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I am a Canadian citizen. From September 2022 to September 2023 I was working in the USA on a TN visa. I quit my job on September 29 2023 and returned to Canada on November 27, a day before the 60-day grace period ended.

Since returning to Canada I have been living with family and doing lots of virtual job interviews. I have an onsite job interview scheduled for next Tuesday in the same city where I was living previously.

In addition, when I left the USA I rented a car for a month and a half, and it is due back on Sunday. Also, the apartment that I was renting in the USA is still in my name and is currently vacant (I had a temporary subtenant in December, but he has now left).

My plan is to drive to the USA this weekend to return the car and attend the onsite job interview. I am planning to stay in my old apartment for a week, and I will fly back to Canada next weekend.

My question is whether I should expect any complications driving across the border this weekend?

From a border agent's perspective, I don't like the optics of my old apartment still being vacant and in my name. But, it is likely that I will have a new job offer in the same city where I was previously employed soon, so it doesn't make sense to allocate lots of effort to finding another short-term subtenant at this point.

In addition, I am finding concerning posts from other forums, which suggest that border agents won't let you in unless you can show strong ties to Canada (e.g. https://forums.immigration.com/threads/laid-off-on-tn-visa-60day-grace-period-ending-without-a-new-job-offer.340062/). I do have a Canadian driver's license, but I don't have a Canadian lease because I have been staying with family since returning. The best I could think to remedy this is buying my return flight to Canada before I cross, so that I can demonstrate my intention of this trip being temporary.

Any advice or insights would be super helpful, thanks.

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    I think you're right to be concerned, and that you face a significant likelihood of US entry refused. How will you respond if the CBP officer asks the purpose of your trip? Your history suggests you want to live in the US, and your lack of home-country ties is significant. Buying a return ticket won't help; tickets are easily bought and often returned...or even just abandoned. Ultimately, whether the CBP officer believes you're a real tourist or not is unknowable; I voted to close the question as opinion-based. Jan 6 at 17:33

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In addition, I am finding concerning posts from other forums, which suggest that border agents won't let you in unless you can show strong ties to Canada (e.g. https://forums.immigration.com/threads/laid-off-on-tn-visa-60day-grace-period-ending-without-a-new-job-offer.340062/). I do have a Canadian driver's license, but I don't have a Canadian lease because I have been staying with family since returning.

I think this analysis is overcomplicating things. Submitting copies of leases and other documentary evidence of a residence abroad are things that people do when applying for visas. I haven't heard of Canadian citizens applying for admission to the United States being asked at the port of entry whether they have their own place in Canada or are staying with family. Usually the only thing that happens is something analogous to this conversation:

CBP: What's the purpose of your trip?
Traveller: I have a job interview with company X, then I'm visiting some friends.
CBP: How long will you be staying?
Traveller: 1 week.
CBP: Enjoy your trip.

I'm not trying to say that there's no risk of being turned back; but it is very unlikely. Your concern is that the officer will think you're trying to live in the US under the guise of being a visitor. But refusal of admission to the US (in contrast to refusal of a visa) on that basis is extremely rare. I can't find a single example of that situation having been reported on this website.

There is a pattern where if someone is visiting the US too often and for too long then CBP will give them a warning and a limited period of admission rather than the usual 6 months (see e.g. this question). That's a much more likely outcome than outright refusal of admission. But you don't fit that pattern anyway.

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  • This is exactly what happened. Thanks Brian.
    – notarobot
    Jan 7 at 16:47

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