Canadian Corner

canadians living in arizona, canadians moving to arizona, moving to arizona from canada
How Long Can a Canadian Citizen Visit or “Winter In” Arizona?

You will often hear that the magic number is 6 months…then you must marry a Citizen or go home. Most Canadian ‘snowbirds’ travel to America as temporary visitors (tourists). There are two tourist visas, visitors for business (B-1) and pleasure (B-2). These are usually easy to get. Canadians usually do not get any stamp or paper showing this status. Immigration inspectors allow visitors up to six months per trip. Under NAFTA, certain Canadians can get B-1s for a full year trip.

Discard this common misconception: “As a snowbird visitor, immigration rules force me to go back to Canada for six months before I can come back to America. I can only stay in the U.S. six months a year.” This is false. There is no immigration prohibition against leaving and returning right away. Of course, without a green card, Canadians cannot intend to reside permanently in America. If you keep turning around and coming right back without staying in Canada, immigration may assume that you have permanent intent. Nevertheless, there is no automatic obligation to wait six months in Canada. (Tax rules may differ).

Bottom line, though, is that it gets kinda warm here (OK, so maybe it can get SCORCHING HOT) from May – October, so I recommend you visit sometime between November and April.

Can Canadian Buyers obtain Financing on an Arizona Property?

Yes, most of the mortgages that you will get in the U.S. as a Canadian will carry a premium, because as a foreigner you will be perceived to be an increased risk. This is because you probably do not have a U.S. Social Security number nor any income or assets in the U.S. For instance, in the U.S. you need a credit score. You can get your Canadian credit rating but if you default on a U.S. loan, it will not affect your Canadian credit score. There is another alternative and that is to finance the home in Canada, on your Canadian credit, and pay cash for the U.S. property. Before you brush that off, think about the added risks you are undertaking if the Canadian dollar drops back to its historic levels. Obviously your payment would remain in U.S. dollars and cost you more Canadian dollars, and if you don’t have U.S. income this could be a problem. Keeping your loan and payment in Canadian dollars will reduce risk.

If the U.S. dollar drops and you are earning Canadian dollars, well then you would experience a wind fall. You should consult an accountant about this.

 Get the full download of information on buying a home in Arizona here!