Canadians who own or lease a home may get to stay in the U.S. longer if a new federal bill becomes law. Under the “Canadian Snowbird Visa Act,” Canadians who meet certain criteria would be allowed to extend their stay an extra two months.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the bipartisan measure would be good for business because Canadians who visit the Sunshine State add about $4.5 billion annually to Florida’s economy.
"If our chilly neighbors to the north want to spend more time on our warm Florida beaches, we should welcome them with open arms." Deutch said in an interview for South Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper.
More international visitors come to Florida from Canada than from any other nation, according to the state’s tourism organization, Visit Florida.
Current law limits the amount of time a Canadian visitor may spend in the U.S. to 182 days a year, or roughly six months.
The bill permits Canadians over the age of 50 who own or rent a U.S. residence to extend their U.S. stay by two additional months each year. They would be prohibited from working for a U.S. employer or collecting public assistance, and they would still be subject to the vetting process required by law.
Canadians purchased a record $19 billion in U.S. residential real estate in 2016, second only to the Chinese, according to the National Association of Realtors. Nearly half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California and Texas.
According to CBC.ca, experts say the shopping spree is being led by two groups: retirees who don't want to wait for the exchange rate to improve and investors looking to cash out of the hot Canadian real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver.
Many Canadians are also selling their homes in Florida to take advantage of the gains they’ve made in recent years. Housing prices have been on the rise across the state, including Orlando.
Central Florida is the second home for many Canadians who escape the cold and snow in winter for the sunny skies and warm temperatures of the Sunshine State. The area near Walt Disney World is especially popular because Canadians can rent their homes on a short-term basis to holiday travelers when they're not using the property.
If you are a Canadian looking to buy or sell a home in Orlando, let the experts at Team Donovan help. We have over 50 years of collective experience in the Orlando resort area, working exclusively with buyers and sellers of second homes, investment properties and residences. Call us for a free consultation today at 407-705-2616.