Can Canadians Retire in the United States?


Retiring to the United States is a dream of many, but it is not as if you can just pack up and move to the United States because it’s time to retire. Even if you are a Canadian citizen, moving from Canada to the USA requires the proper channels in order to do so.

Whether you want to move to the United States temporarily or permanently, there are different methods of doing so and different restrictions on what you can do.

Ways of Retiring in the United States for Canadians

Canadians who want to retire in the United States have two options: they can move to the United States temporarily, or permanently. For those who wish to spend some time in the United States but not move there permanently, there is the option of spending six months per year at a maximum in the United States as a visitor. Many Canadians own property in the United States and will spend their winters in the United States.

The maximum amount of time you can visit the United States for is six months, which is the same amount of time that you can remain out of Canada per year without compromising your ties to Canada.

Moving to the United States Permanently

The other option for Canadians is that they move to the United States permanently, which means they must apply for permanent residency in the United States through regular immigration channels.

This means that you can apply for permanent residence through methods such as family or spousal sponsorship, having an employer sponsor you or by having dual citizenship.

The E-2 and E-B5 Option

Another option for Canadians is investing in a new or existing United States business. In doing so, applicants could obtain an E-2 visa or an E-B5 visa. For the E-B5 visa, a significant investment must be made but the visa leads to permanent residency for the investor.

The E-2 visa, on the other hand, only lasts for five years but it can also be renewed.

Are You a Canadian Interested in Retiring in the United States?

Whatever the case, before you begin planning your retirement in the United States please speak with a licensed immigration lawyer and other service professionals, such as tax attorneys, to help you determine your best move and explore your options. was founded over 15 years ago by Michael Niren, “To provide clients with affordable, effective and expeditious immigration solutions.” All of Niren & Associates’ cases are handled by independent, licensed and award winning Canadian and U.S. lawyers who adhere to the highest standards of client service. If you have immigration questions, we may have the answers you seek. Contact us to book a consultation.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

8 thoughts on “Can Canadians Retire in the United States?

  1. MM516

    26 years ago my Cdn military husband was transferred to a USA military base, where I suffered a permanent sciatic nerve injury during surgery at that base hospital. Because of the adverse effect of cold Cdn winters, we have spent winters in Florida, at our own home, for 21 years. With age, my condition is worse and we would like to spend more or permanent time in the USA. Is there a way we can get permission to do so?

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello. You are limited to a maximum of 6 months in the US during a year, unless you have a work visa or you are making an investment in a US business.
      Regards, Vahe

  2. Tony

    My family and I were transferred to the USA three years ago from Canada for my job and we are working on getting our green card for the family. We plan on retiring in Canada in about 15 years from now. From an income perspective, would we receive social security from the US and CPP/old age from Canada? What about if we have 401K…how would that be taxed?

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello Tony, You will need to find a Canadian – US tax specialist in order to answer your tax questions. We exclusively deal with immigration matters.
      Regards, Vahe

    1. Vahe Mirzoyan

      Hello. Acquiring permanent residency in the US is not easy. The most common solution is to go for 6 months at a time. I am going to suggest that you contact us to make an appointment to talk with one of our immigration professionals who will be able to plan the best strategy for you. You can book an appointment by calling us at 1-855-886-8472 or online at
      Regards, Vahe

  3. dave777

    We need an easier way to do this. While we are financially secure in retirement as we have saved, in our name/accounts/control in both tax deferred and cash, we can afford to move to the USA and lower taxes will more than offset added health care, lower cost of living as a bonus, there is no category for us. Investor visa is bad as I don’t invest more than 5% or 10% for low risk, which excludes us. Can show a $60k+ USD year income without a job for eternity, so no social risk. Even want to pay US taxes and enjoy nice weather in January. But I need to consider also if Costa Rica or Panama will take us in for the taxes of it. Tired of Canadian winters and high costs of living.

    1. Sarah Jane MacDonald

      Hello Dave,
      Thank you for your input on this topic. We would be happy to help you assess what options are best for you. I have submitted your contact information and question to my team and someone will contact you soon to go over some possibilities.

      Best Regards,
      Sarah Jane


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