buying a house in the USA - Medical

My_question_is: Applicable to both US and Canada
Subject:        buying a house in the uSA
Expert:         taxman at
Date:           Saturday May 27, 2006
Time:           03:58 PM -0700
We are retired Canadian citizens who would like to purchase a house in the
USA. Is there anyway that we can utilize the house for more than 6 months of
the year.
david ingram replies;
Provided you keep a full blown home ready for your use in
Canada, there is nothing in US law that I know of that stops you from going
down as a visitor for 3 months coming back for a month going down for three
months, coming back for a month or two weeks and continuing this all year
for year after year.  However, if you do this, you will be taxable on your
world income in the US and in Canada.
This is not bad.  You will get credit in the US for the tax you paid to
Canada although if you are there that much, your Canadian tax return will be
as a non-resident.
However, if you are there more than 183 days a year (213 for Ontario) you
will lose your Canadian Medical which in turn cancels any trip insurance you
have as follows where I published a correction an d researched the other
provinces and territories:
C O R R E C T I O N  about number of days in Ontario -
You wrote that this current resident of Ontario would need to stay in
Canada for 183 days a year in order to keep provincial medical coverage.
But I think OHIP allows you coverage even if you spend up to 7 months out
of province (important for tax benefit).  Their website says you have to
spend 153 days in the province.
Really enjoying receiving your emails.
Phil B
david ingram replies:
I hate it and love it when I am wrong.  BC is adamant.  You have to sleep in
BC more than 183 nights a year - i.e. make your home in BC and I have seen
BC turn people down who spend too much time in the YUKON and Mexico but
clearly live in BC. this means that for BC, it is impossible to maintain a
green card and BC medical at the same time because both require the more
than 183 days in their jurisdiction to be valid.
However, Phil has correctly pointed out that Ontario's own OHIP website
clearly states that you only have to be in Ontario 153 days a year to
qualify as long as you make your home in Ontario.  Technically then, you
should be able to make your home in Ontario and still keep a green card
active by spending more than 183 days in the US.
The following is from the OHIP website at
Ontario residents are eligible for provincially funded health coverage
(OHIP). To be eligible for Ontario health coverage you must :
*       be a Canadian citizen or have immigration status as set out in
Ontario's Health Insurance Act, and
*       make your permanent and principal home in Ontario, and
*       be physically present in Ontario 153 days in any 12-month period.
OHIP coverage normally becomes effective three months after the date you
establish residency in Ontario. The ministry strongly encourages new and
returning residents to purchase private health insurance in case you become
ill during the OHIP waiting period.
This would also affect another prior q & a for an Ontario lady trying to
stay in her Florida home more.
Now I have to find that person's email address and send a correction to her
as well.  Thanks Phil
Please note that every province has its own rules.
New Brunswick is on the record as having some 250,000 more cards issued than
there are people in the province and does not have a number of days in its
Nova Scotia does say you must be ordinarily present in Nova Scotia for at
lest six months.
Alberta does not have a number of days but says you moist be ordinarily
present (whatever that means)
Saskatchewan says you must be ordinarily resident at least six months.
Manitoba says you have to be physically present at least six months
Quebec requires you to be in Quebec for 183 days but will allow you to be
out of the province for more than 183 days one out of seven years.
PEI specifically requires six months PLUS a day as follows:
The Plans are designed to provide coverage for eligible PEI residents. (A
resident of PEI is defined as anyone who is legally entitled to remain in
Canada and who makes his or her home and is ordinarily present, on an annual
basis, for at least six months plus a day in Prince Edward Island.) PEI
residents lose their eligibility if they are absent from the province longer
than six months, unless they obtain a waiver of this requirement from the
Newfoundland requires six months and tells you that you have to get a
special card if going to be gone more than six months
The provincial Hospital Insurance Plan and the Medical Care Plan (MCP)
provide coverage to beneficiaries who temporarily leave Newfoundland and
Labrador. Patients are required to provide and valid plan registration card
(MCP card). Therefore, prior to leaving the province, an Out-of Province
Coverage Certificate should be obtained from MCP for absences longer than
six months.
I could not find a reference for the Yukon other than a reference that a
resident of the Yukon was as defined in the Canada Health Act.  The CHA
resident” means, in relation to a province, a person lawfully entitled to be
or to remain in Canada who makes his home and is ordinarily present in the
province, but does not include a tourist, a transient or a visitor to the
Of course, the Yukon Territories is not a "province" but I tried
Newfoundland has a six month rule as follows:
All permanent residents of the NWT are eligible for coverage. "Permanent
resident" means a person legally entitled to remain in Canada who makes
his/her home in (and is ordinarily present in) the NWT for six months of the
year, but does not include a tourist, transient or visitor to the NWT.
"Makes his/her home" is defined as where the person receives mail, keeps
personal property, and spends the majority of time.
Should an individual leave the NWT under the conditions of temporary
absence, the resident must remain in the NWT for six cumulative months after
returning to the NWT.
Last, but not least Nunavut only has a population of 28,000 people.  I could
not find any reference but presume that the Canada Health Act definition I
printed for the Yukon would suffice.
AS you can see, the general rule is six months and I am sure that it was six
months for Ontario the last time I looked at it.  However, they now
specifically state 153 days.
Again, thanks Phil.
Hell of a day when I do not learn something.
 > ------------------------------------------
> Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2006 7:10 AM
> To: taxman at
> Subject: moving to the U.S. with children
> Hi there:
>                     I have a fiancé. he is a single parent raising 2
> children and has an elderly parent to look after as well..he is a U.S.
> citizen. I'm a single parent  raising 2 children in Ontario Canada. We are
> thinking of purchasing a house in Niagara Falls U.S. side together as its
> easier for me to move then for him. I'm proud to be a Canadian and wish to
> stay that way..eventually we will be moving back to Canada. I have no idea
> where to start. Is there an everything i need to know in layman's terms
> with regards to :
>                    1. Can i co- own a house in the U.S.?
>                    2. How do i retain my Canadian Privileges eg. Health
> cards?
>                    3. How long can i stay in the U.S?
>                    4. How do i do get permission to work there.?
>                    5. Can my children go to school in the U.S.?
>                    6. What about taxes?
> The plan right now is for me to Stay with my sister in Ontario for a few
> days a week to work then be in the U.S the rest of the week. We will be
> looking for homes right near the border. After his Father Passes away we
> most likely will move back to Canada, but we don't feel its right to take
> him
> from his home at this time and is the reason im going there. There is no
> rush to purchase or to move right away so we want to start figuring it all
> out well in advance to avoid any suprises.
> Thanks for your time im sorry this question is so lengthy and i hope you
> can
> point me in some direction other then the round and round conufsed one im
> in
> now,
> ___====================================
> david ingram replies:
> 1.    yes
> 2.    You have to sleep in Canada more than 183 nights to retain your
> Provincial health cards and benefits
> 3.    up to six months a visit provided you have a home in Canada.  Your
> sister's will usually not qualify unless you put the phone and hydro in
> your
> name
> 4.    You need a green card or work visa.  If he sponsors you as a fiancée
> and
> you get marred within 90 days, you will get your green card soon after.
> 5.    Only if you get status as a spouse or as a worker with a work visa
> some sort.  Only your US employer can apply for a visa for you.
> 6.    What about taxes - if you ask me I could write a book - other Q &
> you
> will receive might answer this for you.
> =================
> taxman at Please see bottom of message for unsubscribe.  If you
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> new to the list, you were probably added because you sent a question to
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> ------------------------------------------
> QUESTION: I am an American man living in California and plan to marry a
> Canadian woman who lives in Toronto and is in the process of divorcing her
> Canadian husband.  The plan is for her to move to CA as soon as possible.
> Is there some sort of "legal checklist" that provides an overview of
> visitation (for both her and me) implications, visa application, property,
> investments, etc. for the interim period prior to finalizing her divorce
> and
> thereafter?
> Thanks in advance for your help.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> david ingram replies:
> This is an impossible question because everyone is different.
> Moving to California is impossible to do without a residential visa of
> some
> sort.
> If she is a professional, it might be as simple as her applying for a job
> in
> her profession and moving to the US with a TN (Treaty NAFTA visa).  She
> would need to be in one of the 63 occupations that qualify for a TN.  You
> can find these occupations listed in the middle of "Entering the US: which
> you can find in the second box down on the right hand side at
> If she has an occupation that is not listed in the TN category but she is
> in
> a senior position, she might be able to go in an H category.  Everyone who
> qualifies for a TN qualifies for an H and a lot of others do as well.  If
> she is in management with a branch of an American Company, she might be
> able
> to transfer under an "L" category.
> Indeed her mother or father might be an American and could sponsor her to
> the US under certain circumstances.  The parent should be living in the
> US.
> If she does not qualify, you are going to have to sponsor her as a fiancée
> and be married within 90 days of her going to the US or marry her first
> and
> sponsor her as a wife.  If you do that, her paperwork has to be processed
> in
> Montreal.
> In the meantime, if a Homeland Security officer on the border discovers
> that
> she has a fiancée in the US and intends to marry and live there, the
> officer
> will not likely allow her to enter the US to visit you on the grounds that
> they thin k she will try and stay there.  It is the border person's duty
> to
> keep her out.
> She (and you) should put together a "border kit".
> This kit would consist of a 3 ring binder containing items like:
> *     copies of your last three year's tax returns
> *     copy of the lease or ownership papers of your residence
> *     copy of your driver's licence
> *     copy of your car registration
> *     letter from your employer stating your job and that she / you work
> *     copy of video club memberships
> *     copy of club memberships
> *     copies of phone bills
> *     copies of utility bills
> *     copies of Insurance policies
> *     copies of anything that indicates you are intending to return to
> home country in a short period of time.
> This is not everything by any means but should be looked at as a minimal
> amount of documentation to have.
> You should look at the Fiancée petition to get started -
> And you should look at the Spouse application as well -
> You will have to guarantee support of course:
> and/or
> Get to work!
> -----------------------------
> Answers to this and other similar  questions can be obtained free on Air
> by
> david ingram on the last Sunday of each month.
> On the last Sunday at 9:00 AM on 600AM in Vancouver, I, david ingram will
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> ------------------------------
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> Note that id your lady were to give up her apartment or house and want to
> visit you in the USA, she cannot do so.  To be a visitor to the US, she
> have a residence in Canada ready and waiting for her to go and sleep there
> anytime.
> ---------
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