Floridians may complain a lot about how bad they think visiting Snowbird Canadians drive, but these 3.4 million northern road warriors contribute some $6.5 million to the Sunshine State’s economy, Eh.
But unfortunately for visiting Canadians or Canucks, many of whom own property in Florida, immigration law only allows them to stay in the country for 6 months.
Now Florida’s Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, who did not allow their bias for Canadian bacon cloud their judgment to do so, have introduced the Canadian Snowbirds Act, a bill that “allows some Canadian citizens” to stay in the U.S. for two more months.
“Tourism is a crucial part of Florida’s booming economy, creating and supporting thousands of jobs all across the Sunshine State,” Rubio said. “This bill will be a huge boost to our state’s economy by allowing the millions of Canadian snowbirds who visit Florida each year to stay two months longer.”
“We worked incredibly hard to turn Florida’s economy around, and our tourism industry played a big role,” Scott said. “Last year, Florida welcomed a record 126 million visitors, including 3.5 million visitors from Canada. When we welcome visitors to our state, our communities thrive, businesses grow, and job opportunities are created for Florida families. I’m proud to join Senator Rubio in sponsoring the Canadian Snowbirds Act to allow our Northern neighbors to enjoy two more months of Florida’s incredible weather and allow our tourism industry to continue to thrive.”
If passed into law, 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 such visitors from working for American employers or seeking public assistance while in the U.S.
Under current laws, Canadians are permitted to remain in the United States for up to six months each year. Canadian citizens who stay in the United States for more than six months in a given year are considered U.S. residents for tax purposes, 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.