Retiring Abroad: Can a Canadian Invest Their Way Into Spending More Time in the U.S.?
Milestone Wealth Management Ltd. - Sep 23, 2021
There are many great countries for Canadians to retire to or just spend more of their time even before retirement, but the most popular by far is still the United States. With a similar culture to Canada, beautiful locations like Florida, Arizona and
There are many great countries for Canadians to retire to or just spend more of their time even before retirement, but the most popular by far is still the United States. With a similar culture to Canada, beautiful locations like Florida, Arizona and California, and easy access from Canada, it is no wonder that Canadians continue to flock south of the border every year. It is true however, that there are many other countries that make it much easier to immigrate to, offering incentives to ex-pats who can prove that they own significant assets, have a steady retirement income and/or purchase a house in that new country. This begs the question: can a Canadian do something similar if moving to the U.S.?
We have written previous articles discussing the length of time a Canadian can spend in the United States without being deemed a resident for tax purposes: How Much Time Can a Canadian Spend in the U.S.? and Will Canadians be Able to Spend More Time in the U.S.? However, if Canadians wish to spend even more time and have more flexibility in terms of which country they spend the majority of their time, there are potentially ways to accomplish this.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program: This program, sometimes known as the ‘million-dollar green card’, allows a Canadian to move to the United States and obtain a green card providing that they invest in (and be active in) a new commercial business that creates at least 10 full time jobs. The investment must be at least US$900,000 if the business is within a "Targeted Employment Area" (TEA), defined as a locality with high unemployment or a rural region, or at least US$1,800,000 if outside of a TEA. Children under age 21 who are still dependent are also allowed to move along with the parent(s) and after five years, the immigrant(s) may be eligible to apply for citizenship.
E-2 Investor Visa: This program does not result in the person and their family receiving green cards but is similar to the EB-5 in that it allows a Canadian to spend time in the United States (above the usual maximum number of days), providing that they invest in and direct a business. In this case, there isn’t a significant minimum investment as above, however US$80,000 – US$100,000 is a generally accepted minimum. Also, the investor must own at least 75% of the business and be able to demonstrate that they are active in directing the business. This form of visa comes up for renewal every five years.
These strategies are complicated, and it is important that everything is done correctly. As such, it is vital to utilize an experienced and knowledgeable cross-border lawyer and accountant to make sure that your plans for a happy retirement achieve your goals and dreams.