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Thread: Frequent tourist,future F1

  1. #1
    Hey everyone..sorry this is long...

    Ok..here is my deal. I'm a female canadian,i have been in the states for just under 4 months as a tourist. Before that,(last year) i was here for 3 months as well as 3 other 3-4 day stays. Customs got increasingly more stressful with each trip,which i understand. I've never had a problem telling them my intentions, and them letting me through. However,the last time i came in (4 months ago or so) i had planned on only being here a week,i even showed them my return ticket. I ended up missing my flight a week later and my boyfriend talked me into staying a little longer.Well..i'm still here,lol. I am looking into colleges here,i'm not working,just spending time with the bf.

    I'll note i'm in Chicago.My tourist status expires May 21st, and there is an event in Vegas that my boyfriend,myself, and numerous friends of his are all going to, from May 18th -22nd. So one thing i am wondering is, if i stay until that time, (because i want to go, obviously)and go back to Canada afterwards,which will mean i will have overstayed a few days, will this be a huge problem? I do plan on coming back for another visit, in fact i'd love to spend the summer here until i leave again, and come back in with my student visa (that i'm in the process of applying for)

    I'm curious what would happen if i left now, or sometime this month or next month(april) and then went to the event in Vegas from Canada- with so many entries last year and then this 4-5 month stay,coming in again i wonder how it would go. They may look at the fact that i said i was only going to be a week the last time, but instead stayed 4-5 months. I have never been dishonest at customs and i do plan to go back to Canada after schooling,right now i'd like to spend time in Chicago with my boyfriend and after i'm done the schooling program we will be looking into him coming to Canada to live with me. Basically, i have no immigrant intent,but i'm worried about how to prove that or if they will see it that way,and not let me through.

    Based on your opinions, is my best bet to leave before my tourist status expires and come back in? Or should i have no problem if i don't, and overstay 2-3 days, but want to come back again soon after? Also i wonder if the fact i will be coming in for student status in July will help any of this.Meaning, if i let them know my plans of attending school and hence would like to spend some time here before hand to set up living arrangements etc. I know that with a student visa you are only allowed to enter no more than 30 days before the study start date,and i will of course leave and re-enter with the I-20 as i also know that you have to be inspected and enter with a certain visa in order for that status to be valid.

    So, i hope all this makes sense and if anyone has some good thoughts or opinions on it- would be greatly appreciated.

    Please don't respond if your going to bash me or what i'm doing- I love the US, but Canada is my home and i'm not looking for tips to "cheat the system" or to move here.

    Thanks!
    Canadian

  2. #2
    Hey everyone..sorry this is long...

    Ok..here is my deal. I'm a female canadian,i have been in the states for just under 4 months as a tourist. Before that,(last year) i was here for 3 months as well as 3 other 3-4 day stays. Customs got increasingly more stressful with each trip,which i understand. I've never had a problem telling them my intentions, and them letting me through. However,the last time i came in (4 months ago or so) i had planned on only being here a week,i even showed them my return ticket. I ended up missing my flight a week later and my boyfriend talked me into staying a little longer.Well..i'm still here,lol. I am looking into colleges here,i'm not working,just spending time with the bf.

    I'll note i'm in Chicago.My tourist status expires May 21st, and there is an event in Vegas that my boyfriend,myself, and numerous friends of his are all going to, from May 18th -22nd. So one thing i am wondering is, if i stay until that time, (because i want to go, obviously)and go back to Canada afterwards,which will mean i will have overstayed a few days, will this be a huge problem? I do plan on coming back for another visit, in fact i'd love to spend the summer here until i leave again, and come back in with my student visa (that i'm in the process of applying for)

    I'm curious what would happen if i left now, or sometime this month or next month(april) and then went to the event in Vegas from Canada- with so many entries last year and then this 4-5 month stay,coming in again i wonder how it would go. They may look at the fact that i said i was only going to be a week the last time, but instead stayed 4-5 months. I have never been dishonest at customs and i do plan to go back to Canada after schooling,right now i'd like to spend time in Chicago with my boyfriend and after i'm done the schooling program we will be looking into him coming to Canada to live with me. Basically, i have no immigrant intent,but i'm worried about how to prove that or if they will see it that way,and not let me through.

    Based on your opinions, is my best bet to leave before my tourist status expires and come back in? Or should i have no problem if i don't, and overstay 2-3 days, but want to come back again soon after? Also i wonder if the fact i will be coming in for student status in July will help any of this.Meaning, if i let them know my plans of attending school and hence would like to spend some time here before hand to set up living arrangements etc. I know that with a student visa you are only allowed to enter no more than 30 days before the study start date,and i will of course leave and re-enter with the I-20 as i also know that you have to be inspected and enter with a certain visa in order for that status to be valid.

    So, i hope all this makes sense and if anyone has some good thoughts or opinions on it- would be greatly appreciated.

    Please don't respond if your going to bash me or what i'm doing- I love the US, but Canada is my home and i'm not looking for tips to "cheat the system" or to move here.

    Thanks!
    Canadian

  3. #3
    There is some information here that you may find useful:

    http://www.usembassycanada.gov/conte...cument=cancits

  4. #4
    Well, i should note that i have done extensive reading on numerous websites; I can't seem to find anything regarding frequent trips to the US as a visitor and the possible implications that may have...so I thought i'd come here to get opinions and perhaps others with similar experiences..

  5. #5
    THE RULES ARE DIFFERENT FOR VISA EXEMPT CNADIANS!!!!!

    We are Visa exempt. And you should not have been issued a tourist Visa - You can automatically come into the country for six months - and you can "renew" for another six months. Canadian snowbirds do it all the time. Did you fly in? Did you show your passport? If you don't need a visa - you can't really overstay. But if your passport was stamped, just apply for an extension. You will be fine.

    Customs likes to do the scarey thing but unless they suspect something else you should not ahve a problem crossing back and forth. (h e c k those of us in border towns cross to go for coffee! I can to to Vancouver every weekend - people who live in /Seattle jsut run up for a day or weekend - or six months) I have friends who have a cabin in Canada and go there all the time.

    You also do not need a Student Visa (F-1. Check into that very carfully - you may be spending money for nothing!!! And you do not want to get trapped into something you don't need or limits your freedom to enter and exit.

    If you decide to get married and want to live here permanently - things will be different. But I would bring my BF home. Canada is a wonderful place. And sometimes I get homesick.

    Do Canadian Citizens Need a Visa or Machine Readable Passport?

    Citizens of Canada generally do not require a visa. While some people mistakenly think Canada is part of the visa waiver program, the authorization for Canadian citizens to travel visa-free comes from other immigration laws. The machine-readable passport requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens, because they are not part of the visa waiver program.

    It should be noted, these Canadian citizens travelling to the U.S. require non-immigrant visas:

    * treaty traders (E)
    * fiancé/es (K-1)

    * and the children of the foreign citizen fiancé(e) (K-2)

    * a U.S. citizen's foreign citizen spouse, who is traveling to the U.S. to reside here while awaiting final completion of the process of immigration (K-3)

    * and the children of a foreign citizen spouse (K-4)

    * spouses of lawful permanent residents (V-1)

    * and the children of those spouses (V-2) traveling to the U.S. to reside here while they wait for the final completion of their immigration process


    Additionally, these Canadian citizens travelling to the U.S. require non-immigrant visas:

    * foreign government officials (A) - if entering the U.S. for temporary or permanent assignment
    * officials and employees of international organizations (G) - if entering the U.S. for temporary or permanent assignment
    * NATO officials representatives and employees if they are being assigned to the U.S. (as opposed to an official trip)



    More Information

  6. #6
    No, i was never issued a "tourist visa" - i simply showed my passport however i was put in a back room as usual for a second inspection and further questioning. My passport was never even stamped.I have heard of applying to extend a stay for up to 6 months etc- would i be eligible to do this? Dragonlady- i realize that as a Canadian i do not need a visa and that i can stay for 6 months and that *technically* i could leave and come back for another 6 months. While there is no time restriction (that i can find anywhere online) stating how long i'd have to be out of the country for before i come in again for that length of time- that doesn't mean i'd be able to do it easily.Customs will most likely see it as me living here moreso than Canada and could deny me.I don't own any property or currently have any employment in Canada, all i could give them to show ties are things such as a canadian bank account statement, car ownership,etc.

    Does anyone know about applying to extend a visa-free tourist stay?

  7. #7
    There is another reason why they are giving you a hard time.

    There are no papers to apply for an visa exempt free tourist stay. If they didn't stamp your passport - what is your big worry. How old are you? If you have a bank account, pay taxes (which you have to do if you have a bank account and want your GST back)and an address - even your parents, you are fine. If you are young and travelling, it is different than being 50 and homeless.

    I am Canadian,am a PR(who never carries or shows the card) and have been crossing the border (both US and numerous foreign countries) for 40 years. I have never been pulled into any "back room" at anytime. I was even in the Soviet Union in the seventies and never had any problem crossing the border or staying anywhere. I travelled all over the world until I was 30 and owned nothing - not even a bank account - never was asked anything. I did however see others pulled over and questioned - I have seen others turned back. They all seemed a little questionable.

    You may want to take a look at why they are really pulling you in -do you need a haircut? A clean up? Maybe you look untrustworthy. Do you need to dress a little more conservatively? Do they do the same when you come in by car? You are being pulled over by Customs - different than immigration. Customs looks for different things. You might want to thnk about that.

  8. #8
    lol..no i definately don't need a "cleanup" - in fact a few of my trips last year were to vegas and i wondered if maybe they thought i was going there to work (dancing,escorting) because i am always travelling alone,(meeting my boyfriend)- but always well dressed,just the typical stylish but sophisticated with trendy luggage, blah blah. I am 22. I think the main concern customs has with me is that they think i am either trying to come in to work, as it may look strange that i am always travelling alone. I don't think it's odd or uncommon to be doing what i am doing though, considering the rising popularity in internet dating (which is how i met my man)..either that or they think i have immigrant intent;they are worried i might not go back to Canada.

    I'm not worried that my passport wasn't stamped, they will have a record of my last entry and probably the fact i missed my flight of return the week proceeding,even though that wasn't my intent.

    Basically all i'm worried about is being let back in again after having only been out of the country for a short time, and with my record of previous entries being frequent and some lengthy.

    The other question i posed was regarding the consequences of overstaying a few days should i choose to do that, and also coming in again shortly after.

  9. #9
    Canadians enter under the VWP for pleasure up to 90 days. I would think your frequent trips might be alarming to custom agents.

    If you show your true intentions to the embassy, it will take a while to issue you the appropriate visa.

    If you reveal that you are here for school/marriage to the border and custom agents, you will be denied entry!

    They will refer you to the embassy to obtain the appropriate visa.

  10. #10
    Chris5477:

    Canada is not part of the VWP.Also, i'm not looking for a visa. I'm applying for school here yes,but that doesn't have much to do with my post here. Marriage,also, has nothing to do with my post. Might want to read a little more closely to what i said above..i did mention something about wether or not telling customs of my plans to enter in the fall with my I-20 for school would matter or not, but that isn't my issue or question here.

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