New Permanent Resident of Canada and American GreenCard?
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Author Topic: New Permanent Resident of Canada and American GreenCard?  (Read 6058 times)
novagui
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« on: June 21, 2012, 12:51:36 pm »

Hi there,

I've already read a lot about the topic, but can't figure out what to do in my specific case.

I'm a PR of Canada since May 2012, and I won the American DV Lottery 2013. I've already sent the documents to the Kentucky Consular Center to get my GreenCard. I would like to go live in the US for a while (say 2 years max, maybe more if things go well).

My questions are:

1) Can I keep my Canadian PR status while moving to the US with a GreenCard?
2) Could I keep the car I bought in Canada? If so, do I need to get US license plate? If so, how could I justify to Canadian border agents that I have US license plate and the Canadian PR?
3) I'm confused with one sentence on the Confirmation of Permanent Residency: it says you can't establish yourself in another country within 1 year from the obtention of the PR status. Does that mean I can't move to the US until May 2014?
4) Where would I have to pay taxes if I were to work in the US?

That's pretty much it.

Thanks a lot for your help Smiley
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YorkFactory
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 01:12:07 pm »

If you do not have a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen accompanying you outside Canada, and you aren't outside Canada on a job assignment from a Canadian company, you will lose your Canadian PR if you spend less than 2 years out of 5 physically present in Canada.  If at any point you re-enter Canada and it is evident that you have not met the residency requirements in the immediately preceding five years (or, if you have been a permanent resident for less than five years, that you will not be able to meet them by your five-year anniversary), they can start the process to revoke your PR.

Canadian taxation is based on residency.  You will generally have to file a Canadian return for any year during which you were a resident of Canada (even partially) or during which you had Canadian income.  U.S. citizens and permanent residents must generally file U.S. tax returns no matter where they live, and must also file a report of their non-U.S. accounts if the total value of those accounts exceeds US$10,000 at any point during the year.  You will need to look at the specific rules on the web sites for CRA and the IRS.

Note also that by the time you get citizenship in one country (if that is your aim), you will have lost PR in the other, unless you can live in the U.S. with a Canadian spouse/partner long enough to get U.S. citizenship while preserving your Canadian PR.
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novagui
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 01:15:54 pm »

Ok, so there shouldn't be any issue with my Canadian PR if I would move to the US in 6 months for 2 years max?

What about this confusing sentence at the bottom of the Confirmation of PR?
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Leon
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2012, 03:51:25 pm »

1. Yes, you can keep your PR as long as you stay in Canada for at least 730 days in any 5 year period.  That is 2 years so you could leave for up to 3 years.

2. Isn't this a US immigration question?  I know that there are rules against PR's who live in Canada driving on US plates so if you are planning on living in Canada and working in the US, you should not get US plates on your car.  If you are going to live in the US, you would have to figure out what you need to do to import your car to the US.  I assume it would have to be paid off or if not, you would need permission from the bank and you probably need US plates and US insurance.

3. I have never heard about this rule but if it does say that on your COPR, your year is up on May 2013 and not 2014.

4. If you are living and working in Canada now and move in May 2013 to the US, you would file taxes both in Canada and the US for the year of 2013.  They have a tax treaty so you will not pay double tax.  After that, you may ask Canada to consider you a non-resident for tax purposes as you do not live there any more.  When you move back to Canada, you would start filing taxes again but as a US PR, not filing taxes in the US can cause them to feel that you have abandoned your PR.  In order to keep a US PR, you can not stay outside the US for more than a year at a time but 6 months is better.
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PR=Permanent resident - TFW=temporary foreign worker
FSW=federal skilled worker - QSW=Quebec skilled worker
AEO=arranged employment offer - LMO=labour market opinion
CEC=Canadian experience class - PNP=provincial nominee program
novagui
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 04:13:29 pm »

Thanks, Leon.

For the 2) I think I'd better sell my car and buy another one in the US.

For the 3), I meant 2013 and not 2014. This is the point that confuses me the most... I don't want my PR to be revokated because I left the country within this 1-year period.

I intent to get the Canadian citizenship and not the American, so I don't mind loosing my GreenCard after my 2-year stay down there.
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novagui
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 09:07:00 am »

Anyone?

Or can anyone recommend me a good Immigration attorney that could help me? I've called Cambell Cohen but apparently they couldn't help me as my case concerns both the US (Green Card) and Canada (PR). They told me to contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada to figure out what to do... which I of course won't do.
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beenew
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 03:00:42 pm »

4. If you are living and working in Canada now and move in May 2013 to the US, you would file taxes both in Canada and the US for the year of 2013.  They have a tax treaty so you will not pay double tax. 
Depending on your combined US and Canadian income you might still end up paying substantial tax in Canada. Both, US green card and Canadian PR has to file their taxes on global income and not only on the income earned in US or Canada.

4. After that, you may ask Canada to consider you a non-resident for tax purposes as you do not live there any more.  When you move back to Canada, you would start filing taxes again but as a US PR, not filing taxes in the US can cause them to feel that you have abandoned your PR. 

If he does not file Canadian tax for the years he did not live in Canada will that be an issue when filing for Canadian citizenship? My wife got Citizenship Query and the lady who interviewed her before her citizenship test sarcastically told her that "oh you are paying taxes in Canada? Great! Here is the query and bring your tax documents for past so and so years" She was directly implying that since my wife also has US green card she was not filing taxes in Canada.

4. In order to keep a US PR, you can not stay outside the US for more than a year at a time but 6 months is better.

You can keep your US green card by filing returning permit if you are out of US for more than one year. However since you plan to get Canadian citizenship, in all probability you will get query - also note that in Canadian citizenship application they do have a question "Have you obtain permanent residency in another country?"  There is also common misunderstanding that you cannot stay out of US for six months straight - the rule is now changed to cumulative 6 months in a year instead of continuous 6 months in the past.

Also keep in mind never to lie to Canadian or US border agent about your entry and exit. Within next few months both US and Canadian immigration will be using a single computerized system. Of course this information is like a-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend told me but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Novagui - Please note that when you enter US as green card you can bring all your possessions including your car duty free - you have one year time from the date of entry to complete that transaction. This rule is similar to Canadian PR rule.
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novagui
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 03:48:19 pm »

Thanks beenew, your reply is greatly appreciated.

I've read this morning that the US and Canadian borders will start sharing more info in the near future. It looks like it's gonna be mainly for National Security matters, but once they actually share more and more information, you never now!

I didn't know I had 1 year to import my car from Canada to the US. Does that mean I could drive with my QC licence plates for up to 1 year while living in the US? That would be a good news as I plan to stay in the US for 1 year max (then return to Quebec).
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Leon
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 03:51:15 pm »

If he does not file Canadian tax for the years he did not live in Canada will that be an issue when filing for Canadian citizenship? My wife got Citizenship Query and the lady who interviewed her before her citizenship test sarcastically told her that "oh you are paying taxes in Canada? Great! Here is the query and bring your tax documents for past so and so years" She was directly implying that since my wife also has US green card she was not filing taxes in Canada.

If you are applying for citizenship, there is only 1 year out of 4 that you are allowed to have been outside of Canada so you would never have the room to ask CRA to consider you a non-resident so you do not have to file taxes.

If it is just about PR, you might move late in the year, as you file taxes for that year, you would ask them to consider you non-resident.  You might then not file for 2 calendar years but in the 3rd year you would have to move back if you want to keep your PR.
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PR=Permanent resident - TFW=temporary foreign worker
FSW=federal skilled worker - QSW=Quebec skilled worker
AEO=arranged employment offer - LMO=labour market opinion
CEC=Canadian experience class - PNP=provincial nominee program
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