Fla. senators’ bill would extend Canadian visitor stays
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio introduced legislation that would allow retired Canadian citizens older than 50 to spend up to eight months a year vacationing in the U.S. – two months longer than they may stay now.
In announcing the bill, the senators cite figures form the Canadian embassy claiming that Canadians visiting Florida contribute more than $4 billion each year to the state's economy.
To change the law, Congress would need to pass the bill and the president must sign it. If that happens, the bill would allow Canadian citizens over the age of 50 who either own or rent a residence in the U.S. to remain in the country for up to 240 days each year. The bill expressly prohibits these visitors from working for American employers or seeking public assistance while in the U.S.
"The millions of Canadian snowbirds who visit our state each year play an important role in our state's tourism-driven economy," says Nelson. "Allowing them to stay even longer is a win for them and for the local economies they visit."
Current immigration laws allow Canadians to visit the United States for up to six months each year. Canadian citizens who stay in the U.S. for more than six months in a given year are considered U.S. residents for tax purposes that year and, under current law, are required to pay U.S. federal income taxes on any and all income they earn that year – regardless of what country they earned it in.
According to VISIT Florida, approximately 3.2 million Canadians visited Florida in 2016.
The legislation is endorsed by VISIT Florida and the Canadian Snowbird Association.