in Canada for 3 months only -


Hello, I will be out of Canada for 9 months of the year. My boyfriend is a US resident. We will spend 6 months in the Caribbean/Mexico, 3 months in the US and 3 months in Canada. I will not be working during this time.

My question is: do i need a special Visa to stay in the US? I started doing this last year and was sometimes questioned at the US border about the frequency of my visits. I have subsequently learned about a NR 73 form but after reading it, it seems that it may settle the Cdn side but not the US side.

The other part of this question is that I would still like to maintain my Canadian residency so would i still need a NR-73 form?

I will still retain my bank account, Cdn Visa credit cared, etc. but will not own Canadian property.

Thanks very much for your time.

david ingram replies:

The last thing you need is an NR73 form.  An NR73 form is filed to make yourself a non-resident of Canada.  If you are a non-resident of Canada and not an official resident of another country, you may NOT enter the US as a visitor with or without your boyfriend.

To be a visitor in the US with or without your boyfriend, you MUST have a physical address AND HOME in another country.  A Home does NOT mean using your mother's house as an address or your brother's house or your girlfriend's house. 

It means you have a legitimate home in the other country.  That means a place that YOU own or rent with a phone and power and a landlord's receipt issued every month.  It can NOT be a place you have rented to a University student while you are gone because it HAS TO BE READY for you to sleep in tonight.  If you have to ask someone to leave for you to come home, it does NOT qualify.

You are a Canadian for tax purposes.  However, if you have a provincial medical plan, it is no longer valid even if you are paying premiums and have the card.  For your Canadian provincial medical card to remain valid AND usable, you must be living within your province or territory for more than 183 nights a year unless you are in Ontario, in which case 153 nights will suffice.

Notice that I said province, not Canada.  If you spent 2 months in Ontario, two months in Alberta, two months in BC, 3 months in the US and 3 months in  Mexico, your BC, Alberta or Ontario medical would not be valid either.

I hope that your boyfriend or you have bought proper medical coverage.

If the US border person received this email, they would deny you entry to the US because you are entering the US to live with your boyfriend, not just to visit for a month and then go back home.                                                                                                                                                                                                 
The only way you can legitimately continue is to be married.  He can sponsor you for a Fiancee visa while you are out of the US for the six months and the Fiancee visa will allow you to enter the US and marry within 90 days.  You can then apply for a green card which should be issued within 4 months.  You will then be free to come and go with him but must now remain in the US for more than 6 months to keep the "Green (Resident Alien) card alive.  Since you are not working and he appears to be reasonably well off to support the life style you describe.  He will save  a fair amount of tax by filing a joint tax return.

Of course, if there is a divorce, a property settlement can cost him more than 100 years of tax savings (ask Paul McCartney).

You should be sitting down with someone who understands this well.

And whatever you do, do not lie at the border.  Saying you are going for two weeks and staying four months is a criminal offense.  The US has prosecuted four times as many people for that kind of thing this year than all 2007 combined.

And, if you get turned back, do not get your mother or father or brother or girlfriend to drive you down for a "shopping" trip. You will most likely be caught and their car will be impounded.



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This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $3,000 for a dual country tax return.

$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,200 would be the same with one rental
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$3,000 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $200.00 up. However, if you have a stack of 1099, or T3 or T4A or T5 or K1 reporting forms, expect to pay an average of $10.00 each with up to $50.00 for a K1 or T5013 or T5008 or T101 --- Income trusts with amounts in box 42 are an even larger problem and will be more expensive. - i.e. 20 information slips will be at least $350.00
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $900 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be from $150 to $600.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc. Note that these returns tend to be informational rather than taxable.  In fact, if there are children involved, we usually get refunds of $1,000 per child per year for 3 years.  We have done several catch-ups where the client has received as much as $6,000 back for an $1,800 bill and one recently with 6 children is resulting in over $12,000 refund. 

Email and Faxed information is convenient for the sender but very time consuming and hard to keep track of when they come in multiple files.  As of May 1, 2008, we will charge or be charging a surcharge for information that comes in more than two files.  It can take us a valuable hour or more  to try and put together the file when someone sends 10 emails or 15 attachments, etc. We had one return with over 50 faxes and emails for instance. 

This is a guideline not etched in stone.  If you do your own TDF-90 forms, it is to your advantage. However, if we put them in the first year, the computer carries them forward beautifully.


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