…so, let’s first show you the rest of the editorial that ran in the Desert Sun on April 21, 2013, and then we will discuss the latest events concerning the possibility for Canadians to stay in the US more than 6 months a year.
Any U.S. immigration reform must include a provision for Canadians
Of note recently, Congress has had the opportunity to review the Jobs Originated Through Launching Travel Act (“JOLT Act”),which would allow certain Canadians to stay in the U.S. up to eight months a year. Why not simply incorporate the JOLT Act as part of our impending macro immigration reform? The continued recovery of many states, and of course our beloved Coachella Valley, relies on the continued uninhibited and encouraged contribution of our Canadian cousins. We all know immigration reform is tricky, and does not happen often. We must not make the mistake of letting this rare immigration overhaul occur without remaining ever mindful of the importance of the eager and vital immigrants in waiting from Canada.
Feedback to my Editorial
The feedback on my editorial was very positive. Most Desert Sun readers who commented to the article, or emailed me directly, completely agreed with my stance. There was a small bit of confusion by a very few who thought Canadians could generally stay in the US past six month if they paid US taxes (this is not true..under current immigration law, a Canadian who stays in the US past 180 days in any 365 day period violates the terms of the general visa…the punishment for this is the next time the Canadian tries to enter the US, he or she could be denied entry to the US (maybe for a long time). There is no legal option for Canadians to simply overstay the 180 day and pay US taxes…at least not as of today.)
Gang of 8 Makes its Recommendation
Right about the time my editorial came out, the Senate Gang of 8 came out with its overall immigration proposal. Although clearly not the focus of their proposal, there is nonetheless a section which would permit Canadians to stay in the US up to 240 days in a 365 day period. In a section entitled “Encouraging Canadian Tourism to the United States,” the bill allows certain Canadians to be admitted as Visitors for a period of up to 240 days in a calendar year. This is different from the current Visitor option that allows Canadians to visit the US for a rolling 180 day period. To qualify, Canadians must meet the following criteria:
· Citizen of Canada,
· At least 55 years of age,
· Continues to maintain a home in Canada, AND · Owns a US home (or has rented a US home for the duration of the period of stay being requested).
Will the Gang of 8’s recommendation become law? Who knows. A lot of the answer probably has much to do with whether any immigration law passes in the first place. If there is one, there’s probably a decent chance that the Canadian portion will stay in it (but no guarantee). We will all have to watch carefully this Summer (and probably into the Fall) to see if the US Congress votes to allow Canadians to stay in the US up to 8 months a year, and if so, under what conditions.