Reading another post here, I had a thought. Back in the 1990s, I used to briefly travel into Canada across the Detroit/Windsor border. I always got the same questions on the other side. “Citizenship?” Me: “USA”. “Purpose for entering Canada?” Me: “Tourism.” “Move along.”
It occurred to me they never asked how long I planned on staying in Canada. Let’s say I had won the big Lotto jackpot and wanted to see what Canada was like. Canada is a huge country. With lots of cash, I could easily imagine spending years travelling around it. If I had done that, how would I have been dishonest with the border agent? I just did what I said I planned on doing. I never claimed I planned on returning quickly.
Admittedly, so long as I was law abiding I likely wouldn’t raise attention. A US national in Canada was common enough that I could travel and be ignored. However, what if I struck up a conversation with a Mountie and said how much I liked this land in the 2 years I had been here? Could that Mountie detain me as an illegal alien? I would have been just doing what I told the Canadian customs agent. Would I have violated Canadian law? Note that in this scenario I couldn’t be considered an illegal permanent resident. Staying in hotels for a few days and moving from hotel to hotel would in fact be evidence I was just a traveller.