How Do I Move to Canada from the US?

Canada was very proud to be named in January 2016, as the second best country in the world according to a survey of 60 countries prepared by US News and World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and BAV Consulting. The US was rated number four in this same survey.

Using 25 different metrics the conclusion was that Canada was a socially progressive, diverse country with an excellent education, system, strong financial institutions, a high tech industrial society and a high standard of living. It was also recognized for its commitment to preserving the environment and is a country rich in natural beauty and cultural achievements.

These are reasons that many people want to find out how to immigrate to Canada. Recently Canada has seen a major increase in the number of inquiries from people living in the US about how to move to Canada. Unfortunately some people may be under the mistaken impression that they can just pick up and move to Canada without going through any official channels. As is it is with the United States and all other countries around the world, you must apply to immigrate to Canada.

The process time from initial application to approval and the granting of permanent resident status takes a minimum of six months. It is not necessary to use an immigration lawyer unless you need assistance understanding the paperwork required. We would caution you not to fall prey to some internet scams from individuals who call themselves “immigration consultants”. Many of these individuals charge large fees and claim they can short circuit the legal process. They cannot so do not waste your money. Instead work with Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration to work through the process. More information and application forms can be found here.   

How Can I Qualify

Family Sponsorship

Family members who are already Canadian citizens or Canadian Permanent residents can sponsor their spouse, parents or children. They cannot sponsor brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles.

Intra Company Transfer

If you are working for a company who has Canadian operations you may want to explore the whether or not there are any intra company transfer opportunities. Your employer will be required to provide proper documentation to get approval for this kind of transfer. However depending on your unique skills they may be able to assist you in this regard.

Express Entry Pool

In order to move to Canada it will be necessary for you to obtain a valid work visa and an offer of employment. There are a number of occupations that qualify and have jobs available that need to be filled. You should start with completing and “Express Entry Profile” to determine if you fit into one of the categories that would make you eligible for this program. There are three pool entry criteria:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

Temporary Moves to Canada

If you want to move to Canada on a temporary basis you could consider two other categories:

  • Temporary Foreign Workers Program
  • Foreign Student Program

Special Note:

You should be aware that if you move to Canada on a temporary basis you are not considered a permanent resident and as such are not eligible for the country’s universal health care. You will have to purchase your own health insurance.

A Couple of Customs Facts

  1. When you move to Canada you can bring your personal household possessions into the country, duty free. Canada Customs requires that even though the moving company clears customs at the border, they still require you to personally clear your shipment. Generally this is done at a Canada Customs facility near your final destination.
  2. When you are moving a car to Canada as part of your personal possessions you must first legally export the vehicle from the United States via US Border Services. Once the proper paperwork is obtained from the US authorities then you may import, license and insure the car in Canada. In some cases, certain modifications must be done to the vehicle to make it meet Canadian safety standards.

Who Should I Contact About Moving to Canada

Obviously you must start with the immigration side of things before you can start planning to move your household goods. When the time is right it is recommended that you should consider making your moving arrangements through a Canadian moving company like Premiere Van Lines that is an agent for a large North American company (Atlas Van Lines). Premiere can work with their local agent in your US city to handle the local service side. However as a Canadian company, Premiere is more familiar with Canada Customs regulations and paperwork. Having them handle your move will ensure that everything is in order so that your goods are imported without any problems.

For more information contact Premiere Van Lines at 1-877-671-6683.

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First, I would like to thank you and your team for the great work done over all the moving process.  Your guys did amazing work, we got all the information we need about our moving, we knew that you cared about us.  The loading day, everything went smoothly, the team was professional and took great care of our stuff!!  Thanks for all!!

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