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Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Old Aug 30th 2009, 5:31 pm
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Default Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Hello to all,

Here is a mystery. Canadian Border Services has a category called Seasonal Resident primarily intended for those who have a holiday home in Canada (you may bring in furniture and appliances for your seasonal home, etc.), however, CIC does not have such a category so how does one go about applying for Seasonal Resident Status? We would like to purchase a home and live in Canada for some months each year until our PR status is approved (or not), so Seasonal Residency would work for us. It seems like a real disconnection between these two government ministries.

Any info appreciated.

Mimi
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

This is a guess so don't rely on it. (I have seen some stuff about this but it's been a while so I can't check references).

There's nothing in immigration law about Seasonal Residents so blame parliament not CIC. However, you can come to Canada for 6 months at a time as a visitor. You can't work but you can certainly live.

I believe the Seasonal Resident thing will be an exemption to requiring duty on your household goods.

I also suggest you check out the tax implications quite carefully.

There are lots of people who snowbird. They spend 6 months in Canada and 6 months in Florida. Hence, there are some things set up to help this along.

BTW, Mimi, being a seasonal resident might be quite a good solution to your problem - as long as neither you nor your husband need to work.
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by ESarge
BTW, Mimi, being a seasonal resident might be quite a good solution to your problem - as long as neither you nor your husband need to work.
Or require medical attention, that could then become very expensive. I wouldn't like to assume that travel insurance would cover the situation as I would imagine that it would be very difficult to show you were ordinarily resident in the UK if you are spending most of your time "living" (as opposed to vacationing, vacationers do not have regular utility bills, etc.) outside of it.

To the OP - try contacting via Chumley PM. She did what you intend to do and she always appeared to be a wealth of information.
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 5:27 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by ESarge
This is a guess so don't rely on it. (I have seen some stuff about this but it's been a while so I can't check references).

There's nothing in immigration law about Seasonal Residents so blame parliament not CIC. However, you can come to Canada for 6 months at a time as a visitor. You can't work but you can certainly live.

I believe the Seasonal Resident thing will be an exemption to requiring duty on your household goods.

I also suggest you check out the tax implications quite carefully.

There are lots of people who snowbird. They spend 6 months in Canada and 6 months in Florida. Hence, there are some things set up to help this along.

BTW, Mimi, being a seasonal resident might be quite a good solution to your problem - as long as neither you nor your husband need to work.
Sarge, As usual, you guys/gals provide food for thought. I will be looking for snowbird sites online. We are retired and don't plan to work. Will check out taxes, as well. This is all much more complex than anticipated! Cheers...

Mimi
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 5:34 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian
Or require medical attention, that could then become very expensive. I wouldn't like to assume that travel insurance would cover the situation as I would imagine that it would be very difficult to show you were ordinarily resident in the UK if you are spending most of your time "living" (as opposed to vacationing, vacationers do not have regular utility bills, etc.) outside of it.

To the OP - try contacting via Chumley PM. She did what you intend to do and she always appeared to be a wealth of information.
Almost Canadian, thanks. The medical issue is a concern but we are looking into a couple of options like travel insurance, as you mentioned, and private local insurance (Cdn). (Actually, our residency is in France.) Fingers crossed we'll stay healthy. Ms Chumley has had some interesting posts. I like the way they have just "gone for it" but it is risky and we aren't her age!! Maybe it shouldn't make a difference but it does...

Mimi
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian
Or require medical attention, that could then become very expensive. I wouldn't like to assume that travel insurance would cover the situation as I would imagine that it would be very difficult to show you were ordinarily resident in the UK if you are spending most of your time "living" (as opposed to vacationing, vacationers do not have regular utility bills, etc.) outside of it.
Some vacationers have utility bills, own furniture etc.etc. Many people have two homes, one for vacation and their main residence and get all the bills associated with same, utilities, property tax, insurance etc. Very common practice. If a home is not your main residence then you won't be able to claim the home owners grant on the property tax. Also, regular property insurance may be an issue if the home is unoccupied for long periods of time. Look into 'Recreation Property' insurance.

If you spend less than 183 days in Canada in a tax year you may not deemed a tax resident by CRA. You may however want to ask them to give a determination and avoid problems down the road. There is a tax treaty with France, so you'd only be paying tax in one country anyway.

There is never a guarantee of getting in on a visitor visa, so if sometime down the road there is an unforeseen admissibility problem you will have difficulty accessing your belongings.

CIC are the immigration authority on coming into Canada and there is no 'Seasonal Resident' category. You are either a resident or visitor, not half way between, it's no mystery. CRA use the term to make allowances for personal possessions being imported to Canada tax & duty free, it is not an immigration category.

Last edited by Aviator; Aug 31st 2009 at 7:54 am.
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Old Aug 31st 2009, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Thanks, Aviator. You've made a number of very cogent points, especially re taxes. But a continued worry is this issue of possibly being turned back when coming in as a visitor, which you mentioned. Does this really happen to 'just folks'? And, why? if we are just doing we we always have done but staying for some months longer? Our passports attest that we have been visiting Canada at least twice a year for many years. Our daughter and grandkids are Canadians living in Canada. Do these immigration officers turn visitors back on a whim? Since we will be investing in a "holiday" home at some expense, it is beyond scary to think that they could just slam the door one day for no reason and we might not be able to see our family again, let alone our belongs! I feel as if I am missing yet another piece of this puzzle.

Mimi
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 12:45 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Something we found out (the hard way) this winter about travel insurance...

BF was here on a Bunac visa and had 'travel insurance' through Endsleigh. He fell in Feb and broke the Scaphoid bone in his wrist (if you break this bone, the 'treatment' is either 6 weeks in a cast, 3 mo in a cast or surgery - or all 3 - depending on where the break is and if it heals). When we phoned the insurance company to inform them and get the claim opened up, imagine our surprise when we were told to contact them after speaking to the Dr (surgeon in this case) but BEFORE anything was done as they have the right to REQUIRE you to return to the UK for treatment if they feel it's going to be too much/too on going here. Now, I can't see them demanding you fly home before a cast is on, but I would imagine they could require the dr to cast it and send you home for surgery (in this case). It ended up being a non-issue, it was casted and healed before the 6 weeks were up, but damn we were pretty upset when we found out that there was the possibility of him being required to return home.

So I guess my point is just to be aware of the 'loopholes' in your travel insurance package!
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 3:27 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by mimicapes
But a continued worry is this issue of possibly being turned back when coming in as a visitor, which you mentioned. Does this really happen to 'just folks'? And, why? if we are just doing we we always have done but staying for some months longer? Our passports attest that we have been visiting Canada at least twice a year for many years. Our daughter and grandkids are Canadians living in Canada. Do these immigration officers turn visitors back on a whim? Since we will be investing in a "holiday" home at some expense, it is beyond scary to think that they could just slam the door one day for no reason and we might not be able to see our family again, let alone our belongs! I feel as if I am missing yet another piece of this puzzle.

Mimi
From what you say, if the officer is confident you would leave when your permit expires, and you are not criminally inadmissible (DUI counts on that score) cannot see why they would turn you away. They may ask a few more questions when you come in. No guarantees, but personally I would not be too concerned about it. Lots of people own holiday homes, Americans own half (or more) of Whistler and come and go. Immigration would need a reason to turn someone away, it is not done on a whim.

I would spend more time researching the implications for your own situation, tax, insurance etc. and looking for a nice place to buy than worrying about what might never happen. It may be worth talking to an accountant and an insurance broker though to be sure you have covered all bases. There are lots of maybes, if we lived life not doing things because of what might happen we'd never do anything.
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 3:34 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by Kynn
Something we found out (the hard way) this winter about travel insurance...

BF was here on a Bunac visa and had 'travel insurance' through Endsleigh. He fell in Feb and broke the Scaphoid bone in his wrist (if you break this bone, the 'treatment' is either 6 weeks in a cast, 3 mo in a cast or surgery - or all 3 - depending on where the break is and if it heals). When we phoned the insurance company to inform them and get the claim opened up, imagine our surprise when we were told to contact them after speaking to the Dr (surgeon in this case) but BEFORE anything was done as they have the right to REQUIRE you to return to the UK for treatment if they feel it's going to be too much/too on going here. Now, I can't see them demanding you fly home before a cast is on, but I would imagine they could require the dr to cast it and send you home for surgery (in this case). It ended up being a non-issue, it was casted and healed before the 6 weeks were up, but damn we were pretty upset when we found out that there was the possibility of him being required to return home.

So I guess my point is just to be aware of the 'loopholes' in your travel insurance package!
It's not a loophole, this is the way they minimise their costs and as far as I know all insurers do the same. Travel insurance in general pays for emergency care and for repatriation if the treatment is to be long term, not ongoing treatment so you can carry on with your trip. As with anything, always read the terms and conditions before accepting the policy so you understand what is and is not covered.. Once you have commenced the trip it is difficult if not impossible to make changes.
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by The Aviator
It's not a loophole, this is the way they minimise their costs and as far as I know all insurers do the same. Travel insurance in general pays for emergency care and for repatriation if the treatment is to be long term, not ongoing treatment so you can carry on with your trip. As with anything, always read the terms and conditions before accepting the policy so you understand what is and is not covered.. Once you have commenced the trip it is difficult if not impossible to make changes.
Kynn, Thanks for the warning and glad the break has healed. The Aviator's comments are also right on when it comes to reading the terms and conditions. We are learning as we go along.

Mimi
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Old Sep 1st 2009, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

Originally Posted by The Aviator
From what you say, if the officer is confident you would leave when your permit expires, and you are not criminally inadmissible (DUI counts on that score) cannot see why they would turn you away. They may ask a few more questions when you come in. No guarantees, but personally I would not be too concerned about it. Lots of people own holiday homes, Americans own half (or more) of Whistler and come and go. Immigration would need a reason to turn someone away, it is not done on a whim.

I would spend more time researching the implications for your own situation, tax, insurance etc. and looking for a nice place to buy than worrying about what might never happen. It may be worth talking to an accountant and an insurance broker though to be sure you have covered all bases. There are lots of maybes, if we lived life not doing things because of what might happen we'd never do anything.
I guess when you said "unforeseen inadmissability problem" I overreacted a tad with a sudden mother's vision of not being able to see my daughter, s.i.l., and grandkids... What you say is, of course, the sensible approach. In any case, I doubt that anything could dissuade us at this point but forewarned is forearmed. Thanks a lot!

Mimi
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Old Sep 2nd 2009, 6:49 am
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Default Re: Mysterious Category - Seasonal Resident

You know, Mimi, you could do the snowbird thing while getting a Parents & Grandparents Family Class sponsorship PR application underway. While that might take 4 years to get through you'd probably only come through the border 4 times in that time - which is a pretty acceptable risk.

BTW, the biggest inadmissibility problem you're likely to see is with criminality. Basically, don't drink and drive - or drink and break other people's stuff. (Not that I'm claiming you're likely too!) We've been seeing a lot of people with those problems and it's at least a 5 year ban from Canada.
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