7 Things to Know Before Moving from Canada to U.S

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7 Things to Know Before Moving from Canada to U.S

Over the years, we have seen a change in trend for the reasons Canadians migrate to the U.S. In the 1900s, migrant from Eastern Canada came to the United States to work in the swelling manufacturing sector. Today, emigrants usually move from Canada to the U.S. to follow career opportunities, as well as to start their businesses or a family or simply in search of a different lifestyle.

Several thousand Canadians move from Canada to the land of the free and home of the brave each year. According to statistics, as of 2016, 783,000 Canadians live in the U.S—2% of the roughly 42 million immigrants in the country.

If only it was as easy as packing your bags and moving. There are loads of things you need to keep in mind before embarking on this life-changing journey—starting with acquiring the appropriate immigration approval. MovingWaldo is here to make your move a lot easier! Below is everything you should know before moving from Canada to the United States.

1. What Are the First Steps Upon Planning a Move from Canada to the U.S.?

Employment Sponsorship

The first thing you need to figure out is the reason why you’re moving to the U.S. This is will determine the immigration you will have to follow. If you’re moving for the purpose of working in the USA, you’ll have three main categories to choose from. In most cases, your employer will sponsor you for a visa which would allow you to live and work in the country. Acquiring the appropriate immigration employment authorization means you need to be approved for one of the three following items:

  • Employment Authorization Card/ Work Permit
  • Employment Visa
  • Permanent Resident Card/ Green Card

Depending on which conditions you meet, and how long you will work in the US, you will be issued either of these documents.

Business and Investment

If you’re moving to the US to start a business or invest in the country, you will need to acquire a Business Visa or an Investor Green Card. There are many different types of business and investor Visas—temporary and permanent.

  • Business Visa: This is the most common immigration document for someone who wishes to start their own business in the US or invest in one. E-2 and EB-5 are the most popular programs for Canadian entrepreneurs.
  • Investor Green Card: While not all of these will turn into resident green cards, the one that provides you with the best chance is the EB-5 Investor Visa.

Family Sponsorship

Canadians can acquire a permanent resident green card through marriage or being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.  The steps you need to take to apply for a Green Card will be situation-specific.

Each of the immigration options highlighted above has different application requirements. Also, if you are moving, you would also need to provide a poof of identity as well. For that, if you are travelling by air, you need your valid passport or NEXUS card to enter USA. But if a person or family is entering USA via road or sea, they required to present Canadian passport along with at least one of the following documents:

  • NEXUS Card.
  • Enhanced Driving/Identification card.
  • FAST Card.
  • SENTRI enrollment cards.

To apply for a visa, visit the given link to find out more.


2. What should I look for in a cross border moving Company?

If you’re planning for a big move such as moving from Canada to the U.S., you need to make sure you get your hands on a reliable moving company. Here are a few things you should investigate when choosing between international moving companies.

Are Your Movers an Established, Experienced Moving Company?

Naturally, you would want only the best movers to help you out—keep in mind that they didn’t become the best overnight. It takes years of fine-tuning, training their staff and even through trial-and-error. You will benefit from leveraging years of experience in the industry. By going after established movers, you’re ensuring that they have all knowledge on all the rules and regulations that need to be adhered to while moving across countries.  They are likely to have the license and paperwork to allow them to be of service to you. Moreover, these international movers will also have networks across North America to help make your move a lot more streamlined and safer.

Is Damage Insurance included with the Moving Services?

It’s crucial that your movers offer damage insurance. Most of the time, those companies which are licensed offer damage insurance as well. Make sure you get a full rundown of their insurance policy when you request your quote. Moving between countries is a lengthy process and it’s likely your stuff will make many stops before reaching its destination—there’s a chance it may get slightly damaged in the process.

A few international moving companies are specialized in cross border moves. Some of the movers you should consider are Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, U-Pack and Atlas Van Lines just to name a few.

3. Should I Drive or Ship My Car from Canada to the U.S?

If you own a car, you’ll be faced with one of three decisions: get rid of your car before moving, drive your way across the border or ship your car. If you have an updated model that you have been looking to give up the decision is straightforward. However, if you don’t want to see your car, you have a tough decision to make.

While driving into the U.S. on your own may give you the peace of mind that your car is safe with you and not at the mercy of a stranger, you may run into a few bumps in the road. If you don’t manage your fuel wisely, you may end up incurring a higher cost than if you simply ship your vehicle. Additionally, there’s a chance that you may break down on the side of the road with no assistance. In our opinion, it is a much easier option to just find a trustworthy car shipping company, and have your car shipped. You can enjoy a comfortable plane ride knowing your car is in good hands.

Best places to live in the U.S.

4. Your Checklist Upon Arrival in the U.S

Having moved from Canada to the U.S. there are a few things you’ll have to take care of before becoming acclimated to the country—getting a driver’s license, taking applying for a financial service as well as investigating the health care system. 

Driver’s License

In most American states, you need your Social Security Number in order to apply for a driver’s license. We suggest you bring all your identification with you including your passport, foreign driver’s license, a birth certificate as well as proof of your legal immigration status. To obtain your legal driving license along with other information on the subject, visit this link.

Financial Services and bank account in the U.S

Immigrant financial access is important as you move to a new country. As an immigrant, you may rely on these financial services to send remittances cash checks and pay your bills.  The first thing you must do is open a bank account with both a USD account as well as a CAD account. While the required documentation depends heavily on each bank, you generally need two things:

  • An I.D. number,
  • Proof of your identity and address—a government-issued photo ID will suffice.

Healthcare in the U.S

Moving into the US, getting health coverage should be one of your first orders of business. To enroll in coverage program, you must live in the United States and you must be a citizen/ national (or be lawfully present). Furthermore, you cannot be incarcerated.

In USA, healthcare services are provided through private companies. The government has little to no part to play in this unless an exceptional case (disability, unemployment, living close to or below poverty level) is at hand. The citizens are themselves responsible to look after their wellbeing.

There are several healthcare programs that are available for residents of USA to choose/facilitate from. This includes:

  • Private medical insurance.
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare

As a Canadian immigrant, we urge you to get insured as soon as possible. As a new immigrant, you can consider New Immigrants Health Insurance. These will include companies such as Sirius International, Seven Corners, and Lloyd’s Of London.  Additionally, you can opt for a Short Term Health Insurance plan that will provide temporary coverage while you travel to and settle down in the US.

Utilities and Internet Providers

Moving to the US, you should know the different utility providers and figure out which one you should subscribe to. Some of the well-renowned ones include Duke Energy, Exelon Corporation, Domino Resources, and Southern Company.

Next, you must figure out which internet and cellphone providers would best fit your needs. Some of the providers include:

  • Xfinity— it is available in 21 states across the US and has internet speeds ranging from 15 Mbps to 2Gbps at prices as low as $39.99 per month.
  • AT&T Internet—this is the oldest and most trusted telecom company in the U.S. it offers 100,300 and 1000 Mbps packages all starting from $49.99. you can also bundle your plan with DirecTV to save more money.
  • Verizon Fios—this was the first provider of the fiber internet to households. It keeps things simple by providing three internet-only plans. Costing $39, $59, and $79 per month, the plans include 200, 400, and 940Mbps respectively.

Home and Auto Insurance

Moving to USA would also require you to consider Home and Auto/Car insurance.  When we talk of auto/car insurance, it is a plant to cover the cost of damage that your vehicle or you may have been subjected to in case of an accident. Although the full cost won’t be paid, a significant portion will be covered. Some factors that define or effect your insurance plan include:

  • Car’s model and make.
  • Age and gender of applicant.
  • Marital status of applicant.
  • Credit history.
  • City and neighborhood.

Although auto insurance is compulsory in most of the states, the enforcement of insurance requirements varies differently. Different types of auto insurance include:

  • Liability coverage.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage.
  • Collision coverage.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Comprehensive coverage.

Home insurance on the other hand is not as compulsory as auto insurance but is still considered as mandatory as health insurance. It is one way of protection against damage or loss. If you have mortgage on the property, the chances are that you already have insurance. It protects your personal property and home against damage or loss. It also protects the homeowner in case someone gets hurts while on their property.

5. Finding an Apartment and Working Out the Living Costs

If you’re about to move to the US, it’s a good idea to figure out what it’ll cost to live there. Life in the US is pretty pricey. The most expensive cities are San Francisco, New York, and Boston. However, there are places where you can live comfortably such as Oklahoma City or Cincinnati. Living as a single person in the pricey cities can cost you anywhere between $1,100–$1,114 per month (excluding rent). If you’re a family of four, it can cost anywhere between $4,045–$4,118.

The amount of your rent can be a big driving factor in what your living cost is. People usually opt for apartments since they are relatively affordable—a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you between $3000–$3,300. If you were to get an apartment outside of the city, it would be relatively cheaper— $1,800–$2,500.

As for finding these apartments, you’ll benefit from finding listings online on websites such as Rent.com or apartments.com.

6. Where should I get food, alcohol, and different amenities in the U.S?

Since this will be a completely new set up for you, at MovingWaldo, we have compiled a list of places you can shop for groceries, alcohol, and other amenities. The US is home to numerous grocery store chains that have franchises in nearly all states—you will have access to these stores round the clock.

  • Kroger
  • Whole Foods
  • Wegmans
  • Save Mart

 Apart from grocery stores, you also have major hypermarket and warehouse chains such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot. These stores are great for buying necessities such as toiletries and home- essentials. Along with essential necessities, you can also buy alcoholic beverages like beer at your average grocery store. The regulations surrounding purchase of alcoholic beverage vary as per state, but mostly you can buy a variety of alcoholic beverage at general store and liquor stores in comparison to Canada where it is regulated officially by the government.

7. What Can I Expect Moving from Canada to the U.S.?

Moving to a new country is scary and stressful! However, it will be worth it because America is one of those counties where dreams become a reality. You have so many opportunities to look forward to and you’ll meet loads of friendly people who are willing to help you out when you get stuck. Getting organized and preparing in advance will make your move to the United-State a much more pleasant adventure.

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