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As Canadians do we lose the ability to stay in the US for 182 days?

Hi, I am Canadian looking into the Belize QRP program for my husband and me.

We presently are living 6.5 months in Montreal and 5.5 months in Miami.

If we go ahead with the QRP, we will keep our Canadian passport but live in Canada just 5,5 months.

As Belize residents with a Canadian passport, Does anyone know if we lose our right to stay in the US for 182 days instead of the 123 days that other countries are allowed?

We do not want to stay in Belize more than the required 30 days for the QRP so we would need to be able to stay in the US for 5,5 months still.

Thanks for letting me know if you have information on this.

NatC04 :

Hi, I am Canadian looking into the Belize QRP program for my husband and me.

We presently are living 6.5 months in Montreal and 5.5 months in Miami.

If we go ahead with the QRP, we will keep our Canadian passport but live in Canada just 5,5 months.

As Belize residents with a Canadian passport, Does anyone know if we lose our right to stay in the US for 182 days instead of the 123 days that other countries are allowed?

We do not want to stay in Belize more than the required 30 days for the QRP so we would need to be able to stay in the US for 5,5 months still.

Thanks for letting me know if you have information on this.

Welcome to the Belize Forum NatC04. I have read this question several times to be sure I am reading it correctly, so here goes based on that interpretation.

It is important to realize that QRP is a residency program for retirees and does not give you citizenship in Belize. You would retain your Canadian citizenship and passport. Without knowing your complete situation it is hard for me to understand why you would apply for QRP if only staying in Belize for 30 days per year. It would make sense in a normal situation to come as a Canadian visitor, you will recieve a 30day visitor visa when you land for free. QRP offers some perks to retirees who plan to stay with respect to the import of personal goods. So unless you are planning on moving your possessions in for only 30 days, I am not sure what the benefit would be. Also to qualify for QRP you must prove lifetime retirement income of US$2000.00/month and deposit it into a Belize bank account, that would make for an expensive what amounts to 30 day vacation.

With respect to being able to stay in the US for 123 vs. 183 days, I honestly don't know. Maybe some of our US members can answer that one. I would suspect that if you took a 30 day vacation to Belize from Canada that requirement should not change. In fact, I believe it is requirement in some circumstances if you own US property. This is a question best asked of the US embassy after explaining your unique situation completely.

As a Canadian I would be more concerned about the effect that only being in Canada for 5.5 months might have. Again without knowing much more about your individual situation and particulars that would not be my business, I can only speculate based on my experience. For example, once we were out of Ontario for six months (Again, you are in Quebec and it may vary) our OHIP medical expired, and I am not sure how long you must be back before it would be reinstated. Also, we became deemed "non-residents" of Canada by the CRA and a 25% holding tax was applied to our Canadian Incomes including pensions (We do get a refund of what is not owed after taxes). This may not apply if you maintain what the Gov't refers to as "Substantial Ties" to Canada. Again something that is determined on an individual bases and should be discussed with the Canadian embassy or a tax lawyer.

In short (I know, too late for that), the best advice I could give you is that the answers to these particular questions have important ramifications, and are best asked of the inividual government agencies in both Canada and the US to get proper information based on law, rather than Expat Experience or speculation.

Some things to consider.

Good luck with your research, I hope this helps.

Yes, we do not want to keep the health benefit of Québec since I tried to use it before and was waiting for 3 years until I decided to get treated in the US, where my doctor is still. I think I would be better off with insurance! Not a lost in our case! I do have an endocrinologist but there are no general MD practitioners available anyways. I've been on a waiting list for 4 years. A lot of people in Montreal pays for their health care and have private doctors.

Yes, I did call and write emails to the Canadian and US consulate. I was told I wouldn't lose my passport. I'm waiting on the US answers for the number of days.

We do own a house both in Montreal and Miami but we are semi-retired and we'd like to be residents of Belize so we are not tied down anywhere. Hense the reason why we do not want to stay for more than 6 months in Montreal anymore.

Yes, I know my dividends will be taxed 25% in Canada but all my other online income will not. I have always been self-employed so I'll probably won't get a pension.

You do raise a question though. The minimum to put into a bank account can be used for living right? It doesn't have to stay and cumulate year after year?

We'd love to stay longer in Belize but I have to take care of my 80 years old mom who lives in Montreal and Miami at the same time as us, Plus we need faster internet than what is available over there. When those 2 things change then, of course, we will stay longer. (We have 150 Megabits in Miami. ;-)

Plus thinking of owning in Belize. It's very advantageous from what I heard. Something like 2% income tax and 9% hotel tax to charge and give back to the government. No capital gain tax! Am I Right? Wow! That's pretty hard to beat! I only wish I knew about it earlier!

I love the fact that it is an English country! We're coming to visit for the first time at New Year and see if we like it. ;-) I also hear that there is a big Canadian expat community over there. It seems like the ideal place. We'll see.

Thanks for your answers!

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