Changes to Crossing US Border

New information for Canadian Snowbirds Crossing the US Border!

motorhome at the Canadian - US borderIn 2014, Canada and the U.S. adopted the final phase of the Entry/Exit Initiative, which gives border officials in both countries the authority to share passport information. As of June 30, each day a Canadian spends in the U.S. is automatically recorded by the American Department of Homeland Security. Anyone remaining in the U.S. for an extended period of time, or who makes multiple trips every year, must be careful not to exceed the annual threshold of 120 days.

Read more at RVWest .

The author Karen Kornelsen has posted some very relevant and helpful information for Canadian RVers.

The link for the form is below.

Closer Inspection Exemption Statement for Canadians


The link for the US Customs Office is

Would love to hear your thoughts.

All the best,

Carol Ann


4 thoughts on “Changes to Crossing US Border”

  1. Lorraine Cox

    Hello Carol,

    Regarding the new border crossing info for Canadians, perhaps you may want to add a little to what you have posted above. I realize this is new, and a lot of people are becoming fearful because of the 120 days when everyone “knows” you can stay in the US 182 days. The clincher is the Form 8840 – closer connection form.

    In a nutshell, if you intend to stay longer than 120 days per calendar year you shoul file the 8840. This shows you have a closer connection to Canada. (And lets not negate a trip that spans say October through February, because we really need to be aware of the days in a calendar year as well as a fall to spring trip which spans the end of one year and the beginning of the next year.) The closer connection form has a calculation whereby you can determine if you MUST file the form.

    In our case, I have filed since we crossed the first time in 2012 on the pretense that we would be likely maximizing our time in the USA. I download the form to my laptop, fill it out on the laptop, save it, print 2 copies and mail one copy in while we are still in the USA, prior to the June 15th deadline. I keep one copy for next border crossing in case there are questions. So far I haven’t used it. This year, as an example, our 100% of days for 2014, 1/3 of days for 2013 and 1/6 of days for 2012 add up to well over 183 days. This simply means we MUST file the form. I believe the Canadian Snowbird Assn has some info along this line as well.

    The other thing Canadians should be aware of, is if they plan to Snowbird, but they also plan to travel to another Country. That time in another Country should come out of their US time rather than their Canada time. You still need to be 183 days in Canada for the US to consider you have a closer connection to Canada.

    And, if you take a cruise for 10 days while you are in the US, or you fly home for Christmas to Canada, that is still considered US time. Unless you are out of the USA for 30 days you are still considered to be “in” the US because you are leaving and returning to the US.

    Clear as mud? Hope it helps a little.

    I found your website by accident when I was searching for some info on travel to Mexico, which we are considering for next year (2015) if the Canadian dollar remains low. I also noticed you had some good info about US travel into Alaska which I have shared with a query on FB.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Lorraine,
      Sorry for the delay in responding! Thanks so much for the information and I appreciate that you took the time to share. The topic of traveling to the US has been a big one this winter and I have had a lot of emails and everyone seems to have their own version of the laws. You nailed it! Thanks again.
      Carol Ann

    2. Curtis S

      Hello Lorraine, My wife and I full time RVers, planning to snowbird in our RV and are having issues with a permanent address to show US CBP. I was hoping that you might have some advice on this matter

      1. This is a huge issue for Canadians. Frustrating. Where do you get your mail? What address is on your driver’s licence? Where do you stay when you are back in Canada? Are you connected with an RV Park in Canada that you stay during the summer months? They may allow you to use their address for your permanent address. Remember your mail and physical address don’t have to be the same. Have you encountered difficulty crossing the border previously? Would like to hear more from you. Thanks.

        PS: Here’s a link to some info that may help. I will also post this on my Fb page.

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