Investigating PR application from the USA, with intention to spend time in both

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Posted (edited)

Strange topic I know.

10 years ago my path took me to the USA, I am employed by a US company, working remotely, have a US mortgage, kids with US student debt and I'm on the cusp of finally getting citizenship, which I intend to keep as long as it makes sense.

I am investigating the option of express entry to Canada because I have my doubts as to whether my currently adopted country's toxic political environment has the best interest of me and my family at heart.  Something that features prominently as concerns for all immigrants like you and me.

Both me and my wife are aged between 45 and 50, but have qualifications and experience that are in demand.

My current idea is that I will keep working for my US company (environment is difficult to replace), while my wife either starts contracting in Canada or work as an Canadian employee.

The latter might be difficult because we also intend to for at least the first few years spend half the time in Canada and half the time in the USA.

So here are my questions, feel free to comment adding more:

  1. Can I apply for PR with a US employer instead of finding a job in Canada?  (Express entry e.g.)
  2. Are there any people who straddle across Canada and the USA and its working?
  3. Are there any obvious flaws in this plan?

I fully intend on paying taxes in both countries and am not doing this to freeload on Canada.



Edited by Alwyn
Didn't complete the draft when submitted

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I was recently advised that for Canada, you pay taxes based on residency (lots of information online re what constitutes residency for tax purposes). The situation however with US Citizenship, apparently, is that if you have US Citizenship, you have to pay taxes on foreign income, period. There are others on this forum who are more knowledgeable than me on  this topic.

Being in a high demand job myself, I have also considered living and working in both countries. However, to keep your Canadian/Provincial Health Insurance (which seems to be the most prominent concern for Americans currently), you have to stay in Canada for x amount of days every year, which will make you inevitably a resident for tax purposes in Canada. 

There are some people who work physically in the US, but are employed by Canadian companies. This will make you a US resident for tax purposes (remote work for tax purposes in the US is based on where the company is based, not where you live- information about 2 years old).

Since it's tax season, I'm a bit more clued up, being a Canadian, working in the US right now. As I said, there are way more knowledgeable people on this forum. I believe @OutOfSa and @Jules may be able to better assist.


Imho 1) No 2) Yes, but they've taken away NAFTA. Not sure how that would work now. 3) Long term: Where will your kids settle? Are you and/or your wife prepared to be separated from them long term. Moving opens door for kids, but could also spread out families. In the US: What does your 401K look like? Have you paid into social security for 40 quarters? In Canada, you will have to pay into the CPP for ten years to receive benefits and also build up an RRSP, which may be challenging at your age. (No offence, I'm older than you)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Nettie,

Yes I have seen older posts on other forums stating that since I myself will be tax withholding in the USA, I would most likely file taxes in the US and then file in Canada claiming a foreign tax credit.

They also say that contributions to SSN and Medicare in the USA gets credited to CCP.  I'm not sure if that means it counts towards eligibility or not.  Personally I wouldn't mind contributing to both since I may have to depend on both during different circumstances.

You are correct, I will have to comply with the residency requirements and probably more than just half a year to make up the 3 years out of 5 should I apply for citizenship.  Something which I believe I would.

It seems that the sensible thing would be for my wife to be the one to apply for express entry and seek employment in Canada.  She however has far less experience in her qualification.  The reason why I am keen to keep my US job is that a) I work remotely, b) I earn a salary I won't earn in Canada in a similar low key environment  (lots of independence, very little meetings and crap).  Problem with the plan of my wife getting a job in Canada is that it interferes with the spend some time in the USA part unless she works remotely.

I am hoping that NAFTA will be restored once more common sense return to the US, but I'm not holding my breath.

Kids are a mix match, but the youngest is 20 so they're more or less independent.  One is having a baby in 2 weeks to an American father.  Will probably settle in the US, but she's sure to push to broaden his horizons. One wants to become a doctor and has finished her basic B.Sc. degree.  Taking a break now, but could potentially continue her studies in Canada.  The third is still 'finding direction'.  Although we are currently about 1000 miles south of the border, it will probably not be a problem and my kids have lived in several countries so my bigger fear is they will leave us stuck in the US at some point and move elsewhere.

At 47 years of age, 401k is currently hammered, been maxing it out most of the time, but before the virus I had about 20% of the 'magical' million.  My retirement plan is to hope that my current home will be paid off when I turn 59 (and not demolished by a hurricane or flooded) would make up for any shortfall in my 401k.  Under no illusions that I will have to scale down in retirement, but I also don't want the fruits of my labour wiped out in the blink of an eye.

Just recently made my 40 credits! Woohoo!

No offense taken, we do what we can with what we have.  I expect to keep on working well past retirement age as long as I'm of sound mind and them robots don't steal my job.

Edited by Alwyn

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