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I arrived in Canada in January (as a visitor without a visa) to attend one exchange semester at a Canadian university. I am finishing my school this month and plan to travel across Canada with 2 short visits to the US until the end of my visitor's entry duration, which will be 6 months in July.

Then in the last day, I will fly to a South American country to travel for 4 weeks. I may fly back to Canada in August and stay for 2 more weeks before definitely leaving home to Germany.

  1. Will they let me back to Canada if I will be actually entering after the date of expiry of my first entry in January? I have read that one must stay out of Canada until the next year (365 days after the first entry) before coming back. I do not intend to live in Canada as I have the proof of leaving the country (the flight ticket to Germany) and a proof of my ongoing studies in Europe.

  2. Also, the maximum length of stay for a visitor is "6 months" according to the official website. Is it really 6 months or 180days? (I arrived on 01/15 so the last 180th day could either be 07/12 or 07/15)

  3. The second solution would be applying for an extension. Will I have the implied status if I leave to South America and come back or it only works when staying in Canada while waiting for the actual extension?

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Let's start with the easy part. The period of time you are allowed in Canada is actually 180 days, not 6 months. I never found the information on the Government of Canada website, but having been in this situation, the stamp in my passport clearly showed a date matching 180 days, not 6 months. But the border agent can write whatever date he/she wants, so check your passport to make sure. If there is no date written on the stamp, this will be 180 days after arrival.

Leaving to a non-North American country and coming back soon after will apparently "reset" your 180-day allowance. Another question kind of covered the topic, and the bottom line is that only visits to the USA and St-Pierre-et-Miquelon (a tiny island next to Newfoundland belonging to France) must fit in the 180-day allowance.

However, a border agent can always refuse you to enter the country if he/she has a strong belief you might be cheating and working illegally. It is therefore important to be able to prove you are not. Explaining your exchange and your travels, showing the plane tickets - especially the ticket to go back to Germany - will be helpful. Do not hesitate to prepare documents to prove all that, it's better to be ready than to have to argue a long time at the border.

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