U.S. immigration rules for those fleeing the cold Canadian winter

British Columbia residents who want to escape the extreme cold of the Canadian winters have various options. For some, the ideal situation is to spend some months of every year in the United States to enjoy the milder weather. However, there are specific U.S. immigration laws with which they must comply.

Those who enter the United States from British Columbia are typically allowed to remain there for as long as six months at a time. This time is measured from the date of entry; at which time, the officer at border control will determine the allowed length of stay based on the declared purpose of the trip. Individuals who want to extend their stays must apply for an extension.

Such an application must be made at an office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States, and applicants must make sure that it is done before the expiry date of the initial authorization. U.S. officials might ask for proof that the visit is only temporary. Remaining beyond the authorized date can lead to deportation and problems with future visits. If officials find that a visitor spends more time in the U.S. than in his or her home in Canada, additional proof of purpose for the stay will be required.

British Columbia residents who consider spending the coldest months of the year in the United States may get their questions answered by a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with all U.S. immigration issues. A lawyer can assist with the applications for the necessary documents. If everything is in place, there will be less chance of being detained at the border.

Source: travel.gc.ca, "Travel advice and advisories for United States", Accessed on Feb. 20, 2018

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