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Author Topic: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year  (Read 2512 times)

HatulBitzot

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Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« on: October 31, 2014, 08:36:50 AM »
We are new to this forum and this is our first post.

This year my wife and I reached the age of 60 and we would like to celebrate this occasion by touring the US and Canada for up to a year with a Recreational Vehicle. We are not US or Canada citizens but both of us have valid multiple entry B1/B2 visas to the US and we are not required to have tourists visas to Canada.
We have some experience with rented RV but never owned one. Few years ago we spent 4 weeks in Alaska and last year we toured New-Zealand for 5 weeks.
 
We plan to fly around February 2015 to the south of the US (probably to Florida), buy a RV, register it in that state and spend the rest of the winter touring the south states of the US. As the weather improves we would like to travel north and after few months to cross to Canada with the RV.

We would like to tour Canada for several months and then we plan to return to the US, complete the tour and sell the RV before flying back home.

We are concerned with few issues for which we couldn't find any definitive answers yet (by searching the Internet and even by asking the US embassy)

Maybe some of the members of this forum may help in finding answers to the following 3 questions:

1.   Is it possible for non US/Canada citizens to cross the US border to Canada with owned and registered in the US RV? 

2.   We read that there are some limitations on re-entry the US; therefore we would like to verify that it is possible to re-enter the US with that RV after staying for few months in Canada without the need to travel out of North America for few months first? (We will show a returning home air tickets and sufficient means to stay in the US for the second time)

3.   If worse come to worse and we are stuck in Canada with an American RV without being able to re-enter the US, what options do we have in order to get rid of the RV in Canada before flying back home directly from Canada?

We appreciate any advice or sharing of experience.

donn

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 09:07:10 AM »
Cannot definitively answer your question for you.  Probably the only ones who can woild be customs and immigration.  I did meet a couple from Germany three summers ago who were doing just that though.  He told me that he had purchased the truck and trailer from a  dealer in South Dakota, had paid for them site unseen and had papers in hand when they landed.  With those and a symphetic immigration officer they were able tonget their 1 year visa.  Their plans were to finish the US innJuly, and head to Canada, rentering the US in North Dakota, drop the truck and trailer back at the dealer and fly out.  So I suspect that with the proper visa and US registered vehicles rentry might not be too hard.  I think his plan of already purchasing and having your RV paid for is a good idea.  Saves a lot of time when you land here.  Just be sure that you have it in writing that if not saitsfied that your not obligated to complete the deal

Alfa38User

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 09:30:18 AM »
The main question is can you buy and register said vehicle in Florida and get insurance without having an address there. I doubt it but you will need to check further. In the case Donn quoted, South Dakota, is slightly different as it appears that a PO Box or campground addresses can be used to register a vehicle and get a drivers licence. Your visit to either Canada or the US will likely be limited to 6 months or less. If you exceed your 6 months in the US before coming to Canada, there is a good possibility they might not let you return or you may be able apply for an extension, nothing guaranteed.

You should have no problem entering Canada with the correct documentation for both yourselves and an owned vehicle. You did not say which country you are from but the necessity of Visas etc depends on that.

To sell any US registered RV you own up here could be a PITA. Before it can be sold, it would have to be imported here on your initial arrival which includes paying tax and licensing here with similar address requirements etc.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 02:29:35 PM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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HatulBitzot

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 10:33:47 AM »
Thank you donn and Alfa38User for your prompt reply, we are not too concerned on the first entry to the US, if they will not let us in or give us only short time on the I-94, we can go to Canada and forget about spending our money in the US altogether, in such case we will buy a Canadian RV and tour Canada only.
The real concern is the second entry to the US after being in Canada for few months with an American vehicle. If they will not let us in again with our RV we may suffer a financial loss; having to get rid of the American RV in Canada.

Regarding the purchasing and registering the RV in the US without an address in America - we contacted one of the dealers in Florida and they told us they are familiar with the procedures required, and are selling many RVs to European tourists in our situation. We still have the time to verify this, but I believe that his can be done (Probably we are not the first foreign couple to do this type of journey). 

At this point we are not in favor of the "German Couple" method, If the US authorities will not let us in at the first portion of the trip, than we are stuck with a RV that we even haven't seen yet. Furthermore we prefer to buy the unit only after seeing it and checking it. We may consider the "German Couple" method only if nothing else works.

I would like to believe that showing sufficient means to support our staying together with an returning home air ticket and evidence that we have many reasons to return home at the end of the tour, will prove sufficient for the first entry to the US. As I said it is the returning from Canada that concerns us. This is because we saw in one of the US government sites that the option to have a new I-94 (the maximum length of stay passport stamp) is valid only if you travel out of North America before returning, going to Canada or Mexico is not enough.     

As far as we check till now we shall have no visa problems in entering Canada for a 6 month tour.

In any case we will play everything safe and legal anyway.

Tom

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 12:55:30 PM »
I see no reason that you wouldn't be allowed to bring the RV back into the USA after exiting and touring Canada for a while.

You may wish to read the article in our forum library: Guide to buying an RV in the USA. Some paragraphs won't apply, but they will be obvious as you read, e.g. you don't plan to ship the RV back home at the end of your trip, as some folks have done.
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HatulBitzot

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 03:03:32 PM »
Dear Tom,

We are impressed by the amount of useful materials, data and help provided by this site, I am browsing it for some time now and learned allot.
When we arranged our tours to Alaska and then to New-Zealand we thought that the process of renting RV for few weeks and planning a tour is tough, but recently we realized that it is nothing in compare to planning a full year tour which involve buying and selling a unit.

At the moment we are at the very beginning of the planning process and we are checking the feasibility and the major subjects of our desire to this once in a life time journey.
Once the major issues are clear and all the major arrangements are done, we will move to the detailed planning phase. 
We set the budget and the entry visas issues already and we are busy with finalizing the local issues regarding our business, home, family, pets, etc. that will not see us for a year.
We intend to start the journey on February 2015 and until then we hope that everything will be arranged.   I am sure that this site and the community behind it will be of a great help for us.

We see your comment on the "I see no reason that you wouldn't be allowed to bring the RV back into the USA after exiting and touring Canada for a while."  As a very logic one, we believe that at the end everything will be OK, however reading that instruction of the US authorities request to leave North America in order to re-enter the US raised our concern.

Tom

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 08:52:02 PM »
 
Quote
... reading that instruction of the US authorities request to leave North America in order to re-enter the US raised our concern.

There should not be any concern, but it does depend on the reason for you leaving the U.S.

Your B2 visa will allow you 6 months maximum on arrival in the U.S. You could legally extend that by filing a form I-539 after you arrive. Do a little more reading on our Visitors To The USA message board, and especially do more reading at the links provided.

An alternative is to exit the U.S. (e.g. by crossing into Canada) and returning to re-start the clock on your 6 months. However, what's important is that the U.S. authorities do not think you went to Canada merely to extend your visit; That will get you in trouble, and they may deny re-entry.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 08:55:16 PM by Tom »
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HatulBitzot

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 02:57:32 AM »
Thank you Tom for your advice, I studied the posts on the Visa issues, searched the relevant government sites and even wrote to the US embassy (but never received an actual answer from them).
My conclusion is that extending the I-94 over the regular 6 months (either by asking for it upon entry or by the I-539), will not help us because going to Canada within the I-94 period, and returning to the US without having to get new I-94, is valid only if the time spent in Canada is less than 30 days.
This method is good for short "jumps" to Canada, but since we would like to stay 4-6 months in Canada this method will not work for us.

We will request for 6 months on the I-94 upon the first entry to the US, will pass after 4 months to Canada for few months (4-6) and then return to the US hopping to get a new I-94 for 2-3 months, for completing the US tour and selling the RV before returning home.
I hope this will work for us.   

Tom

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 08:22:43 AM »
Quote
We will request for 6 months on the I-94 upon the first entry to the US, will pass after 4 months to Canada for few months (4-6) and then return to the US hopping to get a new I-94 for 2-3 months, for completing the US tour ...

That should work.

Quote
... selling the RV before returning home

You'd need to be very lucky to sell the RV before returning home, and you may need to leave it on consignment, to be sold after you return home.
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HatulBitzot

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Re: Questions on touring the US and Canada for up to a year
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 10:14:31 AM »
Yes probably we will do that. Will post once we make progress. 

 

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