Legislation would give Canadian retirees more time to visit in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Representative Bill Owens is co-sponsoring H.R. 3768, the Promoting Tourism to Enhance Our Economy Act. If passed, the legislation would increase the number of days retired Canadians could spend in the United States each year.

"Canadian tourists and part-time residents are vital parts of New York's economy," Owens said. "Extending the number of days Canadians can spend in the U.S. could mean more Canadian visits in the summer, more spending in local economies, and, most importantly, more local jobs."

The legislation would extend the amount of time retired Canadians older than 55 years could stay in the country, from 182 days within a 12 month period to 240 days.

A recent article in USA Today explained Canadians who live near the U.S.-Canadian border often exhaust their current allotment of 182 days during winter stays in southern U.S. states. That means they cannot cross the border again for short trips to New York and other northern states in the summer months.

Extending the amount of time Canadians can stay to 240 days allows retirees to spend a full winter in the South and then make short trips across the border in the summer, where they spend money on things like hotel rooms, golf, goods in local shops and visits to tourist destinations.

New York is a top destination for Canadians visiting the United States. In 2012, Canadians made more than 4.2 million visits to New York and spent more than $1.5 billion.