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Sponsoring my husband from U.S. who is on a green card - Canadian--Global tax help -

Below is the result of your feedback form.  It was submitted by
XXXXX XXXXXXX on Friday, May 29, 2009 at 16:54:38

My_question_is: Both

question: I am an undischarged bankrupt. I got married second time to a green card 
holder. If I am bankrupt, does it mean, I cannot sponsor my husband ? I need my 
husband near me. Please, please help me. I work as xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx in Canada 
for the last 16 years. 
I was duped and cheated by a man due to which I had to go 
bankrupt. I have suffered a lot for the last 10 years on my own, finally met this 
wonderful man who is 53 years old, married, now he is there and I am here. I am 
lonely and need him to be near me, is there any way for me ? Please help. 
I need a good lawyer who can help me probono.... Please help. You can write me 
at xxxxxxxxxxxx. Thank you so much.  xxxxx

david ingram replies:

Your husband with a green card has to be careful about coming to Canada.  If he comes to Canada without filing form I-131 first, he will lose his green card which is a very valuable document.  If it was transferable, he could easily sell it for $200,000 or more tomorrow.

Under the circumstances you describe, it would make more sense for him to stay in the US long enough to get his US citizenship. This could be anywhere from 1 to 5 years, depending upon when he received his green card.

I also do not understand why you would need a pro bono service.  Surely, your husband must have enough that he can pay your consultant if you use one when you get your discharge and become eligible as a sponsor..

In the meantime, the practical fact is that you can not sponsor your husband while you are an undischarged bankrupt.  He can try and find a job here and have an employer sponsor him for a job but you can not sponsor him until you have received a discharge from your bankruptcy.

In the meantime, to visit each other can be a problem because the US authorities will assume that you are trying to enter the US to live with your husband and the Canadian border authorities will do the same.

To solve this, you each need a Border Kit  as described in the next sample Q & A

My kids and I are Canadian citizen. we are going to US to visit my Partner there. How long can we stay in US?
Thank you.

david ingram replies:

There is no defined length of stay.  That is determined by the person you meet at the US POE (Port of Entry) as you apply to enter the US at the airport or land crossing.

She or he will determine your length of stay by what you say or ask for when you enter the US.

If you say you are going for a week, you should leave in a week.  If you say you are going for a month and are admitted, you should leave at the end of that month OR go to a local Homeland Security Office and apply for an extension of time. the longest paper less visit time given out is six months as a rule.

You describe the person you are going to visit as your Partner.

If that means a sexual living together type partner, than they may not allow you in if the Homeland Security officer feels you are trying to live in the USA with that person.  If you are asking for months, you are not likely to be allowed in unless you can prove your intent to return to your home in Canada.

If, for instance, you are moving within Canada and putting your furniture in storage for 3 months while intending to visit your partner in the US, you are inadmissible because to be a visitor in the US, you MUST have:

1.    A home available to you to go home and sleep / live in that very day.

2.    ACTIVE Hydro, gas, telephone service at that location in your name.

3.   NO ONE Else paying rent and occupying that space while you are visiting the US.  i.e. you did not rent your place out to a student for three months while you are gone.

When crossing the border it is wise to have a 'border kit'

A border kit consists of:

1.   A Copy of your rental agreement or ownership papers for the place you live - a property tax bill is nice
2.   A copy of your Provincial driver's licence
3.   A copy of your Canadian Passport
4.   A copy of your provincial medical plan and the bill or statement showing the address it is sent to
5.   A copy of your telephone bill and the address it is sent to.
6.   A Copy of car registration and licence and address registered to
7.   copies of the assessments for your last three Canadian tax returns including the address they were sent to.
6.   letter from your employer stating where you work, etc.
7.   A statement about your business, its location and type if self employed.
8.   A copy of the front of the telephone book and your current listing page from the book (the three past is really good)..
9.    copies  of invoices to your address from unions, clubs, banks, credit unions, etc.
10.  copies of any membership cards you have such as health club, tennis club,  archery club, etc.
11.   copies of your doctor or dentist bills and the address
12.   anything else you feel is relevant and will show your intent to return to Canada.

I hope this helps.

david ingram's US / Canada Services
US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
My Home office is at:
4466 Prospect Road
North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
Cell (604) 657-8451 -
(604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325

Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service help.
pert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax service & immigration help to non-resident Americans & Canadians from New York to California to Mexico  family, estate, income trust trusts Cross border, dual citizen - out of country investments are all handled with competence & authority.
Phone consultations are $450 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. ($472.50 with GST for in person or if you are on the telephone in Canada) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
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.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure:  To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.--

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 or  If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." -



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