February 6, 2014
First introduced in 2011, the “Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act” (“JOLT”), allowing Canadians to stay longer in the US was passed by the senate in the summer of 2013. The bill was later defeated by the House of Representatives. It is speculated that this legislation will pass in the future, with significant tax implications to Canadian snowbirds.
JOLT allows for Canadian retirees to spend 240 days (up from the current limit of 180 days) in the US without applying for a visa if they meet certain criteria. In order to qualify for this extended time frame, Canadians must be 55 or older and must be willing to spend at least $500,000 on real estate in the US.
Although Canadians may avoid the need to apply for a visa, if the legislation is passed, there are significant implications to consider before staying more than 183 days in the US.