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How to Retire in Canada: Retiring to Canada from the USA

By Sierra September 15, 2020 (Updated July 8, 2022) 3 min. read
retired couple

There are many reasons why an individual would want to live in Canada especially coming from the United States as it’s just a cross-border move! More specifically, older applicants living in the US find they want to retire in Canada and think it’s rather easy. Unfortunately, there is no Canadian retirement visa and this is not an easy process but there are a few alternative paths available.

When thinking about making this move, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind! these factors include:

Retiring in Canada Part-Time

Moving to Canada solely to retire is not easy if you just want to kick back and relax. The Canadian government is particular when inviting people into the country who won’t contribute economically through working and who could potentially become reliant on its healthcare system.

Visitor Visa

Those interested in part-time retirement in Canada can apply for a visitor visa. A visitor visa, also known as a “TRV” is valid up to 6 months with the chance to extend!

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa

Another option for applicants looking to live in Canada part-time can apply for a parent and grandparent super visa. To qualify for this visa, you have to have a child or grandchild that is a Canadian citizen. The parent and grandparent visa allows you to make visits up to 10 years in 2-year increments.

Retiring in Canada Full-Time

Retiring full-time and making the permanent move to Canada is much more difficult as there is no set route BUT don’t worry, there are options.

Family Sponsorship

A non-work option for those with relatives already living in Canada is family sponsorship.


Canada is ALWAYS looking for investors to contribute to the country. There isn’t a specific program for investors anymore but there are paths for those able to make a qualifying investment. Learn more about options for investors in Canada.

Work Permit

Although it is not the most ideal situation, the easiest way to make this permanent move is to not fully retire and apply for a work permit. These work programs include:

Living in Canada as a Retiree

Cost of Living

Everyday expenses will usually be lower in Canada compared to the United States. This depends on the area you live in and the lifestyle you choose. The cost of living in Canada will be higher in major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. However, if you’re looking for a quiet retirement in a smaller town or cottage country, you can find something more affordable!


When moving/retiring in Canada, this doesn’t mean you’ll need to give up your US Citizenship status. You can receive Social Security benefits while living in another country, but you’ll also likely still be subject to US taxes if you earn supplemental income as well. As a citizen of the United States, you have to file your income tax return with the US annually, regardless of where you live in the world. The question remains whether or not you have to file a Canadian income tax return as well. This depends on whether you are living temporarily or permanently!


For those who only spend several months of the year in Canada and don’t become permanent residents, you may need to purchase international health insurance. Canada has a publicly-funded universal healthcare system which is a BIG reason many individuals seek out Canada. However, just because you’re inside Canada, doesn’t mean you automatically have free access to the healthcare system so it’s important to research your specific situation.

Best Places to Retire in Canada

  1. Kingston, Ontario
  2. Vancouver, British Columbia
  3. Ottawa, Ontario
  4. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  5. Toronto, Ontario

Interested in Immigrating to Canada?

Retiring in Canada is NOT easy so we highly recommend speaking with an immigration professional. If you find yourself interested, Contact VisaPlace today. All of 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.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1-on-1 consultation now or call us at 1-877-296-0874.

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.

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