Our Canadian neighbors to the north, our snowbirds, make-up such a large part of the buying population in Palm Springs, we often hear the question – How long can I stay in Palm Springs, and can I stay through the frigid Canadian winter months?
The conventional wisdom is that Canadians can stay about six months; that is generally accepted to be true. I’d never seen anything in writing about it, so I searched the internet and found a couple of official US government sites that explain the law on this subject.
As it turns out, Canadian citizens can indeed “visit” for up to 6 months, as long as they maintain their foreign (Canadian) residence. No visa is required for them as Canadian citizens. Visits can be (and usually are) undocumented. If Canadian citizens spend time in Palm Springs, or really any place in the US, for longer than 6 months, there is a danger for them in being deemed taxable residents of the US, thus they would be out of status and would be considered deportable. If a person is reentering the US after the end of his last stay, and it appears to the Canadian Border Patrol Officer that the person applying for entry is spending more time over-all in the U.S. than in Canada, it will be up to them to prove to the officer that they are not de-facto U.S. residents. A further danger in overstaying in the US is in potentially losing their health insurance eligibility in Canada. This factor alone takes most Canadian snowbirds home in timely fashion each spring!
For a definitive answer regarding your specific situation, it’s best to seek advice from the US Immigration authorities. For more information, here are a couple of useful US government Web sites – Visiting the US and Six Months Club.