American visitors reaching 6 month limit - exit and re-enter at border?

Michael L

New Member
Hello, I'm a Canadian but my two young children are Americans and they will soon be reaching the 6 month limit for visitors in Canada. I assume I should be able to drive them to the US border and do a quick exit and re-entry to give them another 6 months, right? I just don't know with covid restrictions if there will be complications or things I need to know, like would they need a negative covid test proof? (Since I'm born in Canada, I also applied for a proof of citizenship when they first arrived, but somehow the documents got lost in the mail, and I'm quite certain we won't get the proof before the six months are up.)

Thanks for any help!
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
Because you are born in Canada your children are also Canadian. They don't have visitor status. If they were given visitor status when they entered that was in error (likely because there was no proof of their citizenship at the time). They do not have to leave Canada. But you should find out what happened to those certificates and do get them at some point so you can prove their status in Canada next time you have to. Once you get the certificates you can get passports (in normal times, anyway...).

I'll answer the other part of your question for anyone else interested in the answer: the Canadian border is currently closed so "flag poling" (driving to the States to re-enter Canada) is likely not possible right now. It depends upon whether or not the US let's you in. (Of course if Canada doesn't let you leave, the US can't let you in.) If you were somehow able to leave by car, you would be allowed to re-enter Canada because you are a citizen. But, as I said, that assumes you were allowed to leave in the first place. (None of this applies to air travel: you can fly out of the country whenever.)
 

Michael L

New Member
Oh I see, I just checked their passports and I don't see any stamps indicating their entrance into Canada. That's because they don't have visitor status, right? Thanks for your time Riley, very helpful!
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, they cannot have visitor status as citizens. If they had been assigned visitor status at entry, it would have been a mistake. The lack of a visitor stamps is a good sign.

Again, you do want to get those certificates as soon as possible, as you'll need them whenever you need to prove their status in the future.
 

Michael L

New Member
Do you think my kids will need the certificates to apply for visas to other countries (in particular China)?
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
They'll need passports. Unfortunately citizenship certificates are not "travel documents" and can only be used as proof of citizenship within Canada. So they need their certificates to get their passports and once they have their passports they can use them to apply for visas. (Of course they can use their American passports too.)
 

Michael L

New Member
Yeah, my kids both have American passports, and I'm happy to just use that to apply for their visas. So I guess I won't need to worry about proof of Canadian citizenship in that respect.
 

Riley Haas

Administrator
Staff member
You just need certificates if, for any reason, they will need to prove their status in Canada. (School, etc.)
 
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