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Old 11-01-2012, 04:00   #1
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Cruising as a Canadian

Any tips on how to circumvent the six month rule on how long one can be out of the country without losing medical coverage back home? This means leaving in October and sailing back in April, rather cool months here on the east shore of Canada.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:15   #2
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

Don't tell anyone.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:04   #3
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

Wife suggested that unfortunately border control will know.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:09   #4
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

If you are under 60 and relatively healthy there are numerous international health insurance plans available that are surprisingly inexpensive. Unfortunately, many of them charge considerably more if you wish to be covered in the US. Just a cost of service issue. If you google it you you may be surprised at the range of options.
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:58   #5
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

Leave the boat and fly back
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:02   #6
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

Fly back every five and a half months. year after year. Cheaper than buying health insurance.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:22   #7
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

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Originally Posted by mparent View Post
Wife suggested that unfortunately border control will know.
Your wife must be psychic. Nobody's going to know unless you file a float plan. When you land at the first US custom/immigration/border crossing, there's no visa requirement for Canadians (you will need passports, documentation, etc). They will register your documentation etc, but that doesn't mean you haven't returned within the six months. Perhaps you drove back? As you don't have to register your departure from the US, who's to know? Flying back is not a good idea as some have suggested; then the authorities will know as there will be a record of your arrival. The six months less a day rule, doesn't mean you come back for a day and then return. You'll be in for a surprise. That said as a Canadian cruising in US waters, I see no reason you couldn't just keep going. You can get travel insurance through your provincial coverage or 3rd party. You'll need a Canadian address though for the paperwork. As a dual citizen (expecting to be asked at least once), I've never been asked for any documentation, other than for the boat.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:31   #8
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

There is going to be a record every time you go back, if it's like the US these days. Swipe that passport thru the reader and Bob's yer uncle. What happens when you eventually DO go back and your passport is swiped thru the reader? Are you sure the software won't know you ever left? If you didn't leave, then how are you now coming back? At this point, wouldn't you be getting asked questions about your whereabouts for the past sixteen years of "free" health insurance benefits as a Canadian getting your knees replaced in Thailand or whatever?

Not telling them you are staying out of the country is intentional fraud, or whatever the legal term is for deliberately trying to cheat in this situation. You are deliberately breaking the law, cheating the government, whatever. They have people on the payroll looking for folks like that. Working these long term scams, hoping that things work out and nothing happens while you are gone to call attention to your absence.....I wouldn't want the worry and stress assuming you do eventually want to be able to return without worrying about being prosecuted for it every year for the rest of your life. Waiting for that knock on the door, Big unsmiling men with crooked noses wearing thin black leather gloves with reinforced knuckes... the Black Maria waiting in the yard, a bleak future of bare light bulbs, rubber hose interrogations...bread and water...front page newspaper photos, and having to endure it all in French!!

Flying back every five months is not fraud, if you are doing it specifically in a manner that keeps you legal, is it?

How far away are they cruising? Not very practical to only be able to get a two and a half month sail away from Canada. Tight leash for a free society.

What if they want to sail the Bay of Islands? Greece? Seychelles? Bali? What legal alternative is there to flying home to stay "current"?

We buy health insurance for expats living abroad. It's running about $ 8,800. USD a year, for two of us. It's a good plan, for sure, pays 100% for the serious stuff, but it's not cheap. I know we could fly back to Canada from the other side of the world twice a year for less than that. We're not Canadians,though.

From what I've heard from our numerous Canookian friends down here in the BWI, I'm not sure the Canadian brand of health insurance would be worth it. Kinda hard to schedule things from a distance, when a sailboat is involved. Wouldn't do to be sitting in a bar in Singapore when that kidney becomes available and you're next on the list.... or a new liver, ( since we're talking about sailors and their kidneys arebulletproof and legendary while it's well known that the liver mortality rate among multihullers alone is mind boggling. And the monohullers got a fifty year head start!)
Might be a better deal to just buy your own insurance.

Do you get a tax break if you are out of Canada more than six months?
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:50   #9
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

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Originally Posted by mparent View Post
Wife suggested that unfortunately border control will know.
Canadian Border Patrol and Health Services don't communicate. The health care system seems to be all on the provinces and even they don't communicate with each other.

I moved out of province for 3 years, kept my old card, and when I moved back start using my old card again and nobody knew or cared. The receptionist at the hospital just wants to see a health card that's not expired and you're good to go.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:04   #10
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

There's two sides to this border question. Recently, a long term couple who are friends of ours,- she's US and he's Canadian found they were forced to separate. While at a slip in the Florida Keys, he went back to visit family after years in the US. When attempting to return he was told by US authorities that he could not enter the US for one year due to exceeding his earlier stay.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:35   #11
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

Ouch.

The US is getting to be a real paranoid, uptight place, for sure. It's like the old can't see the forest for the trees thing. You don't notice the increments when you are living in them. But step away for a while and then look at it all from a distance.

Did you see the news article about the guy getting tasered three times, hospitalized, and arrested by TSA today? land of the free and home of the brave.

We almost dread going home. Just going through security checkpoints with a titanium knee has been an experience that would tax a lot of people's patience. And I didn't get issued much patience for stupid procedures to begin with.

then again, looking at Canadian laws, did you know that a US citizen who was ever convicted of a DUI cannot enter Canada legally without going through a procedure to get approved before showing up? even though under US law he has completed his sentence, paid his fines, no further convictions, whatever. Canada penalizes him for the same crime, again, which was not committed under their jurdistiction, or even in their country. someting basically wrong with that.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:51   #12
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

I'm a dualie; US/Canadian.

I have sailed to France (well St Pierre) and back and there was no swiping of my passport at the border.

This topic has been on my mind as well.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:52   #13
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

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then again, looking at Canadian laws, did you know that a US citizen who was ever convicted of a DUI cannot enter Canada legally without going through a procedure to get approved before showing up?
You got a link on that?

I have a kid with a DUI.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:25   #14
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

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You got a link on that?

I have a kid with a DUI.
As I understand it it has nothing to do with having a DUI, it has to do with committing a crime that is considered a felony in Canada. Try getting a visa to enter the US with a felony conviction.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:40   #15
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Re: Cruising as a Canadian

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As I understand it it has nothing to do with having a DUI, it has to do with committing a crime that is considered a felony in Canada. Try getting a visa to enter the US with a felony conviction.
Any type of impaired driving offence is considered the equivalent to the Canadian Criminal Code offence of impaired driving. This includes misdemeanor convictions. Canadian law considers impaired driving to be a serious CRIMINAL offense (similar to a US "felony").
Routine screening upon entry into Canada includes the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” If you have been convicted of impaired driving (DUI) you may be denied entrance. Routine screening upon entry into Canada includes the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” If you have been convicted of impaired driving - even if no collision was involved - you may be denied entrance.

However, a person with a conviction may be deemed rehabilitated and be eligible for entry after a certain period has expired from the completion of the sentence imposed (which would include any driving suspension) on the conviction.
Depending on the offense, this period may be as short as 5 years or as long as 10 years.
If a person cannot qualify for deemed rehabilitation, they may apply for individual criminal rehabilitation.

Visiting Canada: Overcoming criminal inadmissibility
Overcoming criminal inadmissibility
.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/conviction.asp

Visiting Canada: Overcoming criminal inadmissibility - Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions: Overcoming criminal inadmissibility
.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/faq-inadmissibility.asp
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