U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced legislation Thursday that would allow some Canadian citizens to spend up to eight months a year vacationing in the U.S., two months longer than they are allowed to stay now.
According to the Canadian embassy, Canadians who visit Florida contribute more than $4 billion each year to the state’s economy.
If passed into law, the bill introduced this week by Florida’s senators 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 such visitors from working for American employers or seeking public assistance while in the U.S.
“It’s no secret that Canadians love to visit Florida in the winter,” Nelson said. “The millions of Canadian snowbirds who visit our state each year play an important role in our state’s tourism-driven economy. 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 it’s earned in.
According to VISIT Florida, approximately 3.2 million Canadians visited Florida in 2016 alone.
The legislation is endorsed by VISIT Florida and the Canadian Snowbird Association.
A copy of the bill is available here.