Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Canadian Snowbird Visa Act, bipartisan legislation to extend the amount of time Canadians who own or lease a home in the United States can visit by two months.
“Our neighbors to the north provide more visits to the United States than any other country, and they are critically important to North Country tourism and industry,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “As we continue to urge the Biden Administration to reciprocate on Canada’s recent actions and reopen the northern border altogether, providing Canadians who own homes and property in the United States with extra time to visit and boost our economy will help revive Canadian tourism to the United States after an unprecedented closure of the northern border.”
“As we continue to work towards eventual reopening of the border to Canadian visitors, we continue to want to encourage them to enjoy their travels here as much as possible,” says Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber of Commerce. “We thank Congresswoman Stefanik and Congressman Welch for renewing this effort. While snowbirds are often thought of as going to Florida, a great many come to the North Country and Vermont for extended stays as well, in second homes and boats for example, and the longer they can stay, the more they will contribute economically. It’s important that while we focus on border reopening, we also continue to pursue other opportunities for the longer term.”
Current 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 will 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 prohibits these individuals from working for U.S. employer or seeking public assistance while in the U.S., and clarifies that they will retain their nonresident tax status.
Canadian visitors provide a substantial economic boost to communities throughout our country, spending over $20 billion in the U.S. in 2019. In New York, nearly 4 million Canadians visit the Empire State a year, spending $1.5 billion.
This bill is also cosponsored by Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Bill Foster (D-IL), Michael Waltz (R-LF), Theodore Deutch (D-FL), Tom Rice (R-SC), Ken Buck (R-CO), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Earl Carter (R-GA), and Brian Mast (R-FL).
Read more about the bill here.