Friday, February 21, 2014

Relocating to the Keys from Canada.

The Florida Keys, a tropical island paradise where the only ice you’ll find is in the refrigerator. With its warm climate and relaxed, come as you are attitude that permeates the archipelago, it’s little wonder why so many Canadians choose to vacation here for a week to six months at a time.

An ideal getaway, the Florida Keys are rich in tropical breezes, and boast some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets on the planet. It’s a popular location for visitors from Canada because the outdoors are pleasant nearly every day of the year.

Just a few trips to the Keys gets many Canadians thinking about relocating permanently, living in Florida year round is certainly preferable to those long, cold northern winters.

To make moving to the Keys a reality, there are a few things, which need be done first. Here’s a look into the relocation process and living in the Florida Keys.

Passports, Green Cards, and Naturalization

Your Canadian passport allows you to stay in the United States for up to six months at a time, however, it’s not a permanent eligibility vehicle. To stay in the U.S. full time, you’ll need to get a green card, which can be done if you’ve got a job with a firm in the States or an immediate family member living in the U.S.

Some choose to become citizens, and that means going through a process called naturalization. Live in the Keys for five consecutive years after obtaining your green card, and you’ll officially be a U.S. citizen.


Collapsing your RRSP might be the smart thing to do after permanently relocating to the Florida Keys. This is where a lawyer will come in handy. Discuss the pros and cons of collapsing your RRSP. Generally, collapsing your RRSP after moving to the Sunshine State will have a significant tax advantage than doing so before you move.

Departure Tax

There is a possibility you’ll be subject to the Canadian departure tax, which an experienced lawyer can advise you about. Have a cross border financial plan worked up for you to determine if you’ll be subject to the departure tax and when it’s most advantageous to pay it.

Moving to the Keys

It’s going to require more than just a plane ticket, unless of course, you leave all your belongings behind in the Great White North. This is a good time to get in touch with a local real estate agent who's experienced in relocation moves.

In addition, you’ll need a professional moving company, so its best to get some recommendations, then check those companies out with the Better Business Bureau. Read the contract carefully, and don’t settle for vague estimates.

No comments: