Canadian Retiree Visa Update

Release date : Apr 19, 2013

Dear Snowbirds,

The Canadian Snowbird Association applauds the inclusion of the JOLT (Jobs Originated through Launching Travel) Act in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation filed April 17th in the United States Senate. The JOLT Act is a bipartisan bill which seeks to expand international travel to the United States in order to increase economic growth. One of the provisions found in the JOLT Act, known as the ‘Canadian Retiree Visa,’ would allow Canadian retirees, who meet certain requirements, to spend up to eight months in the U.S., two months longer than current policy allows.

The CSA has been working closely with New York Senator Charles Schumer’s office for the past 18 months regarding the two month extension for Canadian retirees.

Canada is the largest international tourism market for the United States. In 2011, Canadians made an estimated 21 million trips to the U.S. and spent approximately $24 billion.

To be eligible for the Canadian Retiree Visa, one would have to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Have Canadian citizenship;
  • Be 55 years of age or older;
  • Maintain a residence in Canada;
  • Own a residence in the U.S. or have a rental agreement for the duration of stay;
  • Will not engage in employment while in the United States; and
  • Will not seek assistance or benefit.

The Visa will also allow the retiree’s spouse to be admitted for the same duration. Further, time spent outside of the United States, during the eight month period, will not be counted against the Visa holder or their spouse. Real estate investment will not be required to obtain a Visa.

While the CSA remains optimistic, we would like to emphasize that the bill has only just been introduced. The bill must go through committees before it is brought to the floor for a vote. We will keep members updated on the status of the legislation as it progresses.

If you have questions or would like further detail related to the Canadian Retiree Visa, please email us at or call us toll-free at 1-800-265-3200.


Bob Slack
Canadian Snowbird Association
The Voice of Travelling Canadians