You did it! You made it to retirement! After all the years of hard work, dedication, and saving, the time has finally come. Deciding where to spend your time during your retirement is not a decision to be taken lightly. Canada can be seen as a new adventure for many Americans during their retirement. Here are some ways retired Americans can spend their days in the true north.
Temporary Residents (Visitors)
U.S. citizens are able to cross in and out of Canada with only a passport. Americans can stay in Canada for 6 months at a time once they enter, unless CBSA (Canadian border officers) advise otherwise. While inside Canada, Americans can purchase or lease property, open accounts for household bills, have private insurance accepted by Canadian doctors and do certain types of volunteer work in the community. Some provinces, such as Ontario, even allow visitors to Canada to obtain a provincial photo ID card to use as photo ID accepted in Canada. Some banks also offer options for Americans.
In the past few years, Canada has seen a trend of “reverse snowbirds,” or Americans who spend half of their time in Canada and the other half back home in the US.
As visitors, Americans are not allowed to work, and are only allowed to take an educational course less than 6 months long which would finish by the time they were supposed to leave Canada as directed by CBSA.
If you are an American visiting Canada and you want to stay longer than the usual 6 months, then you do not need to return to the US and then re-enter Canada. Instead, you can apply to extend your status as a visitor from within Canada. As long as you submit your application before your status expires, then you continue to have legal status known as implied status.
Get Sponsored For Permanent Residence
Canada’s immigration system is geared toward younger individuals making a new life in Canada, and then contributing their tax dollars for the majority of their lives. If an American retiree has a child or grandchild that has used many of the other immigration streams widely available to them to make a permanent home in Canada, the child or grandchild is able to sponsor their parent or grandparent for permanent residence in Canada.
The requirements for the child or grandchild are simple. They must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Live in Canada
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Be able to prove they meet the minimum financial and other requirements to be a sponsor
First, sponsors have to prove that they meet the above requirements. Then, the individuals being sponsored, have to prove that they are the relatives of the sponsor and are admissible to Canada (do not have medical problems which would constitute excessive burden on the healthcare system, and do not have criminal convictions). The applications take approximately two years to process once they are submitted. Just remember, the sponsor will be financially responsible for their parent or grandparent for the next 20 years if they sponsor them to Canada.
The parental and grandparental sponsorship lottery is now closed for 2020. However, it will reopen in 2021 with a cap of 30,000 applications, up from 10,000 in 2020.
Come out of retirement!
Coming out of retirement is just as big of a decision as going into retirement, but if the retiree makes the choice to go back into the work force, then the economic immigration streams are now open to them.
Start-up Visa for Business Owners
There are Canadian investors from designated organizations who want to invest their money in startups in Canada with foreign ownership. These investors must meet a minimum investment requirement to invest in the foreign business. Once the Canadian investor has found a foreign business they would like to invest in, they must have a commitment certificate and a letter of support for the foreign business. Once the Canadian investor does their portion of the application process, the foreign business owner can apply to become a permanent resident. The foreign business owner must send their application before the commitment certificate expires and include it in their application along with the letter of support. The great news is, once the permanent residence application is in process, the foreign business owner can apply for a temporary work permit in Canada.
Self-employed individuals who work in athletic or cultural activities who will contribute to the enrichment of Canada’s culture or athletic scene can apply to become a permanent resident in Canada. While the definition of the program might sound vague and simple, there are strict requirements to prove the self-employed person’s true ability to provide entertainment for Canadians.
The applicant must be truly self-employed and have their abilities be recognized by the world, such as a professional athlete, actor, social media influencer, dancer, artist, or writer. The applicant must have a minimum of 2 years of experience in their field but will also be assessed on experience over the minimum two years, as well as their education, age, English or French language abilities, and their ability to adapt to life in Canada. The applicant will also have to pass medical examinations and police checks.
Canada welcomes Americans with open arms. Contact us to see which is the best way for you to retire in Canada.