On June 17th, 2021, Florida senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott reintroduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, federal legislation that if passed, would allow Canadian snowbirds to stay in the U.S. up to 8 months each calendar year – an increase of 2 months over the current 6 months Canadians are generally allowed to spend in the U.S. The senators had previously introduced this bill in 2019.
You can find the press release from Senator Rubio here, as well as Snowbird Advisor’s previous coverage about the Canadian Snowbirds Act when it was originally introduced in 2019 here.
Would help Florida’s struggling tourism industry
One of the reasons the bill was reintroduced is because Florida’s tourism industry has been badly hurt by the pandemic.
Of course, the bill would benefit other southern states frequented by Canadian snowbirds as well such as California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Hawaii.
Similar bills have all failed in the past
Similar bills have actually been introduced several times since 2011. However, each time these bills have failed to be passed into law due to an election, change in government or for other reasons.
If passed, the current bill would allow Canadian citizens 50+ years of age who own or rent a residence in the U.S. to remain in the U.S. for up to 240 days each year, without falling under U.S. tax laws. There is also a stipulation that they must not work while being in the U.S.
Would allow more flexibility
The 8-month period would allow snowbirds more flexibility in visiting the U.S. during the summer months for vacation purposes - such as visiting their property or taking shorter trips - without jeopardizing their winter allowance.
The change in rules would also benefit many RV owners who could stay longer in the U.S. until RV parks open in Canada in the spring.
Provincial health insurance coverage rules still an issue
If the bill passes this time, snowbirds could still face issues with provincial health insurance coverage, as most provinces only allow you to be absent from your home province for up to 6 or 7 months each year before you lose your provincial coverage – with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, who allow you to be out of the country for up to 8 months.
At this time, it is unclear if the provinces would amend their government health insurance coverage to accommodate snowbirds if the newly introduced U.S. bill is passed into law.
Snowbird Advisor is watching this situation closely and will keep our members advised.