I'm Canadian, entering the USA for the requisite maximum of 6 months. How soon can I re-enter the USA after crossing back into Canada?

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    How fast can you get your car turned back around? That said, even Canadians aren't allowed to live in the US while pretending to be tourists. Dec 4, 2016 at 17:55
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    @MichaelHampton: This article from the CBC claims that Canadians can only stay in the US as tourists for six months within any twelve-month period. But I haven't yet been able to find a more official claim about this, so it may be wrong. Dec 4, 2016 at 19:08
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    There's a somewhat complex IRS formula which determines residency. You most likely do not want US tax residency. @MichaelHampton Plenty of Canadians have winter homes in Florida. Selling is a lot more complex than disposing of a Canadian property because of US capital gains. Dec 4, 2016 at 19:27
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    Are you concerned about preserving your Canadian benefits (eg health insurance), who you pay income tax to, or just whether the border guards let you back in? If you spend more than half your time in a place, you may be considered to live there (and not to live where you spend the lesser amount of your time) which can have major financial consequences. Dec 5, 2016 at 14:45
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    @KateGregory, if you spend more than 183 days in the US as a visitor you are obligated to file a US resident tax return (which is bad enough) but unlikely to pay additional US taxes due to the tax treaty, so this is usually a problem only for those who have US-source income and would otherwise file a 1040NR. There are time-in-the-province rules (5 months in Ontario) for retaining health insurance, but they have a hard time enforcing this since they don't track when you are gone. Realistically, whether he'll clear immigration again is likely his most important issue.
    – user38879
    Dec 5, 2016 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


There is no formal limit on the frequency of visits or their cumulative length.

However you are not allowed to make the US your primary residence. If you start spending more time in the USA than outside it then the border guards may start suspecting that you are planning to make (or already have made) the USA your primary residence.

And the burden of proof is on the traveller, not the border guard. If you can't convince the border guard you are a legitimate visitor then you are likely to be denied entry.



In the most basic and common cases, meaning no Visa, Residency or any 'issues' with Immigration, you can spend maximum 182 days/6 months days over the previous 12 months.

So, if you enter the US and leave exactly on the 182nd day, you have to wait 6 months to enter again. That is the day your first day in the US is outside the 12 month window.

This is merely to be in the US legally. As noted, there are other considerations with different calculations.

Citations: CBP

"Travel by Land or Sea (including ferries): Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. by land or sea are required to present one of the travel documents listed below, and may generally visit the U.S. for up to six months."

And a citation from the CBC:

How long can Canadians stay in the U.S.?

Usually a maximum of 182 days, or about six months during a 12-month period. Those days can be amassed during one trip or they could be the sum of several trips.

People from countries other than Canada are allowed to stay a maximum of 90 days.

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    Downvote, really? Citation? Am I wrong? Otherwise totally unwarranted.
    – DTRT
    Dec 23, 2016 at 16:48
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    @Johns-305 You are completely wrong. Canadians are not given a time limit on their stay
    – Crazydre
    Dec 23, 2016 at 16:53
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    @Crazydre According to CPB, yes. See updated Answer.
    – DTRT
    Dec 23, 2016 at 17:00
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    @Crazydre, johns: Canadians get an initial six months, just like every other B-1 or B-2 visitor. There's nobody who gets a default 30 days unless you count transit (C) visas, where the maximum duration of stay is 29 days. Canadians don't get special treatment as to the duration of stay, but they do enjoy special treatment with respect to the accrual of "illegal presence," because they don't accrue it automatically; it only starts as the result of a finding of an immigration official or a judge. But that's not really relevant here.
    – phoog
    Dec 24, 2016 at 0:24
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    @phoog Your evidence? The op did not mention obtaining a Visa which is not required for Canadian citizens for up to 6 months. And yes, Canadians are treated as a specific case because, well, it's Canada.
    – DTRT
    Dec 24, 2016 at 1:06

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