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I have a multiple-entry visitor visa to Canada and a multiple-entry visitor visa to the USA as well. I have stayed for 6 months in Canada, and I am now visiting my family in the USA. Is this a problem if I travel between Canada and the USA every 6 months with my multiple-entry USA and Canadian visitor visas?

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    How do you plan to support yourself without working in either country? – nikhil Sep 26 '17 at 20:45
  • does it matter? – lakshman Sep 27 '17 at 1:03
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    I would be willing to bet that the border agents think that it does. You’d need a really solid explanation after the first couple of times. – nikhil Sep 27 '17 at 1:39
  • Also what is your citizenship. – DJClayworth Sep 27 '17 at 2:09
  • i am an indian citizen – lakshman Sep 27 '17 at 14:07
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Visitor visa, in both Canada and the US, are intended for short and occasional visits. You are not allowed to work or live in either. Both countries have the right to refuse you entry if they believe that you are using the visa to live in their country, rather than visit it.

Each time you enter each country you are gong to have to answer questions about what you are doing there, why you are making these long, regular visits, what you were doing in the other country, and how you are supporting yourself. The more times yo do this the more interested they are going to be in the answers and the less likely they are to let you in if they don't like them.

Now if you are wealthy enough that you don't need to work (and can show that), or own a business that is supporting you (and can show that), they will probably let you do this quite a few times. If not, they are very quickly going to wonder where your money is coming from, and suspect that you are working in one or both of the countries. At that point they will refuse you entry.

  • I am retired and have kids living in both countries. so just shuttling between them both.is that a good reason? – lakshman Sep 27 '17 at 12:09
  • @lakshman If you are self sufficient and/or supported by your family members then you might be able to keep it up for a while. The US B visa technically requires you to have a domicile outside the US, though, so you should at least have a contingency plan in place if you're denied entry in one country after having stayed the maximum time in the other. – phoog Sep 27 '17 at 13:58
  • im in my late 60's and retired. can support myself and my kids are all employed as well, they can support me too. – lakshman Sep 27 '17 at 14:08
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    @lakshman, In retrospect it might have been better to have gotten a longer stay visa for Canada so you would look like a Canadian resident from the US point of view and would have an obvious Plan B if the US refused you entry or gave you a short stay. I think you'll be okay anyway, though. – Dennis Sep 27 '17 at 15:50
  • @Dennis or apply for permanent residency in the US. – phoog Sep 28 '17 at 4:53
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What you are describing is an odd form of Flagpoling. Both the US and Canada consider this illegitimate behavior. Circumventing the 6-month visitor period by transferring yourself back and forth is likely to end up badly.

You will likely have to explain:

  • Where do you permanently reside?
  • Why are you constantly shuffling back and forth from the US/Canada?
  • If you are a non-citizen of either country, when do you plan to go back to your home country?
  • Are you a permanent resident of either country? Why not?

Some things that could happen include:

  • Revocation of a visa/permit (you no longer meet the "visitor" requirements).
  • Denied entry (immigration issues in one country causes issues in the other).
  • Being chased for taxes, as you could be considered a "resident".

This isn't likely to happen on the first or second time, but once stamps start to pile up in your passport, they will become hard to miss by even the most lazy of officers.

Unless I stand corrected, persons of Indian nationality have their current passports bound to their previous expired passports. This will cause further issues.

Some additional reads:

http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/threads/flagpoling.61183/

http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/threads/flagpoling-a-guide-for-canadian-workers.142161/

https://www.immigroup.com/news/flagpoling-your-way-new-work-or-study-permit-or-permanent-residence

https://www.quora.com/Flagpoling-Is-it-illegal-to-flagpole-from-Canada-into-US-and-back-even-if-you-have-a-valid-visa-for-both-countries?share=1

  • I've never heard this term. Do you have any information about its origin? – phoog Sep 28 '17 at 4:54
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    @phoog Many immigration lawyers use the term, mainly in the case of work permits. A quick internet search returns the results for this term. As for the origins, I have no idea myself. You may want to look at meurrensonimmigration.com/flagpoling – dark_st3alth Sep 28 '17 at 4:56

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