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1. Posted by Daisymarshall (Budding Member 26 posts) 22w Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

I have a major problem I'm stuck with.

I am a British Citizen planning a trip to America.

I plan to spend 3 weeks at Christmas with my family in Canada and purchase a camper van.

I'm then travelling across the states for the winter months for 90 days (what my holiday visa allows). I then wish to go back to Canada to travel west to east. However, my holiday visa allows 6 months in Canada although I'm concerned that by spending 3 weeks in Canada for Christmas the 6 months will only continue from this date; meaning I have to leave in June as opposed to leaving in September (giving me a total of 9 months).

Hope this makes sense as it's pretty hard to explain!

Please help!!

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Mar-2017, at 12:42 by Daisymarshall ]

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 843 posts) 22w Star this if you like it!

Ask the Canadian consulate or embassy in the U.K.

This link might be helpful: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=473&top=16

I once traveled to South Africa, left the country to visit Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, then returned to South Africa only to learn that my days in those countries counted towards the 90-day visa-free stay in South Africa.

3. Posted by leics2 (Full Member 85 posts) 22w 1 Star this if you like it!

I assume that by 'holiday visa' you actually mean the Canadian ETA (visa waiver)? And for the US you mean an ESTA? As a UK citizen you do not need a formal visa to visit either country unless there is something (such as a criminal conviction) which makes you ineligible for the visa waiver system.

As a UK citizen a Canadian ETA allows you to spend up to 6 months in Canada but you can visit as often as you want during the validity of the ETA:

>With a valid eTA you can travel to Canada as often as you want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time).

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp

As an ETA is valid for up to 5 years imo you don't need to panic about returning to Canada ans staying for a while after your US road-trip.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Mar-2017, at 13:32 by leics2 ]

4. Posted by Daisymarshall (Budding Member 26 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I assume that by 'holiday visa' you actually mean the Canadian ETA (visa waiver)? And for the US you mean an ESTA? As a UK citizen you do not need a formal visa to visit either country unless there is something (such as a criminal conviction) which makes you ineligible for the visa waiver system.

As a UK citizen a Canadian ETA allows you to spend up to 6 months in Canada but you can visit as often as you want during the validity of the ETA:

>With a valid eTA you can travel to Canada as often as you want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time).

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp

As an ETA is valid for up to 5 years imo you don't need to panic about returning to Canada ans staying for a while after your US road-trip.

Thanks Leics, So just to clarify; I can definitely have an additional 6 months in Canada after returning from the States?

Yes sorry, I was referring to the ETA and ESTA. I already have my ETA from my Canada trip last year.

Thanks for your help!

5. Posted by leics2 (Full Member 85 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

>I can definitely have an additional 6 months in Canada after returning from the States?

First of all, when it comes to visas and visa waivers no-one (including embassy staff you contact by phone) can definitely tell you anything for anywhere. No visa or visa waiver guarantees you entry to any country. That decision is always down to the border officers who deal with you on the day.

What you can be certain about is:

a) your Canadian ETA lasts for up to 5 years (as long as you don't renew your passport during that period)

b) the ETA allows you to enter Canada 'as often as you want' and

c) you can stay for up to 6 months. That does not, by the way, mean that the individual border officer will automatically stamp your passport with a date 6 months in advance. It is up to border officers to make a decision about length of stay.

So I'm afraid no-one can tell you for 100% certain that your passport will be stamped for another 6 months when you return from the US. It really does depend on the officer who deals with you on the day. I think it would be a good idea to have proof that you can support yourself financially for a 6-month period (cards, bank statements, health insurance coverage etc) and perhaps a letter from your relatives stating that they will be providing you with accommodation, food etc throughout your stay? Border officers are watching for those who intend to work illegally so having proof that you can support yourself is always helpful.

It's always best to be aware of all possibilities beforehand and to have a 'plan B' if things should go awry.

Good luck! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Mar-2017, at 01:16 by leics2 ]

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 843 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Leics2 makes good points. The border officer is key. I recently was detained and questioned by immigration officials in Gabon even though I had a five-year multiple-entry visa. I was allowed to enter after showing proof I was there for tourism; and a call to my guide and driver who was waiting for me at the airport. He came into the office to vouch for me.

7. Posted by leics2 (Full Member 85 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Having been questioned in more detail than I expected on more than one occasion when travelling under an ESTA, I can only stress that everything really does depend on the border officer who deals with you on the day. Border officers are not actively 'out to get you' but they do have a job to do. Having the documentation to prove your intentions and ability to support yourself is always sensible.

Basically, it is important to understand and accept that no visa or visa waiver guarantees you right of entry to any country, nor do they automatically guarantee you x length of stay. You can greatly maximise the chances of both by having the correct paperwork, medical insurance and financial back-up but there are never any absolute guarantees.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Mar-2017, at 02:02 by leics2 ]

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 843 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Greet the immigration officer, smile, be polite, answer all questions succinctly and don't volunteer any information that's not required.

Dress appropriately. Have all your documents ready.

9. Posted by Daisymarshall (Budding Member 26 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Thanks all Very helpful! Will keep my fingers crossed and save lots of money in the meantime.

10. Posted by talalkhalid (Budding Member 11 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

Can anyone tell me the procedure for getting a Schengen Visa while studying in the United Kingdom?