Is a visitor limited to only six months per calendar year period or six months in a twelve month period?
The answer is no. There is no such limit of six months per year or per twelve month period which would then disallow a person to re-enter Canada.
A person’s intention on entering Canada is assessed by the immigration officer at the port of entry or at the border crossing on each occasion that the person enters. At that point the immigration officer determines whether the intention is temporary or permanent and unless indicated on the individual’s passport, the person is allowed entry for up to a six month period.
Some people mistakenly think that they can only come in on one occasion for a six-month period and then cannot re-enter for another six months. This is false. It is the intention that matters rather than the number of times that you come into Canada.
I mention this point because repeatedly over the last few years, Immigration officers are misinterpreting the provision which allows individuals to come in frequently provided that the intention is temporary. Only several weeks ago, a client complained to me that the Immigration officer had said that his foreign national wife could only come in six months out of a one year period. He was most upset that the immigration officer had given his wife a difficult time about returning to Canada. In the end, the immigration officer did grant her entry, but was totally incorrect in applying the regulations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
When returning to Canada, it is best to have proof of permanent residency outside of Canada such as a house deed, utility bills, bank statements, income tax returns and driver’s licence to show the person’s permanent country of residence. So long as the intention remains temporary, there is no problem in frequent entries into Canada.
by David Aujla