Though the recent travel ban on dual-citizens from several Middle-Eastern and African countries has caused concerns at US border points and beyond, Canadian dual-citizens will largely remain shielded from disruption.
According to Ahmed Hussen, the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, “the American administration has confirmed that Canadian dual nationals are not affected by this executive order. Moreover, we have been assured by the White House that Canadian permanent residents with a valid Canadian Permanent Resident Card and a passport from (one of) those seven countries can still enter as before,” For real-time updates, check the entry/exit requirements section of the Government of Canada website, or the travel warnings and alerts found on the US Department of State’s website.
In effect, for the above mentioned Canadians planning business or leisure travel to the US, it will be business as usual. If you’re a snowbird, weekend visitor to a hockey or baseball game, or just visiting friends or relatives south of the border, don’t sweat it. Just make sure you have your Canadian passport or Permanent Resident Card in order and you understand the rules of the virtual B2 visa, or any other special visa category visa if you are working or studying in the US.
The US allows properly documented visitors from countries other than Canada or Mexico to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. But for Canadians, the visiting allowance for leisure (non -working) purposes has been a total of 6 months out of any continuous 12 for many years. That has been interpreted as 180 to 182 days depending on how individual border agents read the rules. And that is not likely to change.
The current travel ban imposed by the Trump Administration applies to citizens or US dual citizens of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and will be in effect for 90 days. However, citizens of those countries who have green cards to live and work in the US are exempt.
What should Canadians do? Nothing differently, but be thorough.
- Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your scheduled return home.
- Know your projected itinerary while in the US. The border agent will likely ask how long you will be in the country and where you intend to visit. Show that you understand the rules and will abide by them.
- If you plan to stay in the US for, say, 45 days and the border agent allows you that time—do not overstay. If for some unavoidable reason you need to extend your stay, apply to a US customs agency as soon as you possibly can, not at the last minute.
- Overstays are being detected and monitored
- Do not argue with a border agent. It’s “Yes Sir, No Sir”, or “Yes m’am, No m’am”
Unless you are a US citizen, you do not have a “right” to visit the US. This is a standard enacted by all countries globally.
One other tip while you are in the US that has nothing to do with border entry rules. Keep your opinions to yourself. These are turbulent times. Your views may not be the same as those of friends you think you know, or people standing in a supermarket check-out line.
You are a guest in somebody else’s house and you best play by their rules and apply the courtesy Canadians are known for.
Are you ready to cross the border? Insurance matters during weekends away, no matter how short or long. Browse your options today.