July 15, 2016 – We have been receiving an increased number
of inquiries regarding the standards for I-94 issuance, i.e. the
duration of stay stamping received from the U.S. authorities upon
entry to the U.S. Specifically, we have received inquiries
related to Canadian nationals traveling for business and pleasure
under B-1 and B-2 status respectively. In short, there is no
standardized time permitted. It is possible per regulations
to be admitted up to a year as a visitor for business or pleasure
upon each entry to the U.S., but it is always to the discretion of
the reviewing officer to determine how long an individual is
permitted entry. The practical standard for visa-exempt
Canadians, as determined by consensus of U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) officials, is six months. The simple rationale is
six months is half a year. This allows the individual to enter
for the temporary visit and return to their place of residence,
Canada, after six months thus not sacrificing the concept of a
"visit" to the U.S. As mentioned, this
determination is made upon each entry to the U.S., even after brief
returns to Canada. Implicit in this determination by an
officer, is demonstrated evidence of the applicant's
maintenance of continuing and established residence in Canada to
which they intend to return following the "visit."
The recent trend we have seen is a growing consensus among
officers to maintain the original six-month window granted for
individuals traveling back and forth between the U.S. and Canada
during that six-month period. For example January 1 to June 30th,
entry is granted on January 1st and the officer will hold the
applicant to that June 30th expiration despite returns to Canada
during that period. This can be the case even after prolonged
returns to Canada of several months but short of the original six
Even though this is increasingly the standard, is it is always
possible to request an additional amount of time, i.e. a new
six-month period or whatever time is necessary for the applicant to
complete their U.S.-based activities. It should be
understood, however, that this new trend allows a buffer for an
officer to ask questions about the individual's intent to
"visit." If an applicant requests additional time
outside of the six-month period granted, or a brand new six-month
period, an officer would scrutinize both intent and evidence of the
applicant's continuing maintenance of Canadian residence.
Ultimately, the question would be: Is the applicant still
"visiting" the U.S. or has the U.S. become the
applicant's primary residence?
For further discussion of I-94 issuances and its intricate
nuances please contact
Green and Spiegel.
Upcoming Green and Spiegel Webinar- Inside Immigration July
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Trends in immigration law
The July webinar will focus on a wide variety of immigration
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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