relocating to the upper keys from canada and the uk

Relocating to the Upper Keys from the UK & Canada:Bookmark and Share

Relocating to Paradise can offer you and your family a life of unparalled freedom, with
endless summers and the future of your dreams.

Relocating to the Florida Keys from the United Kingdom is a dream of many. Enjoying the wonderfully warm climate and escaping those ever disappointing English summers that lead to long, cold winters is a beautiful thing.

Lower taxes, and more outdoor activities in the tropical island paradise certain sounds great, and is, for many expats living in the area. Going from British subject to U.S. citizen, however, doesn’t come overnight. There are some things you’ll have to do before and after you come across the pond.

What’s great is there’ll be new opportunities, and a plethora of things to see and do. Many Brits holiday in the Florida Keys and find it all too irresistible. Calling the Keys home will take more than a plane trip over the Atlantic, here’s what you need to know.

Becoming a Permanent Resident of the Florida Keys

Most expats start with their passport, then move on to obtain a green card. This requires a valid employment opportunity or an immediate family member already residing in the USA. You’ll be able to go through the naturalization process after living in the Keys for five years.

Banking Arrangements and Credit

Moving to the US means having to take your finances with you. This can be somewhat a difficult task, but with a little patience, it can be done. You’ll have no credit history after you move to the Florida Keys, so you’ll have to start building your credit file.

You’ll also need to get a Social Security number, which can be obtained through the Social Security Administration. Apply for a retail store credit card, or an unsecured credit card to get the process going so you can build your credit history. This will be beneficial in a few years, allowing you to get better rates.


The best bet you’ll have is to leave your household goods behind. These items are less expensive across the pond, and, it just adds to the stress and cost of relocating to the USA. For irreplaceables, hire a reputable removal organization.


Of course, once you get to the Keys, you’ll need to get around, and that will require you to purchase a car. You’ll need to haggle with car salesman, and get your Florida driver’s license, along with auto insurance. To get your Florida driver’s license, you’ll need to take an exam, and insurance can be found at a reasonable rate if you shop around.

Getting a Mortgage

Buying a home in the Florida Keys is best left in the hands of an experienced real estate agent who’s familiar with helping expats relocate from the UK to the USA.

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.

Getting a Mortgage

The nice thing about relocating from Canada to the Florida Keys is saving money year after year. Florida is a no income tax state and property taxes are relatively lower than in Canada. What’s more, federal income taxes are lower in the United States, which means saving even more.

Last but certainly not least is utility costs and the cost of living at large is less expensive in the Keys.





Jan Keller

Click for Islamorada, Florida Forecast

Jan Keller
Islamorada Office
Fax- 305-664-4111
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