OOPS Canadian wants to buy a cheaper house in Washington State and commute to work in Canada

A reader wrote David,

   I think you missed one elegant exception, if the folks get a work permit (J1, H1B, L1, TN-1)  for the US I believe that they are entitled to live there. I believe there is thus an elegant loop hole, obtain a TN-1 (renew every year) and live in the US, perhaps take an appropriate part-time job in the US (I’m a Green-Card Canadian in Bellingham that has an IT consulting company,  having some experience folks handy for part time work at favorable rates is always a nice prospect for me).

The issue of BC medical and tax jurisdiction may be a touch complicated. The person may be in Canada 5/7 days of the week but sleeps in the US 7/7 days --- but that’s your expertise.

david ingram replies:

I agree that I did not mention the working visa routine because the lady wants to work in Canada and to live in the US, they must have a job in the US.  Then, If the job goes south, the person must move back to Canada. 

One could get a TN visa for one day a week and that 'would' allow them to work in the US.

However, they must be in a professional level to qualify for the TN. 

They can read the details of all the cisas by going to www.centa.com and reading the 'Entering the USA' section in teh second box down on the right hand side.

H1 visas take a long time to get at the moment and although transferrable, are rarely issued for part-time work. 

The person in question would be paying full Canadian tax and NOT qualify for their provincial medical because they do not sleep (live) in Canada. 

She could also get her employer to open a US branch and transfer her there on an L1 for a day a month and commute back to Canada for the rest of the time.

A student visa would also work.  I know one couple who spent ten years in the USA on his student visa and then forced back to Canada.  They even had four US born children.  However, any of these solutiions are NOT very practical.  better she should change boy friends and marry an American.

I likely should have included this older question at the start

Hi there,   I'm a Canadian Citizen living in New Westminster. I cannot afford to buy a house in this area (Lower Mainland). I have found some affordable properties south of the border, in Blaine and surroundings. >From a financial and commuting standpoint, it makes perfectly sense to buy a property there, and commute daily to my job in Vancouver. But I have no ideea what the legal implications would be, on both sides of the border. Would you please tell me if it makes sense, from a legal point of view and if possible at all?   Thank you very much.   --------------------------------------------------------
david ingam replies:

Unless you are an American citizen and / or married to a US citizen or marry a US citizen who will sponsor you to live in the US, it is out of the question.

Nothing stops you from buying a house in Blaine and spending Friday Sat and Sun night every week and keeping an apartment in Vancouver for the four nights a wek (have to be in Caanda more than the uS for US border trules and BC Medical) but you can't be sleeping in the US every night or living in the US without a 'live there' visa and there is not any 'live there' visa.

And if you can afford the Blaine House, the commuting gas AND the Vancouver Apt, you can likely really afford to buy something smaller in the lower Mainland.

If yiu could get a US employer to hire you as a management consultant or scientific technician or computer system analyst or librarian, etc., one day a week  in Bellingham, you could get a TN visa which would have to be renewed every year but MC TN visas are hard to get.

The reason for the one day a week suggestion is that you could still work in Vancouver.

The problem is that to live in the USA, visas are only for employees or spouses as a rule.  You can apply for a green card but the last I looked it was over 15 years waiting time.

goto www.centa.com and read the 'Entering the USA' section in the second box down on the right hand side.

Last, but not least, if you do manage to make the move by marrying an American, your BC medical is cancelled because you have to 'live in BC' and 'make your home' in BC to qualify. If you have extended medical benefits at work, they are also cancelled because you need the basic plan to qualify.  To replace a good corporate medical plan in BC will cost you $400 to $600 a month US.

My question is my fiancee lives in Richmond BC and wants to purchase a house just across the border and still work in Canada. She is getting the run around on if that is possible and if so what paperwork does she need to fill out in order to make this happen. She has gone to the american consulate and nobody seems to know anything. We are looking for her to do this asap. Any help or advice you give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
david ingram replies:

It is not possible to do unless she wins the lottery for a green card or marries an American resident who sponsors her into the US.

She can buy a place there as a vacation or recreation place and spend half of her time there but she needs a full blown residence in Canada to qualify for that.  Her home in Canada has to be (or should be) a better home than the one in the USA. �