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Q: Phased Immigration to Quebec While Working in the US ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Phased Immigration to Quebec While Working in the US
Category: Family and Home
Asked by: leocaisse-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 25 Aug 2006 06:28 PDT
Expires: 03 Sep 2006 11:54 PDT
Question ID: 759415
My young family (we're 30, our kids are 4, 2 and 5 months) want to
immigrate to Quebec, Canada beginning in June 2007.  I say "beginning"
because I won't complete my company-sponsored MBA program until
December 2007 at the earliest.

The idea is that we sell our house in southern New England and rent in
Quebec where my wife and kids will stay full-time.  I'll commute to my
job in southern New England for three consecutive days and go to my
MBA classes those same nights.  The other two days, I'll either work
from my new home in Quebec or out of our company's Montreal office.

We already know the extra requirements to immigrate to Quebec and we
are well qualified (ex. young, well-educated, fully bilingual, visit
the province frequently ... we passed their online test easily), so
we're not concerned that we would be denied admission.

Although it would be nice, I don't expect my company to pay for the
fees related to immigration documentation.  However, I'm concerned
about the issues related to commuting from Canada for those 6 months
while I finish my MBA.  I won't have to worry about the 180 day tax
requirements since I will have satisified that by working the first
half of the year in the US full-time.  But will wife is a freelance
copyeditor / proofreader and hopes to continue this work from the new
home in Quebec.

I'm sure people do it from border towns (ex. Detroit / Windsor), but
I'm concerned about my family's health insurance while they live in
Quebec, my residency status (ex. driver's license, registration, etc.)
and things of that sort.

I understand the strain that this "commute" (will stay with family in
New England for those 3 days a week) will put on my family, but as my
wife has said, she doesn't see me much with my MBA classes anyway.

I'm looking for advice related to my questions above as well as some
general information about those who have experienced these types of
cross-border arrangements.

Following the completion of my MBA studies in December 2007, I plan to
work full-time out of company's Montreal office.  In the meantime, it
feels a little overwhelming.

Request for Question Clarification by keystroke-ga on 25 Aug 2006 07:10 PDT
Hi leocaisse,

As far as the health insuranc

Request for Question Clarification by keystroke-ga on 25 Aug 2006 07:12 PDT
As far as the health insurance question goes, do you want your family
to be covered by private insurance in America during this time or by
the Canadian health care system? Do you have private insurance with
your employer or do you pay for it yourself? And, does your company
continue to pay for that if you'd be working out of the Canadian
office, or do its Canadian employees rely on the public health care



Clarification of Question by leocaisse-ga on 25 Aug 2006 08:28 PDT
If my wife and kids will be spending the majority of their time in
Canada, I think it would make sense that they be covered by a
Canada-based health insurance.  In addition to the
provincially-sponsored health insurance, my employer's Canadian
subsidiary offers private medical insurance as well, including Dental,
prescription coverage, vision, etc.).  My company does not force its
employees to exclusively depend on public insurance.

For me, since I would be in the US so often, I could retain my
company-sponsored insurance in the US.  By the same token, I could use
the Canadian plan as well.

To help give you some perspective, I'm asking these questions in
anticipation of approaching my manager (will likely be supportive) and
my internal HR folks.  I'm looking for data to show them that in the
long run, working from Montreal should be no more (or even less)
expensive for the company that my current situation.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Phased Immigration to Quebec While Working in the US
From: hummer-ga on 25 Aug 2006 15:35 PDT
Hi leocaisse,

I'm not quite sure I understand your questions, but I can tell you
this with certainty. Only Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada
are covered under the Canadian health system.  In other words, neither
yourself nor your family will be covered until you officially
immigrate and receive your PR cards. It is then that you all will be
covered under the Canadian system (which is quite different from what
you may think of as "public insurance" - the Canadian health system is
one of the best in the world).
Living in Canada won't grant your family any special status in other
regards either and you will have to maintain a permanent address in
the U.S. in order to have a driver's license, etc. - remember, you all
will be considered just visitors in Canada (even if you bought a house
in Montreal)  until you immigrate.   It's always recommended that you
keep your home in the U.S.  until your PR has been approved.
Another thing to consider is that you all will be required to return
to the U.S. every six months, and at any time, the Canadian border
officials could refuse re-entry into Canada if they feel you are
abusing your visitor status.

Subject: Re: Phased Immigration to Quebec While Working in the US
From: hummer-ga on 26 Aug 2006 04:01 PDT
Hi leocaisse,

I think I may have been a bit misleading regarding health care. 
Everyone has access to the health care system in Canada but only
Citizens and Permanent Residents do not have to pay for it.  It is not
a two-tier system (private and public), everyone has access to the
same level of care.  There are a select number of procedures in Québec
which are available to paying customers (such as cataract surgery),
but on the whole, everyone is equal as far as health care goes.


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