Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) and Ted Deutch (D-FL-22) introduced the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act – bipartisan legislation to extend by two months the time Canadians who own or lease a home in the United States can travel in the United States.
“In the North Country, we know how important Canadian visitors are to our small business owners and to our tourism economy,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “In my district, we share the St. Lawrence River with our Canadian friends who frequently cross the border in the summer months to boat, hike, kayak, or visit one of our many historical sites. Providing them with an extra two months to engage in these activities will support many small businesses, grow jobs, and foster an ever closer relationship with our neighbors to the north. I urge my colleagues to support this important, bipartisan legislation.”
"If our chilly neighbors to the north want to spend more time on our warm Florida beaches, we should welcome them with open arms," said Congressman Deutch. "Canadians contribute over $4 billion to Florida’s economy every year, helping to create jobs and support businesses in our communities. This bipartisan legislation will boost our economy and create new jobs by inviting more Canadian visitors to visit the Sunshine State for even longer stays."
"This bill will provide Canadian retirees with greater flexibility in their ability to travel to the United States annually,” said Karen Huestis, President, Canadian Snowbird Association. “We commend Reps. Stefanik and Deutch for spearheading this initiative.
"Current U.S. law limits the amount of time a Canadian visitor may spend in the U.S. to 182 days per year. The Canadian Snowbird Visa act would permit Canadians over the age of 50 who own or rent a U.S. residence to stay in the United States for an additional two months each year. These Canadian visitors would be prohibited from working for a U.S. employer and from being eligible for various forms of public assistance. Moreover, they would remain fully subject to the vetting process imposed by current law.
Canada provides more visitors to the United States than any other country. Many of these visitors own or rent homes in the United States, and spend their winters along our beaches or in our national parks. Canadian visitors provide a substantial economic boost to communities throughout our country, spending almost $20 billion in the United States in 2016, and purchasing on average $13.1 billion of U.S. residential real estate each year. In New York, nearly 4 million Canadians visit the Empire State a year, spending $1.5 billion. In Florida, 3.6 million Canadians visit the Sunshine state, spending $4.5 billion annually.
This legislation would benefit communities throughout the United States, given that Canadian visitors take full advantage of the diversity of experiences our country offers.
Click here for bill text.