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Old 17-06-2015, 13:41   #1
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Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

Hi all, This is my virgin post. I am wondering what the Canadians do that go on a year or longer sabbatical in the Caribbean. Do you stay in one spot the allowed amount of time then move or do you get an extended Visa for the year or two you are gone? I would like to know what you are doing to be able to stay away from Canada so long. When I am researching, it seems I would need many Visas from Bahamas to Trinidad area!
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:07   #2
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

While we haven't gone yet, our plan is to move around. Some countries have quite long visas for Canadians. I met people in Cuba who had been there for months (6 or more).

One issue that Canadians don't realize is the loss of health benefits (at least here in Alberta). Upon returning you will be on a 3 months wait to have your health benefits reinstated. In that 3 months any Dr. visits will need to be paid for out of pocket.
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Old 17-06-2015, 14:18   #3
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

You will not require a visa for most if not all of the Caribbean. See here for visa requirements. https://www.visahq.ca/

As for health insurance check with your provincial authorities. Some provinces allow a one-time absence of up to a year without re-qualifying.
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Old 17-06-2015, 17:13   #4
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

I read that Canadians can now stay away 7 months at a time. I do not want to come back for The 3 months we are suppose to. I realize the health benefits go. I wanted to leave the country and maybe not come back for a year or two. I was wondering if any Canadians have done just that and what we need to do. Do we need an extended visa for each country we will go to in that time.? I think it is 90 days without a visa per year. I guess I could make sure I follow those rules and go from place to place. What about loosing Canadian citizenship? I read something about 5 years away, you need two of those years in Canada to keep citizenship.
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:40   #5
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

Hello, I live in BC, Canada.
Here we are allowed a one time extended stay away from Canada on our medical plan, for up to two years, with no re-up wait time.
Check with Alberta Medical, they may have the same type of allowance.
Cheers, Catman
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:43   #6
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

Sorry, LNL, I see that you live in the beautiful Sunshine Coast Area.
I live in Sidney, maybe you already now of our medical plan allowances?
Cheers, Catman
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:49   #7
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

LNL, I've been in the USA for 31 years as a Permanent Resident Alien and renew my Canadian passport when required. You won't loose your citizenship while your away.
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:55   #8
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

I believe that you are correct that the duration of an out of country stay has been increased to 7 months, but I believe that there is now also a one time opportunity to apply for a continuous 2 year out of county period stay without jeopardizing any citizenship privileges. I don't know if this would include the health coverages in the various provinces of origin for a Canadian traveler.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:02   #9
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

As a canadian, you don't need a visa for most (maybe all) Caribbean countries. Each country may have a limit on how long you can stay...but I doubt it. The limitations are mostly about working there.

Your canadian health coverage will expire, depending on which province you live in. However, you simply purchase your own health coverage...if you are in good health now, its not expensive....there are many companies eager for your business. Your provincial coverage is limited while out of the country anyway, so 3rd party health insurance is always a good idea when travelling....medevac flights aren't cheap!

You will still have to file canadian income tax while you are away...even if you have no income.

Keep in mind, there is no great governing body keeping track of you...go where you please, obey local laws, don't do anything stupid, and you will have no trouble at all.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:02   #10
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

Hi,

We did just the same type of trip as you are describing from Ottawa down to the South East Caribbean ( S/V Geru ). We did not need any visa's at the time for any of the countries. I think you will find that in most cases you will want to move on before any of your allowances in a country will expire, but if it does it's probably not a big deal (we spent a good chunk of time in the Bahamas and the boat was fine, but we did leave briefly (by plane) which renewed our visitor visa which we received when we entered.

As for leaving Canada for 2 yrs, we didn't do anything special, but did wait the required number of months after we got back before using the healthcare system.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:20   #11
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

Quote:
Originally Posted by LNL View Post
I read that Canadians can now stay away 7 months at a time. I do not want to come back for The 3 months we are suppose to. I realize the health benefits go. I wanted to leave the country and maybe not come back for a year or two. I was wondering if any Canadians have done just that and what we need to do. Do we need an extended visa for each country we will go to in that time.? I think it is 90 days without a visa per year. I guess I could make sure I follow those rules and go from place to place. What about loosing Canadian citizenship? I read something about 5 years away, you need two of those years in Canada to keep citizenship.
You cannot lose Canadian Citizenship by being abroad for any length of time. If you are a Canadian Resident or Landed Immigrant without Citizenship then you would need to reapply for residency, used to be after 6 months absence and there is no guarantee you will get it. You also lose the right to work in Canada, certainly pays to get citizenship and avoid the hassles.
I have known some who have been caught in this trap after living in Canada for more than 20 years. After a period of absence they had difficulty getting back in. Usually applies to Brits who at one time did not need citizenship as a Canadian was defined as a British Subject in Canada. That was all changed some years ago and at the time millions of Brits officially became Canadian simply by visiting a Citizenship Office, now they are the same as any other immigrant and need to appear at Citizenship Court.
On your other issue for the Caribbean I was cruising for 6 years and it varies from Island to Island. Puerto Rico will give you 12 months if you ask, The French side of St. Marten will also give 12 months for $10 and will renew every 12 months for same amount. St. Maarten, the Dutch side cost $100/mo and only for 3 months, then you must leave for 24 hrs. Most yachtsmen stay on the French side of course and party on the Dutch side.
BVI's seems to be at the discretion of the immigration officer and your requirements. There is a difference between your person and your vessel. For a few hundred dollars I imported my vessel then I could fly in/out at will. Standard permit is 3 months; however, I had no difficulty getting 12 months.
Bahamas is another story. Being closest to the US and with frequent visits from Sports Fishing Vessels they require $300/3 mo if you fish or not and they are relentless in pursuit of the fee. Split between 5 or 6 fishermen its good value considering all the fish they take, but for a single handed yachtsman that doesn't fish its a rip off. With the opening up of Cuba by the US that might change, but in the meantime I avoid the Bahamas.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:35   #12
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

Great info! Thank you! I am born in B.C. I just want to have a sabbatical. Too many in my life dieing way to young without experiencing what the world has. Time to go!
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:42   #13
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

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Originally Posted by adlib2 View Post
You cannot lose Canadian Citizenship by being abroad for any length of time. If you are a Canadian Resident or Landed Immigrant without Citizenship then you would need to reapply for residency, used to be after 6 months absence and there is no guarantee you will get it. You also lose the right to work in Canada, certainly pays to get citizenship and avoid the hassles.
I have known some who have been caught in this trap after living in Canada for more than 20 years. After a period of absence they had difficulty getting back in. Usually applies to Brits who at one time did not need citizenship as a Canadian was defined as a British Subject in Canada. That was all changed some years ago and at the time millions of Brits officially became Canadian simply by visiting a Citizenship Office, now they are the same as any other immigrant and need to appear at Citizenship Court.
On your other issue for the Caribbean I was cruising for 6 years and it varies from Island to Island. Puerto Rico will give you 12 months if you ask, The French side of St. Marten will also give 12 months for $10 and will renew every 12 months for same amount. St. Maarten, the Dutch side cost $100/mo and only for 3 months, then you must leave for 24 hrs. Most yachtsmen stay on the French side of course and party on the Dutch side.
BVI's seems to be at the discretion of the immigration officer and your requirements. There is a difference between your person and your vessel. For a few hundred dollars I imported my vessel then I could fly in/out at will. Standard permit is 3 months; however, I had no difficulty getting 12 months.
Bahamas is another story. Being closest to the US and with frequent visits from Sports Fishing Vessels they require $300/3 mo if you fish or not and they are relentless in pursuit of the fee. Split between 5 or 6 fishermen its good value considering all the fish they take, but for a single handed yachtsman that doesn't fish its a rip off. With the opening up of Cuba by the US that might change, but in the meantime I avoid the Bahamas.
Addendum; As a Canadian from Ontario living in Florida I returned to Ontario every 6 months to satisfy medical requirements, collect free prescription drugs and to see my kids. I don't return as frequently anymore. Ontario Medical will pay medical expenses incurred in the US according to the Ontario Fee Schedule. I get 6 mo supply of drugs when I leave Canada and when they run out its less expensive to pay US prices than airfare.
I don
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:53   #14
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
...Your canadian health coverage will expire, depending on which province you live in....
That begs the question - how do they know you have been away? Are you supposed to go in and tell them? I think not, and who would do that?

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
...However, you simply purchase your own health coverage...if you are in good health now, its not expensive....
If you are young and in good health, why bother - just wait the 3 months, emergencies are covered anyway.

Now suppose you don't know about this rule, and a week after you return you use the system. I'll bet that nothing will happen to you.

Just saying.
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Old 18-06-2015, 11:07   #15
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Re: Requirements for Canadians going on a 2year sabatical

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Originally Posted by LNL View Post
Hi all, This is my virgin post. I am wondering what the Canadians do that go on a year or longer sabbatical in the Caribbean. Do you stay in one spot the allowed amount of time then move or do you get an extended Visa for the year or two you are gone? I would like to know what you are doing to be able to stay away from Canada so long. When I am researching, it seems I would need many Visas from Bahamas to Trinidad area!
A FYI Post: Be aware---
Puerto Rico's terrible economy is causing a population exodus

A debt debacle: In total, the Puerto Rican government is $73 billion in debt, and there's a solid chance it could default this summer.
Puerto Rico's terrible economy is causing a population exodus - Jun. 15, 2015
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