty much best to shut up and take it when some of these Border Services people are having a bad day. The US officials have great power and anyone on a power trip can say BANNED and you are, up to 5 years, NO appeal possible. Not sure the Canadians have quite as much power as that though, especially with returning Canadians.

AFIK, the new data sharing agreement is not yet in full operation for Canadians and US citzens as the legal legislation required was not yet in place based on the latest info I had. But when it does come into force, data showing our departure from Canada and our entry into USA and visa-versa will be available to both border officials with one swipe of the passport!! The same will apply to USA citizens arriving and departing Canada.

Buchanan, I knew you were aware of many of these items based on our recent prior discussions but I included them simply for completeness for any one else following the discussion.
I think you misread my story.I was going to the USA  Thats why I was DOUBLE checking how long we can stay,It has NOTHING to do with the CDN side I always just answer yes sir and no sir. I never ever challenge a US border authority.NEVER no matter what. NowThe CDN guy or girl if there being awkward(very very seldom) I will Challenge them as they can not refuse me entry and have no jurisdiction on my US travel but have found over the years just bite your tongue and no sir yes sir works like a charm
The only reason I started this thread was to double check on the  days verses months and I believe it is 180 days no matter how many months  or no more than 6 Full months in a row. IN a year. So if you stay January 01/14 -june 30/14 you cant re-enter the US legally till January 01/15.Thats my understanding?

also on a side note there was nothing to "pick up on the way down" as we were clearly not violating any us law,rule or regulation
To repeat I have no idea why this women started going on about any of this.\that's why I was confused and sought help here clarifying the situations
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:32:38 PM by buchanan »

Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 12:40:17 PM »
Buchanan, yes I realized that later and revised my wording but our posts were being  made simultaneously. Your quote reflects my original wording. Sorry for the confusion!!

Quote
So if you stay January 01/14 -june 30/14 you cant re-enter the US legally till January 01/15.

Yes, that is what I understand too. My reference contains the wording "6 months less 1 day (182 days) in a 12 month period." (This counts the day you enter and also the day you leave thus the period you quote is exactly 181 days. Close enough?

(My ref. material is from The CSA Information Guide 4th edition available from the Canadian Snowbirds Association. It contains many examples and excerpts from current USA codes.)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 01:34:17 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 12:42:36 PM »
Quote from: buchannan
... double check on the  days verses months and I believe it is 180 days no matter how many months  or no more than 6 Full months in a row. IN a year. So if you stay January 01/14 -june 30/14 you cant re-enter the US legally till January 01/15.Thats my understanding?

That's not correct for non-Canadian aliens.
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2014, 12:58:18 PM »
That's not correct for non-Canadian aliens.

But Iam not asking about or discussing non Canadians. Iam just trying to make 100% sure iam in the correct mode when I head out for the winter
A lot of people think they can go for a full 6 months and return to Canada for a few days and then go again for another 6 months and you simply can not do that legally that's why I made the last post. Anyhow I think I know what the general rule of thumb is I was just hoping someone here would understand what I was asking and just confirm what I was thinking  just as a reassurance.

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2014, 01:31:59 PM »
    As Tom said, this topic has been covered many times on this forum.  However, I do not agree with his comment that you can stay for six months, leave then re-start the clock, nor with another poster's comment that you can stay cumulative for six months in any calendar year.  I think the act says you can stay in the US for the 182 days in any year, but the definition of a year is subject to the interpretation of the border guard, and almost exclusively they say that means six months on a rolling basis, so if you enter the US on December 1, you must exit by May 31.  Further, if you leave at any time within that period, you must remain outside of the US for a month (30 days) or the clock keeps ticking.
    The other consideration and what causes a lot of confusion is that the US IRS deems any one who stays in the US for in excess of six months to be sufficiently a resident to submit a US Income Tax Form.  They use the calendar year.  Remember that while you may not earn a cent in the US, it is one of only 2 countries that claims world wide income, so it does get tricky.

Ed
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2014, 01:38:50 PM »
 
Quote
I think the act says you can stay in the US for the 182 days in any year, but the definition of a year is subject to the interpretation of the border guard, and almost exclusively they say that means six months on a rolling basis

You could well be right on that one!!! My statement "6 months less 1 day (182 days) in a 12 month period." seems to reflect that view. I agree that the f8840 uses the calendar year concept.

But as to the exact period expressed: Jan 1 to Jun 30, the statement buchanan expressed would also be true in this specific case.

Tom's statement about restarting the clock was referring to visitors OTHER THAN Canadian Citizens. We're "special" heh heh.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 01:52:07 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 01:44:44 PM »
    As Tom said, this topic has been covered many times on this forum.  However, I do not agree with his comment that you can stay for six months, leave then re-start the clock, nor with another poster's comment that you can stay cumulative for six months in any calendar year.  I think the act says you can stay in the US for the 182 days in any year, but the definition of a year is subject to the interpretation of the border guard, and almost exclusively they say that means six months on a rolling basis, so if you enter the US on December 1, you must exit by May 31.  Further, if you leave at any time within that period, you must remain outside of the US for a month (30 days) or the clock keeps ticking.
    The other consideration and what causes a lot of confusion is that the US IRS deems any one who stays in the US for in excess of six months to be sufficiently a resident to submit a US Income Tax Form.  They use the calendar year.  Remember that while you may not earn a cent in the US, it is one of only 2 countries that claims world wide income, so it does get tricky.

Ed

Ok but my original question was does the  180 days  HAVE to be in a 6 month period or can u visit the states  for  example 15 days every month  for 12 months in a row?
That's what Iam trying to understand

Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2014, 02:02:56 PM »
The 'general rule' has no limit on the number of entries or number of days in a given 12 months or 6 months period as far as the U.S. is concerned, irrespective which country to come from. However, it becomes a tax issue if you spend more than 182 days in a year. Two different sets of rules from two different U.S. agencies - Customs & Immigrations rules and the IRS/tax rules - and you need to satisfy both.

Here's a very brief article on the Canadian Snowbird Association web site that discusses it.
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2014, 02:08:00 PM »
Quote
Further, if you leave at any time within that period, you must remain outside of the US for a month (30 days) or the clock keeps ticking.

Interesting, that means for my 15 day cruise I am considered to be still in the USA for immigration purposes and the 182 day limitation. I guess it depends when they choose to 'start the clock' to determine the period. I always enter about Nov 15 and leave around Apr. 15, about 150 days or so, well within the allowed length of stay but.....The clock stops on Nov 14th the following year I guess, but better be out-ta-there by Aug 20 at the latest. Better watch those long summer cruises!!! heh heh.

If I were a border guard, I would become extremely suspicious of a 15 day per month 'schedule' and would begin opening that famous "can of worms". Not an easy answer.....

Anyway, no matter what period of time we speculate on here, it is immaterial, the only opinion that counts will be the one of that little guy/girl in the booth as we cross over the line.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 02:40:57 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2014, 02:10:26 PM »
Quote from: Hfx_Cdn
As Tom said ...  However, I do not agree with his comment that you can stay for six months, leave then re-start the clock...

Ed, that comment specifically said "For non-Canadians", and non-Canadian folks have reported being able to do that on numerous occasions here. As several of us have suggested, the issue becomes confused by the tax issue for stays great than 182 days (cumulative/total) in a calendar year. The tax issue is ignored by visitors from outside North America, but the CDN/USA government cooperation makes it tougher for Canadians visiting the U.S. to ignore it.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 02:12:20 PM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2014, 02:57:26 PM »
For a more thorough explanation of the tax side of things, take a look at Publication 519 (Tax Guide For Aliens). Can't believe I read and (at least thought) I understood that document many moons ago. OTOH understanding and complying with it does not mean you won't tangle with the IRS  ;)
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2014, 03:01:44 PM »
The 'general rule' has no limit on the number of entries or number of days in a given 12 months or 6 months period as far as the U.S. is concerned, irrespective which country to come from. However, it becomes a tax issue if you spend more than 182 days in a year. Two different sets of rules from two different U.S. agencies - Customs & Immigrations rules and the IRS/tax rules - and you need to satisfy both.

Here's a very brief article on the Canadian Snowbird Association web site that discusses it.
I beg to differ The US border is very adamant that you spend no more than 180(or 182) days totally in any given year.Very adamant  when I talked to them

Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2014, 03:11:14 PM »
Since you already had an adamant response, I don't understand why you needed to ask the question here.

Leaving aside the tax issue, maybe there's a special immigration rule for Canadians? If so, I haven't seen it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist; I haven't  kept up with the rules applying specifically to Canadians, as I normally find myself talking to non-North Americans on these subjects.
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2014, 03:48:46 PM »
Here's an interesting web page of a "cross-border advisor". I have no information on the validity of the information provided. But, if true, it's clear that this subject is very much a moving target, and that there are two sets of rules to comply with (i.e. immigration and taxes).

As I browse the volumes of US government documents on these subjects, it's also clear there that the rules are changing. In addition to me previously having to update some of my writings here in the forum, today I'm finding new changes and US government web pages that have either moved or no longer exist.

I always say "Know before you go", but it seems increasingly difficult to "know". It's going to be some time, if ever, before I get current with all the recent changes. So, travel to the U.S. at your peril.
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2014, 04:28:17 PM »
Leaving aside the tax issue, maybe there's a special immigration rule for Canadians? If so, I haven't seen it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist; I haven't  kept up with the rules applying specifically to Canadians, as I normally find myself talking to non-North Americans on these subjects.


There appears to be special rules for different categories of Canadians VISITORS' to the US. Canadian CITIZENS follow one set of rules where as Canadian RESIDENTS (non yet citizens) have others. eg 180 max days for citizens, but the max for Canadian residents is only 90 days This is but one example. There are likely a few more, maybe many more, rules that I am not aware of.....

Immigration, on the other hand, is different. Example: Every so often the US runs a lottery for foreigners to apply for a green card etc. Canadians, more often than not, are not even eligible to apply. I do know of 1 case of a Russian immigrant couple, both highly educated, who were accepted into Canada as a refugees, living and working here for a couple of years, who then won the lottery and promptly moved!! Canadians were not eligible in that particular instance either. On the other hand, under Free Trade rules, Canadian professionals such as engineers, Doctors, Nurses etc etc can apply under those rules for consideration and have little trouble entering on a permanent basis, especially if a job offer has been received... and there are a bunch more rules to be followed by the prospective American employers as well.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 04:43:27 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2014, 04:36:42 PM »
well the only reason I ever brought this deal up is because I felt I was well within any US rule or law or regulation.I entered the US Oct 26 2013 I left the US april 16 2014.Total days 173  but seven months in a row
When I went down to moses lake July28 for 4 days  the women border guard right out of the blue was yapping at me about  overstaying and was I aware iam only allowed 180 days and when were you thinking you were coming back in etc.Seriously I was really caught off guard. Obviously she let me in when I said its only 173 days in total?
but she gave me a very sterm warning of which I have no clue as to why but Iam scared to go back before Nov 01 now
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 04:38:23 PM by buchanan »

Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2014, 04:47:46 PM »
Stu, this discussion was specifically in respect of non-immigrant visitors, but I think you knew that. Meanwhile, the division of Canadian citizens and Canadian residents was news to me.

Re the green card lottery, we had someone from the UK here within the last couple of weeks telling us his wife (IIRC she's Italian) had come up on the GC lottery, and they were moving to the U.S. and planning to live in a truck camper  ???
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Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2014, 04:54:32 PM »
buchanan, I can see why you'd be leery about returning to the U.S. any time soon  :o
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2014, 05:08:43 PM »
She simply thought you were 'kinda close' to the limit (you only had a 9 day leeway in any case) and jumped before pulling out her calculator. "Just doing her job" making sure you understood the rules and perhaps scaring you enough  so that you would be back in time!! Many visitors end up getting 'lost' and fail to find the border crossing, I would think. Some officials just don't seem to be too 'diplomatic' in handling the situation however.

It happens here often where visitors, even those with Visa's and those that have been formally deported, have "disappeared into wood work" never to be seen again!!! Yes, releasing a deportee on his own recognizance before shipping him/her out and expecting that he will show up again is a HUGE boo boo, IMHO.

A funny story: I had entered the US by boat at a water border crossing on an island in upstate NY,  1000 Islands area,  one summer. This was the first year I had not obtained a crossing permit in advance from US Immigration at Dorval Airport, a half hour procedure and a small fee. Well, after a 35 minute lecture from the officer between cruise ship arrivals, on why I should have one etc, I said "I'm convinced, please issue me one!!" Ahhh, Nope, she gave me the form and said I had to send it in to Virginia and await the permit which would take several weeks. Well, I was there for 1 day and was returning to Canada that same evening (Canada was just across the river on the other side of said Island!!!) Go Figure!!!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 05:31:29 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

Tom

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2014, 08:01:11 AM »
Just for (my) future reference, here's the official scoop on Form 8840 - Closer Connection (to your home country) exception to the 'substantial presence' test. Includes links to other tax related pages/documents.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 08:02:59 AM by Tom »
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Alfa38User

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2014, 09:32:04 AM »
Not that you will ever need to fill it out ..LOL

Thanks for that. It is a shame that the current PDF form cannot be filled out while displayed on the computer, saved locally, then printed.  I seem to remember that previous years had that ability, although the ones referred to on this page do not. They never had the ability to actually be filed with the IRS on line though, always 'print and mail'.


On Edit: Being unable to fill out the form appears to be related to the inclusion of another .PDF reader within Firefox and is now Solved ;D
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 08:04:43 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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buchanan

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Re: 6 months or 180 days to stay in USA
« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2014, 01:07:58 PM »
Not that you will ever need to fill it out ..LOL

Thanks for that. It is a shame that the current PDF form cannot be filled out while displayed on the computer, saved locally, then printed.  I seem to remember that previous years had that ability, although the ones referred to on this page do not. They never had the ability to actually be filed with the IRS on line though, always 'print and mail'.

I filled one out on the puter a week ago with no problems?

 

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