What is the Maximum Admission Period for Canadian Snowbirds to Enjoy Their Home Ownership in Hawaii?

2012 is another busy winter for Hawaii realtors who deal with Canadian buyers, who still show strong interest in purchasing condominiums or single-family homes on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.

For those Canadian retirees who are seeking to winter in warmer climates, such as Hawaii in the U.S., they will receive a maximum admission period of 6 months each year. Many of them appeared before U.S. Congress to prevent U.S. legislation that threatened to reduce the amount of time Canadians could travel to the U.S. from 182 days to just 30 days.

Hawaii as a favored destination for sun-seeking Canadians

Hawaii is a favored destination for sun-seeking Canadians

I was recently talking to Canadian clients who are Canadian snowbirds and who have been wintering at their Waikoloa Colony Villas townhome these past few years and they told me that they were careful not to stay longer than the allowed 182 days per year. If they were to exceed this limit, they would be required to pay taxes in both countries.

Waikoloa Colony Villas

Waikoloa Colony Villas within the exclusive Waikoloa Resort area

According to Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade website: “A maximum admission period of 6 months is expected to be the norm for Canadian retirees seeking to winter in warmer climates. Those of which who desire to stay longer may apply for an extension with the nearest office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration service once they are in the United States, but before their authorized stay expires. They may be asked to demonstrate that they are only remaining temporarily in the U.S.”

When Canadians purchase a property in Hawaii, the tax law might be complex, especially if the property is used as a rental when the homeowner is away. Before purchasing a home or condo on the Big Island, the Canadians should become familiar with tax laws that will affect their ownership both in Canada and in the United States.

Either for a Hawaii week stay, 30 days, or 182 days, Canadians must also consider to plan for medical care and currency exchange rates. Though there are additional considerations, many Canadian snowbirds enjoy wintering in the Aloha State. The Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) is a not-for-profit organization that offers a wealth of information to educate and support Canadian travelers and/or homeowners abroad.

Through organizations like the Canadian Snowbird Association, information found online, and the help of Hawaii Life fellow Realtor bloggers, I am committed to help Canadian buyers learn how to accomplish their dreams of calling Hawaii their second home, ready eh?

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5 Responses to “What is the Maximum Admission Period for Canadian Snowbirds to Enjoy Their Home Ownership in Hawaii?”

  1. Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)
    March 5, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Catherine, thank you for this well-researched post. I will be sending it to the many Canadians who ask just these questions as they begin their search!

  2. Pam Deery
    March 6, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Catherine; As the Canadian dollar is on par with the U.S., and of course has been for the past few years, we are indeed seeing more Canadians than every before making the islands their “home away from home”. Great reporting and information. Mahalo!

  3. Pat Strausse, RB
    March 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    This is some good information to know – thanks for bringing this to our attention.
    Do you happen to know if this time limit is just for Canadians or for anyone that is a
    foreign visitor?

  4. Carol Andrews
    March 9, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you for this article. I have been getting a lot of Canadian clients and this is always the first topic of our conversation. It is important to be clear on what they may and may not do.
    I also like to be sure the Canadian clients have knowledge on FIRPTA . Also, good to be aware if they are signing escrow documents for a purchase they need to make an appointment with their embassy unless they can sign in the US.

  5. Brooke Derby, R(S)
    May 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Catherine! This is helping me help my Canadian buyers at this very moment! This will help them be well prepared buyers! Mahalo!

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