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Bizarre Relocation: Girlfriend has Student Visa (not me)

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Canada.

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Bizarre Relocation: Girlfriend has Student Visa (not me)

Post Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:52 am

Hello all:

Great forums and overall resource - much appreciated!

I have sort of a unique situation (I think) I'm looking for input on. My girlfriend may be transferring to UBC in Vancouver. She of course will be able to get a student Visa.

We have lived together for 5 years. I work from home for a US company, and would continue to work for this company if/when we move to Vancouver. Does anyone have any pointers to any tax/immigration/visa information that would cover a situation like this?

Also, my office is in Seattle, as is some of my family. I will be spending a lot of time there, so could also change my residency to WA state for tax purposes, etc. But, would this allow me to do things like rent a home, establish utilities, etc. in Canada?

Thanks for any pointers.



Re: Bizarre Relocation: Girlfriend has Student Visa (not me)

Post Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:19 am

My answer will be in two parts..........

Your G/F will need student visa, for HERSELF. She will not be allowed to work in Canada, outside of the grounds of UBC.

YOU, will need to apply, on your own behalf for a "skilled worker " work visa. It would be best if the company that you currently work for had a "Canadian office or location" that is all ready in operation in Canada. If that were the case, it would simplify your case, because they could apply on your behalf to get a NAFTA agreement visa. This has to do with the North American Free Trade agreement and helping the flow of employees in both directions across the border.

If that does not fit your situation, you will have to go for the other route, which is to find a Canadian company that will hire you, and help you get a work visa, based on their NOT being able to find a Canadian that could do that particular job. Harder to find and to get, for sure.

The final way, could you contiune to work and live in the USA, and go to Canada as a vsitor, on occassion? Does your G/F intend to stay in Canada after her studies are completed? US citizens may VISIT Canada for up to a total of 180 days in any 12 month period. Visitors may NOT work or attend school in Canada.

I'm sure that I haven't answered all your questions, so ask more here, of me.

PS I'm not a lawyer, just a guy with a whole life time of being a Canadian, who tries to help people with their Immigration questions.

Jim Bunting. Toronto.


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Re: Bizarre Relocation: Girlfriend has Student Visa (not me)

Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:05 am

Thanks Jim.

I will continue working for my current company, which does in fact have Canadian offices (including in Vancouver).

I am likely going to split time between Seattle and Vancouver, but I will need to rent a place in Vancouver for her. I will also likely need to establish water, power, etc. at that location.

My girlfriend will not be staying in Canada after school - she'll be there 3 years and then leave.



Re: Bizarre Relocation: Girlfriend has Student Visa (not me)

Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:04 pm

You are welcome.

Question......If you are employed by a US company that has a Canadian operation, you should get the HR department to work on a NAFTA visa for you. This would greatly simplify your boder crossings, plus make it easier for you to set up an apartment in BC. With a NAFTA visa in hand, you can rent accomodation, get the utilities turned on and so forth. Sign a lease and name both of you as tennants in the apartment, and as users of the utilities.

Electric, gas and phones require a cash deposit, usually equal to 2 months worth of billing. THe building managment will want to do a credit check on you, make sure that they SEE the NAFTA visa and make it clear that you are BOTH legal in Canada. Having said all that, GOOD LUCK to you both.

Nice to see somebody who has it all together and still is willing to ask for help. Glad I can be that helper.

Jim Bunting. Toronto.


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