My sister from India has two daughters one in USA and one in Canada. She holds multiple entry visas for 10 years to both countries. She is planning to visit her daughters in Summer of this year and wants to plan the trip.

Q1: Can she stay in Canada for 6 months with one daughter as a visitor and then move to USA for another 6 months to be with the other daughter?

Q2: If she visits in between Canada and US within first 6 months what rules apply to her duration of stay in either countries?

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    @pnuts with a ten year visa for each country, it doesn't much matter what her nationality is. We know she'll be entering both countries with a visa. – phoog Jan 31 '17 at 3:24
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    @pnuts well, yes, if she's from one of the seven banned countries, the answer would be different. I doubt she would be said to be "from India," though, if she were a citizen of one of those countries. – phoog Jan 31 '17 at 3:40
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    @pnuts US executive orders notwithstanding, I am perfectly happy accepting "from India" as a statement of Indian citizenship. – phoog Jan 31 '17 at 3:49
  • It's hard to imagine what is "unclear" about this question. – Martin Argerami Oct 6 '17 at 13:37

Q1: yes, in theory that's fine, but it is of course subject to being granted six months' entry by the officer at the border. A six-month period of admission is the default, so she will most likely get that.

Q2: moving between Canada and the US is fine. The six-month period of admission is for each entry, so if she returns to one country after an absence of a month, she could get another six months. However, if she is suspected of using the visitor visa to live in the country, she could be granted a shorter period or denied entry altogether.

The US will generally start restricting her stay if it becomes apparent that she's spending close to half of her time in the country. This is less likely to happen if she crosses the border less frequently, of course.

I suspect, but do not know, that the same is true in Canada.


People who come up with clever schemes to fool the CBP / CBSA usually fail. The cleverer the scheme, the surer the failure. You try to read the letter of the law and say "hey! here's a loophole if I read by the letter!". You are not a unique snowflake; someone else already tried this; the border guards quite probably have seen all them tricks before. Do not try to be clever with the border guard!

In other words: you get a six months entry stamp into the USA, all is well, you cross into Canada, let's say they let it pass (this is already not guaranteed, they can see from the lack of Indian stamps you have not left the USA for six months). Now you stay in Canada for six months and want to go back the United States. This is where the story ends. It's crystal clear at this point you are no longer living in India but somewhere else.

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    But there's no requirement for the person to live in India, nor need there be any scheme to fool anyone. If there were a third daughter in Mexico, there would be no problem at all spending four months a year in each country for ten years running. The problem only arises because six months a year in each country is right at the boundary of acceptability. But people do it. – phoog Jan 31 '17 at 5:39
  • Nice one. Especially on gaming the system. – Gayot Fow Jan 31 '17 at 6:49

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