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I was wondering if anyone has done similar or know how I can do this.

My Partner and I want to take a year travelling between Canada and US. Some context my partner has a cousin in Canada who has a car we can borrow for the time. We plan on starting in Vancouver travelling to Alaska then back through Canada heading East then south into US then West, and eventually back to Vancouver to return the car and fly home.

I understand I may be able to get a B1/B2 visa for the US for a year. But can only see getting a 6 month visa for Canada? Can I return to Canada after spending 5 months in the US on a new visa? It would probably be for a week to return the can and fly home.

Would I have any troubles with this?

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As an Australian citizen you don't need a visa to visit Canada. You will normally be admitted for six months at a time, but the officer can also admit you for a longer period. You can also apply to extend your stay if necessary:

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada.

If you’re allowed to enter Canada, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months.

  • If so, they’ll put the date you need to leave by in your passport. They might also give you a document.
  • If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
  • If you need a stamp, you can ask a border services officer for one. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border services officer after you finish at the kiosk.

If you want to stay longer than your authorized stay, you should apply for an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay.

To fly to Canada without a visa, you will need eTA.

For the United States, you only need a visa if you want to stay for longer than 90 days at a time, which it seems that you do.

When you enter the US with a B visa, you'll normally be admitted for six months. You can, however request admission for up to one year. If you plan to return to Canada within six months of your arrival in the US, you don't need to ask the US for extra time; you'll be granted a new six-month period of admission when you return to the US (unless you're denied entry, of course).

It's important to recognize that the expiration date of your US visa has no bearing on the duration of your stay in the US. You can enter the US on the last day of the visa's validity and the CBP officer can admit you for any period up to one year. The date by which you must leave may be stamped into your passport. It will also be recorded on your I-94 form, which may be a piece of paper or it may be available only as an electronic record at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov.

You should also be aware that spending more than 183 days in the US in any year might make you a "resident alien" for tax purposes, meaning that you are subject to income tax on your worldwide income. You probably want to do some research on this before finalizing your plans. I don't know whether Canadian tax law has a similar provision, but you should probably look into that, too.

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    It may worth reminding OP that under those conditions, they will not be allowed to work in either the US or Canada, so the question of how they will be supporting themselves during this very long trip is quite likely to come up during visa application and entry interviews, if any. Another point to double check is the insurance situation for a car used for extended periods abroad and/or by non-registered drivers.
    – jcaron
    Oct 23, 2022 at 11:44
  • @jcaron good points all, but note that Canada explicitly allows visitors to work remotely for a foreign employer. See canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/…: "What kind of activities are not considered to be “work”?" -- "long distance (by telephone or Internet) work done by a temporary resident whose employer is outside Canada and who is remunerated from outside Canada;"
    – phoog
    Oct 23, 2022 at 12:56

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