So, you want to move from the United States to Canada? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an amazing adventure. But before you start packing your bags, there are a few things you need to do to ensure a smooth transition.
From getting a passport to figuring out your finances, read about 10 things you need to do before moving from the US to Canada.
10 Things To Do Before Moving From the US to Canada
1. Do Your Research
Before you make a move from the United States to Canada, it is important to do your research. There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing your research.
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- Make sure that you are aware of the cost of living in Canada: To do this, you should look at various cost of living indices, such as the Mercer Cost of Living Survey. You should also be aware of the exchange rate between the US and Canadian dollar.
- Research the visas and permits you will need to live and work in Canada. The process for applying for these can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
- Research the job market in Canada. You can do this by looking at job postings online and talking to people who are already working in Canada.
- Research the housing market in Canada. This includes looking at both rental prices and home prices. You can find information on both topics on websites such as MLS listings and Rentseeker.
- Research the climate in Canada. You can find information on climate conditions across different regions of Canada on websites such as The Weather Network.
2. Get a Passport
There’s much to do when you’re preparing to move to a new country. But one of the most important things is ensuring you have all the proper documentation. One of the first things you’ll need to do is get a passport.
You’ll need to apply for one if you don’t already have a passport. You can do this through the State Department’s website. The process is pretty straightforward, but it can take a few weeks to get your passport, so be sure to plan ahead.
Once you have your passport, you’ll also need to get a visa. This allows you to stay in Canada for a specific period of time. And is required for anyone who wants to live and work in Canada.
The process for getting a visa can vary depending on your country of origin and your reason for moving to Canada. So be sure to research it ahead of time.
3. Contact the Canadian Embassy
Another thing you need to do when you’re considering a move from the US to Canada is to contact the Canadian embassy.
They can provide you with information on what you need to do to immigrate and help you with any questions you have about moving to Canada.
Be sure to have all your documents in order before you contact the embassy. They will likely ask for them when you set up an appointment.
Once you have everything in order, give them a call or send an email, and they’ll be happy to help get you started on your journey to moving to Canada!
4. Make a Budget
Making a budget is one of the most important things to do before you move from the US to Canada. When making a budget, there are many things to consider, such as the cost of living in your new city, housing, and transportation.
When making a budget, be sure to include all of your fixed and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are those that stay the same every month, like your rent or mortgage payment. Variable expenses are those that can fluctuate, like your utility bills or grocery costs.
Once you know all your expenses, you can start looking for ways to save money. For example, you may want to consider getting a roommate to help split the cost of housing. You may also want to consider public transportation options to save on transportation costs.
By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can ensure that you have enough money to cover your expenses when moving from the US to Canada.
5. Learn the basics of French or another Canadian language
This is particularly important if you live in Quebec, where French is the only official language, and English is not spoken widely.
If you live elsewhere in Canada, having some knowledge of French will still be helpful — not only because it makes communicating with locals easier but also because it could help your career prospects.
6. Find a Place to Live
If you’re moving with your family or in a group, it’s best to find an apartment or house that all of you can rent or buy together. This will help keep costs down and make it easier for everyone to adjust.
You can find places through sites like Craigslist or Kijiji, but be sure that the landlord is willing to rent to Americans because some landlords won’t accept rental applications from non-Canadians.
You can also try searching on Google Maps for “rentals” in your area. This often pulls up listings that aren’t available through other sources because they’re privately owned by people who are renting out their properties directly instead of using a property management company.
7. Apply for health insurance
Canada has both public and private health insurance plans that cover essential medical expenses such as doctor visits and prescription drugs.
You’ll need to apply for one of these plans within three months of arriving in Canada unless you have proof that you already had coverage through a Canadian employer or government program before coming here.
If you don’t have proof that you had coverage before arriving, then apply within three months of arriving in Canada or face a fine between $200 and $500 per month until coverage is obtained.
8. Get your driver’s license transferred
If you have a valid driver’s license issued by any U.S. state or territory, it can be transferred over when entering Canada as long as the holder is 18 years old or older and has been driving for at least 12 months without being convicted of any criminal offense.
9. Find a moving company
Shop around for movers, and be sure to ask about all costs upfront. The last thing you want is to be hit with hidden fees or charges once your belongings arrive in Canada.
Make sure your insurance covers international moves. If it doesn’t, get some temporary coverage through a government agency until you can find an insurance company to cover your move overseas.
Get rid of any perishables first (food, plants). Then pack up everything else — clothing, books, electronics — into boxes or storage containers so that you can ship them later on if necessary.
10. Get a job
If you’re moving to Canada temporarily and planning on returning to the United States after a period of time, it may not be necessary for you to get a permanent job right away.
However, if you plan on making Canada your permanent home, you must find employment immediately to start paying taxes and contributing financially to your new community.
Moving from one country to another takes adequate planning to avoid problems or hiccups in your journey. You can use the tips in this article to plan for your move from the US to Canada.