Florida is an attractive state to many Canadians. There are several reasons why Florida continues to attract Canadians every year. Florida has great weather, minimum taxes, affordable real estate, etc. which is why there is an increase in Canadians moving to Florida every year.
Before moving from Canada to Florida, you should do your research and learn as much as you can about a variety of topics. There are a variety of concerns to consider in terms of immigration, finances, lifestyle, estate planning, and tax planning.
Visas for Canadians Moving to Florida
Although there are certain exceptions, most Canadians do not require visas to enter the United States. A Canadian can stay in the US for 6 months from the date of entry, BUT any exit and reentry reset the clock, so to say. During this time the Canadian can not work though. If a Canadian is looking to work while in Florida then they will need to obtain a visa.
There are several visas for Canadians looking to immigrate to Florida but they depend on if you’re looking to become a Permanent Resident or just a Temporary Resident.
Permanent Resident Visas
If you want the sunny Florida weather year-round then you will need to become a Permanent Resident of the US by obtaining a Green Card.
The two most common ways to get a Green Card would be through the following two methods:
Temporary Resident Visas
If you are looking to stay in Florida for longer than 6 months but not forever then you have two options. You can enter Canada then return to the US to restart the 6 month period or you can obtain a temporary resident visa that will allow you to stay in the US longer.
Depending on your specific case you would be picking from the following visas:
Moving to Florida from Canada Checklist
- Contact an Immigration Lawyer: You should always consult with an immigration lawyer when you’re crossing borders to ensure your trip doesn’t hit any bumps with the border security.
- Choose Your US Visa: If you’re planning on staying more than 6 months or intend to work while in the US you will need to get a US visa to legally do so. We can help you choose the BEST visa for you.
- Real Estate: Finding the right home for you can be difficult! Finding a good Florida real estate agent will help you along your journey of immigrating to Florida.
- International Moving Companies: People are moving from Canada to Florida at an unprecidented amount which means that there are more and more international moving companies appearing. Hire an international moving company to make your move as easy as possible.
- Drivers License: To apply for a driver’s license in most American states, you’ll need your Social Security Number. We recommend that you bring all of your identification, including your passport, international driver’s license, birth certificate, and proof of lawful visa status.
- Florida or US Bank Account: You will want to open a US bank account to store your USD. Most of your payments in the US will be paid in USD. When you are opening a US bank account you will be required your ID number and proof of your identity and address, like a a government-issued photo ID.
- Healthcare: The United States does not have a universal healthcare system like Canada. You will need to purchase your own private healthcare coverage. You must live in the United States and be a citizen or permanent resident to participate in a healthcare program.
- Insurance: Home and Auto insurance are required for those who live in the US. If you are renting a home then we would suggest getting renters insurance. Both insurances will cover you for any damages that are created on your property.
Cost of Living in Florida
Many people find Florida an attractive place to live not just because of the weather but the cost of living can be cheaper. Both Canada and Florida are vastly large and the prices can vary depending on which area you are moving from and to. For this example, we are going to compare Toronto and Orlando.
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Orlando is 9.06% lower than in Toronto.
Rent Prices in Orlando are 11.48% cheaper than Toronto.
Restaurant Prices are 2.80% lower in Orlando than in Toronto.
Groceries are 5% cheaper in Orlando than in Toronto.
Total Local Purchasing Power in Orlando is 25.12% higher than in Toronto.
Overall the cost of living in Orlando vs Toronto is night and day. You would need around 5,911.21C$ (4,650.64$) in Orlando, FL to maintain the same standard of life that you can have with 6,500.00C$ in Toronto (assuming you rent in both cities).
Reasons Why Canadians are Moving to Florida
Nearly 1,000 people are moving to Florida every day. Yes, every day. Read below some of the reasons why people are loving Florida!
Florida is named the Sunshine State for a reason. One of the Sunshine State’s major charms is its warm and pleasant year-round weather, and it’s easy to understand why. People who reside in southern Florida will be able to go the entire year without wearing even a sweater. And, because of the warm weather, Floridians spend more time outside in the sun, which has been shown to improve mental and physical health by supplying Vitamin D.
The diversity in Florida is incredible. There are so many rich cultures that flow through Florida that many people find inviting. Florida is home to one of the largest Latino communities which brings so much art, music, food, and history to the state.
No State Income Tax
Only nine states have no income tax, including Florida. In addition to income, Florida has no tax on inheritances, gifts, or intangible personal property such as stocks. To make things even easier, relocating to Florida simply requires filing a federal tax return when tax season arrives.
Migration to Florida has certainly increased during the pandemic. You may wonder why someone would move during the middle of the pandemic but many see this as a no-brainer. Florida had very minimal rules when it came to COVID restrictions. Places like Canada have many health restrictions in place during COVID that not everyone agrees with. Florida is very much a state that has much fewer restrictions than other states and countries.
Immigration Lawyer for Canadians Moving to Florida
We have helped thousands of families and individuals move from Canada to Florida and we can help you too!
All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.
Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?
Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.
The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.