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Future for American/Canadian cruising?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by zudnic, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Canadian US cruising

    Documented or not does not matter, see below...and all foreign vessels transiting between Customs Ports require a cruising permit and a call in to customs to report vessel movement.
    The term "undocumented" below refers to US documented vessels.

    It is not necessary to have or report a US address in order to State register your vessel if a foreign owner, again, personal experience..

    I have a neighbour who purchased a pleasure craft in Ft Myers 3 months ago,
    he State registered the boat in Florida, he is supposed to get a cruising permit if intending to cruise outside the Ft Myers customs jurisdiction according to the Customs officer in Ft Myers, his vessel is classed as a foreign vessel.



    Marmot, what is not clear about the following...

    The Customs Regulations provide under section 4.3, footnote 9 (19 CFR 4.3 n. 9) that, "Every undocumented vessel of 5 net tons or over owned by an alien, whether or not such alien is a resident of the United States is a foreign vessel".
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    What is the size and flag on the back of your neighbours boat in Ft Meyers?
  3. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    J is correct. We are able to obtain a US cruising license since we are a non-commercial, private vessel. We are able to perpetually renew that license since the vessel is A)US Duty paid, and B)Owned by a US entity.

    There is some red tape; with the cruising license we are required to report every movement of the vessel to US Customs.
  4. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    http://www.flagguys.com/pdf/federalflagcode.pdf

    Flag flying is apparently up to the vessel owner and done as a courtesy more than anything else, that's according to the above, however, I have read that CBP will take a very dim view of a foreign vessel flying a US flag and if memory correct may take action against the vessel and owner.
  5. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    It is a customs regulation, and like other customs regulations it varies with locality and wind direction.

    Your friend, unfortunately, has to deal with regulations imposed on a regional basis for reasons that mean more to CBP than you or me.

    Depending on the region, the official CBP website for that region will provide the following text with a minor modification to the statement underlined in red text ... they do not allow the Canadian exclusion.

    Who Must Report:
    All U.S. Citizens and aliens seeking entry to the United States MUST REPORT their arrivals.
    Masters - The master or person in charge of the boat must report their arrival to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For the purpose of these instructions, the term “boat,” means any vessel not engaged in trade or documented trade (not carrying merchandise or passengers for hire) such as pleasure boats and yachts, regardless of size. This requirement applies to all boats regardless of country of registration. Additionally, boats registered outside Canada or the U.S. must contact a local CBP office for a cruising license.
    http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom...es/2008_news_releases/may_2008/05162008_4.xml
  6. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Your info is outdated , was revised 2010.
  7. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    If you google 19 cfr 4.94 which is referenced in your posted document, you will see that Canada is not exempt from a cruising license.

    I have asked for a specific answer based on your post to verify that the above is valid or not. Should hear tomorrow.
  8. zudnic

    zudnic Senior Member

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    I agree with everyone. When a Canadian crosses into the United States and answers an US Immigration Officer (not all US Customs Agents are immigration empowered) purpose of trip questions. Usually Canadians seek entry as a tourist, well if he lets in your assumed to have B-1/2 visa status. Since Canadians are exempted from carrying immigration documentation showing this status like an I-94 entry/exit record. Canadians are also exempted under federal laws from overstay penalties. This is what the U.S Consulate info states about Canadian citizens:

    The reason Canadians are issued visa's in those visa classifications. Those non immigrant classes have the closest next step stone in U.S immigration becoming a "green" card holder and citizenship. UN like Mexicans that also includes some NAFTA related visa's also can adjust to perm status non immigrant category. Reality if you want non immigrant status and eventually want U.S citizenship thats the only reason a Canadian needs a visa of any kind.

    Students the schools and its suggested to get some form of rubber stamp proof that you've been legally admitted into the United States. Many states have laws about giving certain services to foreign nationals like Drivers Licenses based on legal admittance proof of entering the U.S. Social Security and the IRS can at times require proof as well with legal status. Depends on location some don't deal with lots of Canadians and treat like all Foreigners. Even if state law singles out Canadians like Florida. Sometimes DMV or utilities clerks are UN aware that Florida state law is aware of special alien status Canadians have in United States law and getting a license can be a hassle.


    Another red tape area. Lawyers make good livings specializing in NAFTA immigration--most companies want to ensure things are 100% rubber stamped legal. Since 9 times out of 10 getting a NAFTA visa is just that a rubber stamp--for a lawyer its a large bill for little effort. So some Immigration Officers develop "local" rules that create red tape based on that its a real non immigrant process. Most federal law that deal with permits, rules, and such gives the director or head of the government agency the ability to bend them and develop ways to enforce them. The current heads of both the Department Of Homeland Security and The State Department have written rules that Canadians inside the U.S are assumed to have B1/2 visa status by mere presence.

    The Attorney General authorizes the period an alien can stay inside the United States. Since Canadians are not required to obtain visas under 8 CFR 212.1 to be in the United States Canadians have been authorized "duration of status" That is never ending while inside, past the border. You've been "paroled" by an immigration officer.

    The above deals with overstay. Once paroled into the United States the only person that can remove a Canadian or determine a status violation is an immigration judge. Since a Canadian does not need a visa or an I-94 marking entry or exit. While inside the United States a Canadian has "law full" presence at all times. Since no overstay penalties for Canadians this pretty much make it near impossible to be removed from the United States even by INS because they'd need to adjudicate, i.e an immigration judge to take away your granted "parole" status. As they need to apply due process of law.

    The million dollar question. Is a cruising permit an immigration benefit? Nope. When a Canadian goes to Florida by car or plane. Do you clear customs in Florida? Not usually all commercial airports in British Columbia have U.S Customs clearance, entry and exit points via immigration officers. Granted if you fly they'll stamp B-2 into your passport--but it does not have an end because you can't overstay it. Since you have lawful presence--your legal to "reside" as a tourist in the United States. Your paroled as a non immigrant (residentcy is separate). This means you can renew a cruising permit like any legal resident including Americans. Your not applying for an immigration benefit--you already have it by mere presence being law full to reside as a non immigrant.

    If you have an state registered boat that is not also foreign flagged. You don't need a cruising permit. Nor hide behind a US corporation that has some secret shield for the owner.

    Red tape for all the above still exist especially when your dealing with non-immigration empowered U.S Customs Agents! Or other state government or people that are not familiar with the laws, American employers, etcetera. An air or land port don't deal with sea related issues, so will likely not be familiar with the "local" rules or what the port director has authorized! Besides the heads of government agencies--middle management can also create rules for their port of entry including authorizing exemptions.

    So the statement by Marmont:

    The head of a port can create "local" rules on how to apply customs regulations!
  9. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    If you have an state registered boat that is not also foreign flagged. You don't need a cruising permit. Nor hide behind a US corporation that has some secret shield for the owner.


    Sorry Zudnic, the above is incorrect....see below...also, previous posting address the issue of US residency being subject also to cruising permits.
    Those who do not have the requisite permits are playing fast and loose with Customs, I had to get a permit to move from Ft Myers to Tampa and the Tampa guy was all over me because I stopped overnight at Sarasota whereas my permit did not specify a stop in between, would be a shame to lose that boat he said. All the other Canadians I talked to in Ft Myers all had permits and did the foreign port thing every year, either back to Canada or the Bahamas.
    I am in the process of compiling a letter to the "man" who can lay down the laws relating to these permits and hope to have a better resolution by the time I return to Florida in late fall.


    Consistent with this conclusion, a "licensed yacht or undocumented American pleasure vessel" does not include a pleasure vessel documented under a foreign flag, regardless of whether it is owned by a citizen of the United States and regardless of whether it is numbered under a State numbering system; and an undocumented pleasure vessel owned by a foreign citizen, regardless of whether it is numbered under a State numbering system. The Customs Regulations provide under section 4.3, footnote 9 (19 CFR 4.3 n. 9) that, "Every undocumented vessel of 5 net tons or over owned by an alien, whether or not such alien is a resident of the United States is a foreign vessel".
  10. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Extract from CBP website re Cdn Citizens stay in the US.

    There is a limit on length of stay....


    All Canadian Citizens entering the United States by AIR are required to present a valid passport, or an Air NEXUS card when departing from a designated Canadian airport.

    By Land and Sea (including ferries) - Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. by land or sea are required to present one of the travel documents listed below, and may generally visit the U.S. for up to six months. CBP will accept: Canadian passport, Enhanced Driver's License/Enhanced Identification Card, NEXUS, FAST/EXPRES and SENTRI enrollment cards.

    The burden of proof that the Canadian citizen is not an intended immigrant (plans to make the U.S. their primary residence) is always on the applicant. There is no set period of time Canadians must wait to reenter the U.S. after the end of their stay, but if it appears to the CBP 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 the traveler to prove to the officer that they are not de-facto U.S. residents. One of the ways to do this is demonstrate significant ties to their home country, including proof of employment, residency, etc.
  11. zudnic

    zudnic Senior Member

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    In the above scenerio a Canadian is applying for an immgration benefit. This is kind of a gray area. CBP states Canadians may generally visit for six months--doesn't however say that you can't stay longer. When applying the immigration officer likes to hear six months or less before giving immigration status. Once they give you the benefit, let you into the United States. Thats when you have non immigrant status and since Canadians are exempt from overstay penalties and Canadian travel documents are not immigration nor did customs actually say how long ie: no I-94 entry/exit documentation. Your status is "duration of status". Canadians lose this when they leave the U.S.

    Defination:
    Since Canadians are not issued a D/S on an I-94 nor even given this form. Basic once past customs, you can continue your tourism until your bored.

    Did CBP warn that becoming a de facto resident was illegal? Nope. It can bar you from rentry. So don't leave or have Canadian ties like CBP suggests. Show that your secondary residence is the American home and you still have primary residence in Canada. In other words that extra time at your vacation home fell under "duration of status".

    I don't see why Florida CBP doesn't treat Canadians with legal presence. That Canadians have lawful presence and exempted from overstay in federal law. So no time limit! CBP didn't say once inside you'd need to leave the U.S every six months and hope you get back in if an agent calculated you've spent too much time. They implied it but not really the case once inside! The IRS can consider you resident for taxes by spending too much time at your vacation home. So I can't see why these Florida guys can't bend things so your resident to receive a non immigration benefit! Id bet they'd do it if a Canadian had an I-94.................................

    Non foreign flagged state registered. In waters within state boundaries I don't think the federal government can have any jurisdiction, except for navigation and thats only if the water leads to the ocean. On water bodies that are only within states boundaries and don't flow into the ocean--federal government has zero jurisdiction.

    save typing I'll use wikipedia
    On the ocean in a marina the feds may very well have legal standing to be dicks towards state registered boats not flagged. On a lake within a state borders nope.
  12. zudnic

    zudnic Senior Member

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    Got an o.k answer.

    If I went to California with a WA boat and decided to use Lake Shasta. I pay the launch fees and permit to use the lake. If a state officer saw me and he stopped to ensure I was safe to "navigate". He could stop me from using the lake because California has no way to assert its jurisdiction over my WA vessel. If it was a water body that connects with WA they could make claim. Even if the connection, if he had reason to believe I was not entitled to that state registration. He could deny my use of a benefit for state citizens because WA doesn't have jurisdiction. He also has an obligation to protect the citizens of California from foreign vessels that they have no jurisdiction on and has not been determined state "water" safe (navigation) for use.

    When a car enters the U.S that is registered in Canada or most foreign countries ie Mexico: that "customs" agent allowed the vehicle to come into the United States in international traffic. An international treaty exists with the separation of powers in the Constitution; a state cannot have jurisdiction over a driver in international traffic including for non criminal traffic offenses. State registration laws can't be enforced on that vehicle by state authorities. Since the feds are limited in operating in states. Enforcing vehicle safety inside the states including commercial is a state power. So letting a vehicle pass and enter is an issue. US Customs has a duty to protect the citizens from foreign invaders--including UN safe vehicles. Hence you'll seldom see a Mexico registered car on any Southern State road.

    Canadian insurance pay claims in most cases in the US. So the states have jurisdiction some jurisdiction even if that vehicle leaves the United States. For licensed drivers of most provinces the states are authorized by congress to negotiate with the provinces on both vehicles registration and drivers license issues; ie if an Ontario driver commits a traffic offense in NY state, Ontario will place points on their drivers licenses. Local knowledge a US customs agent is also a state citizen. Its easy for him to let the vehicle inside for customs purposes and since land border agents are also immigration officers they can parole those Canadians easily into the United States and the sovereign states jurisdiction with no liability for failing to protect that state from foreign invasion.

    BC has government owned insurance. So not only will BC pay, they also register our vehicles. Damage property and run back to Canada. Most states can not only find the driver but their insurance policy as well. Ontario is private insurance; so its easier to hide that info in an American custom agents knowledge of Ontario. But since its known Canadian insurance companies pay claims in the United States. Canadian cars are admitted freely and in border towns at times out number American states.

    But if I crossed from Ontario into NY with my car. The American Customs Agent may not have the local knowledge that my insurance pays claims to all states citizens. He could deny my vehicle admission on that basis. Until I came back with an American valid policy. If this was a customs agent without immigration empowerment he couldn't give immigration benefits. But if he thought I was out of immigration status he could enforce the law.

    I was working for a business that made mattresses. Was doing a trade show in the United States. So had a van full of samples. I had never done commercial importation--when the customs agent with immigration let me in didn't realize I needed to clear the goods "customs" wise. So I kept going and was stopped by the Border patrol. Thought I was in trouble personal immigration wise--nope I had "parole" the goods had not.

    Canada has US Customs Agents inside International Airports. These agents have been specially trained on Canadian laws even individual rights. BC has several places that the Customs Agents need to drive through Canada to work. Most times these US Agents are "preclearance" empowered. This enables "empowers" them under Canadian laws for US immigration purposes to conduct searches, including strip, detain subject to arrest by Canadian authorities. They can't enforce American criminal law in Canada. But they can enforce Canadian laws. So they have excellent local knowledge of Canada and its laws.

    A Canadian and British Columbia resident who has a secondary residence in Washington State. Or leaves their boat in that state. To leave their vessel in state waters tax free they need a foreign vessel "document". This lets BC residents leave boats in duration of stay within the states. As long as they want. If you leave WA this document never cancels the vessel is always welcome in WA waters. So a customs agent with local knowledge as a state resident has no problem allowing that vessel to leave United States waters into Washington state waters its officially welcome. Even if your from Oregon and American without this document an agent has an obligation to protect the state from foreign invasion. So from United States waters he can block your vessel from entering the state.

    Since ICBC the government insurance agent underwrites boat insurance. Plus the state can have jurisdiction over a British Columbian with registration and personal liability "insurance" plus Transport Canada the register of boats allows US Customs access to the ship registry. Government underwritten insurance by The Crown is the same as having Canadian government backed insurance. Most have not all have local knowledge that transport Canada will give up the owner ship registry information easily even to individual states. Add in government insurance. If a British Columbia vessel causes damage to property both state and federal they have "reciprocity" recourse. Even if I take the vessel back to Canada. For customs purposes they could still seize my vessel and extradite it back.

    If a British Columbia owns property in WA. The state constitution grants foreigner property rights--Canadians are welcome to own property in the state. Local knowledge of a US Customs Agent--they might know this. As a state resident all residents of Canadian provinces are welcome to own property.

    http://www.leg.wa.gov/lawsandagencyrules/pages/constitution.aspx
    British Columbia allows Americans to freely own property. So the state allows BC residents to freely own and reside in Washington State. A British Columbian is welcome and not a "foreign" invader. A property owner from any province has indefinite stay as a state resident. Again local knowledge that BC residents are welcome to stay in the state.

    Florida only allows Canadians 6 months of residence in Florida. If your a property owner UN less you have landed immigrant status the state will only give a 6 month drivers license. Ontario cancels health care and provincial benefits after 7 months absence from the province. So no insurance or vehicle registration, etcetera. So you only have temp lawful presence in Florida if your a Canadian--UN less a green card holder.

    Local knowledge of customs agents--good buy even Americans who are not state residents have no right to state residence. They are obligated to protect the state from foreign invasion "vessels" and non lawful residents even if Americans. Since their not denying entry to the United States, they are not baring admission--its to the state for the VESSEL.

    BC as long as one has the intent to remain resident--they can keep their health care coverage. BC has monthly fee's so coverage is indefinite. You keep all provincial benefits UN less you take up residence in another province.

    An immigration officer admitting on a B-1/2 can consider that as Duration of Stay--sometimes if you ask for an I94 they'll issue it D/S ie students in WA because they know in Washington State its also D/S for BC residents.

    ICBC has will insure in most cases a foreign kept boat because your still a resident if your intent is to come back. 10 years if your a non property owner. If your paying property taxes and healthcare, your always a BC resident, including Americans regardless of Canadian immigration status in Canada.

    The preclearance empowered agents know all this they are trained in all Canadian laws, etcetera. With a WA document permit your vessel is not foreign in WA waters--So it cannot be blocked entry because its not a foreign invader. Since BC residents are welcome to reside as WA residents, plus your vessel and even you personal cannot escape WA jurisdiction ie insurance, etcetera in some agents minds this is enough to be extra nice and not make you leave WA and United States waters to renew your cruising permit-- even though it can't be documented by the coast guard.

    Some without immigration or preclearance empowerment can still enforce the rules--the ones with immigration can parole people in D/S.

    So its not the United States being anti Canadian its the state of Florida only wanting non residents in state 6 months.
  13. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Are you saying that if you are American and you take your boat from Oregon to Washington you can be seen as a foreign invader?

    If so the country is obviously way more ****ed up that I ever thought.
  14. zudnic

    zudnic Senior Member

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    Thats why an American with a non Coast Guard documented vessel needs a cruising permit as well. Could you imagine all the lawsuits!!!

    Oregon no sales tax--hence lots of Washington State people buy and register boats and cars in Oregon. On land the state officials can discover these people on their own. Between state borders.

    If you had a Washington State drivers license and had an Oregon car. Come up to Canada. On your return customs could block your vehicles entry into WA! The agent would be defending his states border as a citizen of the state and not a federal agent. They are blocking a car or boat not the person. You'd need to prove that you as a resident of WA can bring the car in and your insurance, etcetera would cover you. A boat its a little harder to prove that WA is allowing it into their waters. Thats if you don't have a cruising permit---but its not a right to have the permit. Not a license.

    Theory being with the permit you'll eventually get caught with state authorities if your skirting the laws. If they block a vessel since you can go ashore and freely move. You can get state documents that allow you to show your boat has lawful presence. Or you can stay outside of state waters. They can let you go to another port on United States jurisdiction waters but not state water with that vessel.

    If they are doing this or not, following the rules and regulations most have no idea the real reason why.

    I had a friend in high school who was American and lived in the United States. He went to our high school because it was closer no school bus ride. He'd cross the border at times by sneaking across. Most of the U.S Customs would nicely tell him he needs to cross legally--seemed they closed a blind eye to this kid going home. A few would catch him and read the riot act, even take him to his parents, scare them. He'd say what jerks, blah,blah. Thing is they had been nice jerks because one day he might run into law enforcement that would do the stuff they said could happen!

    So probably why Florida based seem jerkish, follow the rules or we'll take that nice boat of yours stuff.
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    What exactly is a citizen of s state? I am aware that a US Citizen who carries on life and resides in a state is considered a resident of that state, as far as I am aware US Citizenship is confirmed/denied by an organization previously called the Immigration and Naturalisatin Service but as of 2003 it is called Homeland Security http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security.

    I believe that this is a federal governmental department so it's rules and regs should apply to all US Citizens equally with no bias towards one state or the other in regard to Citizen privileges.

    Anyone who is more up to speed with this than me please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You're doing very well K1W1. You'd probably do better on a citizenship exam than many born and raised here. INS, Customs, Border Patrol, and several other agencies are now under the umbrella of Homeland Security. In fact, it's that agency on our Master's licenses now. I am a Citizen of the U.S. I am a resident of NY, although resident and citizen are used interchangably on the state and local levels depending on the context.
  17. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Canadian US cruising

    Are US "residents" afforded the same privileges as US citizens ??
  18. zudnic

    zudnic Senior Member

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    Each state is considered sovereign with their own constitutions, etcetera. Its an equal thing because of the checking into and out of all US ports.

    Customs is immigration of goods. Since the feds regulate navigation for United States waters. If it was a foreign made boat that was not flagged. No coast guard registration. You couldn't operate on waterways that flow into the ocean. The fed could claim not safe for navigation because no coast guard documentation. They can't do this with an American made vessel unless you left state waters.

    The federal government cant do this on land because inside the United States the states act like countries under the umbrella of federal protection. Similar with Europe.

    During September 11 the United States shut down U.S airspace. Even American citizens and U.S flagged aircraft couldn't enter from outside United States airspace. The American planes inside the United States did not and could not be made to leave. Even Canadian flagged aircraft had to return to Canada UN less those planes couldn't make it out of the United States umbrella. State National guard units escorted all planes to airports for people immigration.

    Most foreign flagged planes landed in Canada. Under both American and Canadian military fighter jets. Forget which airline but non American was landing in Portland and ignored air traffic control. National Guard from Oregon escorted the plane to Washington State and their guard escorted it to waiting in Canadian airspace US Air Force F15's based in Alaska for Russian/United States border enforcement. The F15's landed with the foreign commercial airline at Vancouver. Despite the terrorist attacks the United States military could not enter states airspace without permission from that sovereign state within the federal union. National Guards are not under command of the President. They need to be service invoked by their state government to defend their borders even against the federal government!

    American citizens could still get into the United States from Canada. Just not by aircraft.

    They are blocking the use of their water with your boat because its not safe for "navigation" on United States water. Coast Guard documented they cant do this at all because its certified safe for navigation.

    Hence the permits so they are not blocking people's free movement just the boats.

    Before 9/11 you could leave the vessel as long as you did not touch "land". Most called customs as soon as docking. So if I was coming from Canada for fuel only and call customs most times they just say you have not "landed". Or if fishing and drifted into the states from Canada, they didn't care unless near state water and than it was a fast check that you didn't "land" in the United States.

    The I68 is an attempt like the American waters cruising permit to return things back to normal but with some safe guards for everyone.

    Florida is probably more enforcement based they have Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba with refugee's to drugs trying to get in. So they are more vigilant. Its more of an excuse to give the feeling of safety. When it annoys to many people they come up with permits and other things.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Several, but not all. For instance, a non-citizen cannot be president, but they are welcome to pay taxes:rolleyes: . A U.S. resident need not be a U.S. citizen, and a U.S. citizen need not be a resident.
  20. zudnic

    zudnic Senior Member

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    Very true. The IRS will process Canadian withholding taxes as a NAFTA trader. Its supposed to be paid outside the US. The Canadian is "working" for the Canadian company just like he would be doing if in Canada.

    I think we all should follow the rules--ie the Canadian corporation pays the Canadian citizen and opposite for an American. Oh the tax treaty agreement they signed in 08 means less withholdings for everyone. Since Canada and the United States have agreed to not dueling taxes. Can also means paying less withholdings for everyone.

    The IRS doing this though puts some Canadians in the shadows "working" for an American corporation with no offices in Canada. Or Canadians with no actual business in Canada. That ruins it for everyone. The border immigration officers will not issue a visa or anything they'll even deny entry if they think you don't have a on going business with employees in Canada. They follow the rules so the IRS should as well. Catch the cheats!