Social Security and coming back to Canada - Commuter Green Card - Greg Boos -

Here was the questions I wanted to ask
I have been in the US since Jan 1, 1999 as a alien resident. At that time I removed myself as a canadian resident by closing down all of my bank accts, cancelled my drivers license and notified Revenue Canada of my intent to become a non-resident.
I have finally been advised I have the oppt to become a permenant resident in the US but due to some changes in my life I am considering turning down the oppt for permenant resident and continueing as a alien resident or becomeing a canadian resident for the next calendar year.
Here's my question..

1.    I have contributed 10 years into social security and would like to know as a non - resident / canadian resident will I be eligible for benefits when im 65 given I have contributed for so long??
2.    Is there a way to get the monies contributed to social security get transfered to canada pension plan?
3.    After leaving the US as a alien resident will I be required to continue filing taxes in the US?

4.    What do I need to do in canada to declare myself a canadian resident again.

5.    How does the alien commuter status work and how come more people dont know about this? are alien comuters not required to have visa's to work in the US if you were a canadian citizen?
david ingram replies:

Thank you for another part of the question where you pointed out at least two broken links on the site.

The answers to your questions are:

1.   You will be eligible for US social Security whether you retire in Canada or any of the other 265 countries in the world

2.   None that i know of and none that I have heard of.  there is a treaty that provides  for the governments to blend their payments according to your contributions to each but you get two cheques (checks).

3.   A resident alien for tax purposes and a resident alien for immigration purposes are two different things. If you have a resident alien (green) card or are a US citizen, you are required to file US taxes for as long as you remain a  green card holder. 

If you give yup the green card, you do not usually have any further US tax liability UNLESS you have a   net worth and / or had a high salary in the years before you leave the US.   In this case, you might have to pay a departure tax and fill out , you w

4.   Nothing, just have a list of everything you are bringing back to you and what you paid for it to hand in at the border.  The trucking company driver should have a copy as well.

If any single item is over $10,000,you might be asked to pay an excise tax but normally, you just drive across the border.

If bringing a car, truck, motorcycle, etc., you have to have it precleared by US customs 72 hours before you leave the US at the US border point you are intending to use.  You have to stop at the US customs office and have your vehicle title stamped by US customs as being approved for export. 

If you do not do this, the Canadian Government will turn you around and the US Customs will fine you $500.00 for trying to take the vehicle out of the country without preclearance.

When you do or prepare your first Canadian return, you will see a place about 3 or 4 inches from the top where you will enter the date you returned to Canada as "DATE OF ENTRY"

5.   A commuter green card allows you to keep your green card alive while working in the US.  You can find a lot out about this by reading my July 1996 newsletter which you can find at:

It is also possible to be an alien commuter to the US with an L, H or TN visa with the advantage that you stay under Canadian health insurance while getting an American salary./

An Alien commuter would pay income tax to the US first on any US source income and to Canada on their World income.  any tax paid to he US plus Social security and Medicare would then be deducted (usually dollar for dollar) from any tax owing to Canada on Federal form T2209 and Provincial form T2036 (Quebec has a different form which escapes my memory at the moment).
We of course look after all of this by mail, fax or email (large pdf files only please)..

You can find a sample 1040NR tax question about selling real estate and

my suggested price list at


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