I have recently learned from a family friend that if a Canadian citizen is here for 6 months on visa-free terms, after the 6 months are up, they can go back to Canada and stay for one day, then come back to the US for 6 months.

I already knew about staying visa free for 6 months, but I'm not convinced about the 1-day in home country to reset the 6 months. Does anyone know where I can get more information on the matter to verify that?

edit: That I am a US Citizen, but my girlfriend lives in Canada.


There is no rule on how long they have to be back in Canada before they can go back to the US on a visit. So, they can go back for 1 day and then try to go back to the US. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that they will be admitted for 6 months the second time, or that they will be admitted at all. Admission of foreigners is at the discretion of the immigration officer, and for B2 visitors, how long to admit them is also at the discretion of the officer.

So, yes, it is possible that they go back for one day and are admitted for 6 months again. But it is also possible that the officer decides that they've been in the US too often and only admits them for 3 months, or 1 month, or 1 week, or even denies them entry altogether.

  • Hm. That's certainly some sketchy waters to walk in then. Is that information available anywhere on USCIS's website? Also on a side question; under Green cards it talks about how it's easier to apply for a greencard if the person is already living in the US, - Could that apply if the person is living in the US under the 6 month rule or would that not be enough time?
    – Kyukiou
    Jun 2 '18 at 22:42
  • 3
    @Kyukiou the law specifies that an applicant to enter as a visitor must overcome a presumption of immigrant intent. Obviously, saying that you plan to spend 363 days a year in the US for the rest of your life isn't going to achieve that. If you apply for a green card, though, you will no longer be under the 6-month rule; one you apply, you can stay until your application is decided. The mechanics would depend a bit on the basis for your application.
    – phoog
    Jun 2 '18 at 23:56
  • @Phoog, I would like to know where you got your information from, could you please cite a link, also this information is not for me, as I am a US Citizen, but it's for my girlfriend who lives in Canada.
    – Kyukiou
    Jun 3 '18 at 2:30
  • @Kyukiou I was using "you" in the impersonal sense. Feel free to substitute "one." Questions about applying for green cards belong on Expatriates. I'll post some references about immigrant intent for visitors in a little while.
    – phoog
    Jun 3 '18 at 3:23
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    Actually it is fairly well known that if you do this via the land border you can usually keep this up for quite a long time with little risk of being questioned since the lack of exit records means the officer likely has no idea how much time you've been spending in the US. Canada bill C-21 will close that loophole if it passes, however, and since they are moving on the bill again it may not be long before that happens.
    – Dennis
    Jun 3 '18 at 4:04

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