Live in Vancouver, Work in Seattle -

I would like to move to Vancouver to be with my boyfriend who is a Canadian citizen. As I do not have a visa to work in Canada I would still need to commute to Seattle for a few days a week to work. 

My question is whether or not this is legal and what paperwork I might need. While I'm not working in Canada I don't know what I need to live there and whether I am going to have problems at the border going back and forth and explaining that I'm living in Canada. 

Thanks for the help. 

david ingram replies:

If you maintain a home in the US, you can visit a lot.

This older question will help. 

I have a friend here in Powell River who you can help if you have the time.
He is a Canadian, with an American fiancée. She has been turned back at the border twice. He is dealing with a lawyer now, and his MP, but I don't know whether there is anything else to be done. You could probably tell him. He is a really nice guy, a writer. He also has a day job, I'm not sure what. And no, he's NOT the other xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (I think the other one is dead, anyway.)
He's the kind of guy that you would really like, feisty and smart:
[email protected]
Perhaps you could send him some newsletters, or open a dialog.

----- -------------------------------------------------
david ingram replies:
Your friend's fiancée needs a "border kit" for her visits to Canada assuming that she is just coming to visit at this time. 
If she is coming to 'live' with him, she is inadmissible without a visa and there is no fiancée visa to come to Canada since June 22, 2002.
Unless she gets a work visa, she will not be able to enter without a ministerial permit (which the MP may be able to get) as a visitor unless she can prove to the person at the border that she is here as a temporary visitor and intends to return to the US soon.  Soon is likely two or three weeks.
She needs a border kit to prove she is intending to return. the following is from one of the old newsletters.
You need a "Border Kit" to facilitate your entry to Canada or the US and prove to the US people that you live in Canada, that you work in Canada and  are returning to Canada and not trying to move to and live in the USA and/or to the Canadian people that you live in the US, work in the US and are returning to the US and not intending to live and work in Canada at this time.

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 in Canada or the USA
 *     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 your home country in a short period of time.
*       letter from your employer stating where you work.
This is not everything by any means but should be looked at as a minimal amount of documentation to have.
If the fiancée does not have a home or a job in the USA or is enrolled at a university course she is returning to in September, it is unlikely she will be allowed in.
The USA does have a Fiancée visa which takes anywhere from 3 months to a year to get.  It requires them to be physically married within 90 days of the entry of the Fiancée to the USA. 
The US does NOT recognize common-law, same sex or conjugal unions, but 'Any' of these will qualify for entrance to Canada.
Your friend can not sponsor a fiancée.  However, if they have been together in a conjugal relationship for a year or more or have lived in a common-law union for  year or more, he could sponsor her by filling in the following paperwork.  of course, if they get married, he can do the same.
This older question will give the documents necessary to sponsor her if they are already in a conjugal or common-law union of a year or more or if they decide to get married.
[email protected]: Please see bottom of message if you wish to unsubscribe.

I was wondering if you could answer a few questions in regards to immigrations.  I was a student living in Vancouver until July. After July  I have come back and forth as a visitor, mainly to visit my girlfriend  in Langley. Meanwhile,  I have been offered the opportunity to apply for a working visa through a band in Canada who has a major label deal.  However,  working through them would not allow me to make enough money to live in Canada. Therefore,  I was wondering how easy it would be to amend  a musicians  visa to allow me to work another form of employment. Or, would it be possible to live in Vancouver with my girlfriend and work in a town like Bellingham since I have a car?
any information is greatly appreciated.
thank you,

david ingram replies:

I nearly threw this away because it went to a personal email which I do not answer questions on.

However, I ran bands and got into this business bringing musicians and folk singers into Canada in the 1960's to play in my Coffee house in Winnipeg (called the Fourth dimension) and other clubs in Saskatoon, Regina and Edmonton.

Entertainers like Neil Young, Burton Cummings and Joni Mitchell appeared at our different venues as they were getting started.

Although I have not seen it, I am told that I got half a page in the book New Young Nation.


Back to your question. 

 If you get a working visa for a band, IT IS ONLY GOOD FOR WORKING FOR THAT BAND. 

If you get the visa, you will be able to live in Canada with your lady and commute to another job in Bellingham.

If you do not get the visa, your stay in Vancouver will be a little dicey unless you decide to tie the knot in which case she can sponsor you into Canada.

And, if, in fact you had been living together as a couple for a year in a common-law relationship, she could sponsor you anyway. 

If you decide to do that, the following gives you the forms necessary for her to sponsor you to Canada.

You can start the process by going to:
This is a guide for sponsoring a US citizen spouse into Canada.
            Publication 3910E
This is the application form to sponsor - form IMM-1344A

This is the sponsorship agreement - Form IMM-1344B

This is the Sponsorship Evaluation Form IMM-5481

This is a statutory declaration of a common-law marriage - FORM IMM-5409

This is the Sponsor Questionnaire - Form IMM-5540

This is an authority to release information - FORM IMM-5540

This is a document Checklist - Form IMM-5491

This is where you order your official receipt

This is your actual Application for Permanent Residence - FORM IMM-0008GEN

This is your Background Declaration - FORM IMM-008_1

This is your additional family information - FORM IMM-5406

This is your spouse or conjugal partner questionnaire - FORM IMM-5490

14.    The Above PLUS a police report from your local police station (See
the guide for details) applies to those being sponsored from the UNITED
STATES. There is a separate brochure for every country.  If you are reading
this and are from any other country (Australia, Brunei, Austria, Venezuela,
etc) goto

14a for other country

This is the self-assessment test for an individual to determine his or her
eligibility to immigrate to Canada without being sponsored by a spouse.

I know this will help you make your decision.  If we can help you, remember,
that is what we do for a living.  In particular you should goto and click on and read US/Canada taxation BEFORE you come.

Be ALERT,  the world needs more "lerts"


David Ingram's US / Canada Services
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
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Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 10 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office)
Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included."
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