What to know before your move from Canada to Texas

7 Things to know and do before moving from Canada to Texas

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As the second largest state in the USA, Texas is known for its country vibes, oil fields, and open blue skies. Texas is known as ‘The Live Music Capital of the World’. In fact, its Capital, Austin, has on average 100 live music performances every night! So, if you are a music lover or addicted to attending live musical performances Texas is the state that you have been looking for all your life! 

If you are looking to move from Canada to Texas, this article will provide you with an essential checklist of everything you need to know about moving to Texasfrom Canada!

Moving from Canada to Texas: Everything to know and do

What to know before your move from Canada to Texas

1. First steps before moving to Texas

Visa Requirements

One of the first steps to do before even moving to Texas should be processing your Visa. Through the US Department of State, you must apply for your visa via a 12 step process. This process includes submitting a petition, NVC processing, paying fees, affidavit of support, financial documents, online application, civil documents, scan documents, submit documents, interview preparation, application interview and after the interview. 

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 proof of identity as well. For that, if you are traveling by air, you need your valid passport or NEXUS card to enter the 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.

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.Find out more about the EB-5 Visa to Texas.

Finding a job

In August 2023, Texas’s unemployment rate was 4.1%, which is a little higher than the average unemployment rate of the United States at 3.8%. 

Texas has a high demand in many sectors including truck driver, retail sales associate, customer service representative, shift manager, registered nurse,delivery driver, cook, cashier, general manager, licensed vocational nurse, to name a few. 

When finding a job in Texas, you can use employment vacancies and internet job postings like Indeed and LinkedIn

Indeed (Oct 2023) & U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (August 2023)

Employment Sponsorship

The first thing you need to figure out is the reason why you’re moving to the U.S. This 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 and 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.

Getting there 

You may make an informed decision on how to move to Texas from Canada by looking into these options for transportation. 

Flying is the most convenient way to move to Texas. You can book your flight to get there, for example through its major airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

If you prefer an alternative mode of transportation, numerous cities in Texas offer bus services by companies like Greyhound or by train with Amtrak

International Moving Company

You can easily ship your things from Canada to Texas by road or by plane, but make sure the moving company you decide on is reliable.

So when opting for an international moving company, keep the following things in mind:

  • Conduct thorough research so you can compare the rates between the best international movers.
  • Make sure that the mover you have selected is licensed and permitted to get the job done.
  • They provide insurance for your goods, including accidental insurance and damage insurance.
  • Their claim of giving quality service is backed by customer reviews.

Must dos before your arrival 

You may find it exciting and challenging to move to Texas. You will be more prepared for your new life if you are aware of these things beforehand.

  • Be sure to acquire a valid passport or Nexus card beforehand. Primarily, contact the Canada Revenue Agency and clear your taxes and dues.
  • Find an international moving company. You can find a number of long distance moving companies that can move your belongings from Canada to Texas. 
  • If you have a car you would like to bring to Texas, make sure to do what is necessary for car shipping as well as auto insurance. 

Car Shipping to Texas

Unless they have significant emotional attachment to their vehicle, most Canadians choose to leave their cars behind when moving to Texas due to the import fees. If you are using a car shipping company, the car needs to be compliant with the standards of US departments of transportation and Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the process can take up to a month for the relevant authorities to process the import form. 

It is after that you can actually register your vehicle with the Department of the Motor Vehicles. Another option would be to drive the car from your location to Texas however, a drive from Montreal to Texas is 28 hours long!

2. Upon your arrival in Texas

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Have your valid documents ready to be displayed any time you need to. Registering with the Canadian Embassy and local council is also a good idea. Be sure to contact your employer and let them know you have arrived as they may be able to answer some of your questions.
  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.


Moving into the US, getting health coverage should be one of your first orders of business. To enroll in a 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 the 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 the USA to choose/facilitate from. This includes: Private medical insurance, Medicaid and 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.

Setting up your cell phone

If you are moving to Texas, or any part of the United States, it is best to transfer your phone number to an American cell phone provider to avoid high fees. The major cell phone providers in Texas are AT&T, T-Mobile, UScellula and Verizon Wireless, to name a few.

Keep in mind, you will not have the same Canadian phone number as the area code in texas is either 214, 512, 713 or 915.

Getting a driver’s license

In Texas, you have 30 days to notify the Texas DMV of your address change. To obtain your legal driving license along with other information on the subject, visit how to notify the Texas DMV of an address change.

You will require proof of identity, legal presence, Social Security Number, date of birth and two forms of proof of your residence in Texas. Please note, it might be required to pass a vision test and fees may apply for any of the driver license services. 

Setting up a bank account 

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.The most popular bank in Texas is Wells Fargo.

While the required documentation depends heavily on each bank, you generally need two things: An I.D. number, and proof of your identity and address—a government-issued photo ID will suffice. 

It is required to have auto insurance when driving in Texas. Some factors that define or affect your insurance plan include car’s model and make, age and gender of applicant, marital status of applicant, credit history and city and neighborhood. 

3. Best places to live in Texas

Best places to live in Texas

Moving to Texas means deciding where you want to live and considering your priorities. We’ve listed the best places to live in Texas!



El Paso

Best for families


Best for safety and fitness lovers


Best for job opportunities in insurance, finance and healthcare


Best for affordable housing


Best for nature and fitness lovers

Setting up home services 

For electricity and gas, Texas has various electricity providers like AEP Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Oncor, Sharyland Utilities and Texas New Mexico Power. The activation may be immediate if the property was previously occupied, but if it wasn’t you may need a technician which can take up to 5 days. To set up electricity, call the company directly or visit the website links provided. Find a list of Electricity Providers in Texas. To set up gas in Texas you can register on the Texas Gas Service Website

As for water and sewage, these services are run by each individual city or area. The Public Utility Commision (PUC) is generally responsible for the water and sewer regulation. For questions about the provider and your new area, it is best to contact PUC customer service at 512-936-7405 .

For Internet, Texas has high-quality internet at reasonable prices. You may need satellite internet if you live further away from the big cities like Dallas and Houston. To save money on the internet and your cell phone plan, it’s a great idea to bundle your internet service with your cell phone provider. Here’s our pick of the 5 Best Internet Providers in Texas

Don’t touch your cell phone while you drive; Texas has strict no cell phone while driving laws in place that can get you fined up to $USD 500 plus in Austin.

Should you rent or buy?

As of October 2023, the median cost of buying a property in San Antonio, Texas is $263,040; as of October 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in San Antonio is $1,252.57.

Trusted websites such as Redfin, Apartments.com and Zumper are often used to find available apartment listings and property or engage with real estate agents for assistance.

Zillow (Oct 2023) & Numbeo (Oct 2023)

4. Cost of living in Texas

To show the cost of living in Texas, we are using San Antonio as an example. 


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($56.55 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Texas

According to the Government of Texas, during the summer, it is most likely to see clear skies and warm temperatures. The rain season in Texas is in the spring during the months between March, April and May. Be prepared for intense, rain periods that last 1-2 days.

During the winter, Texas averages temperatures of -6°C in the northern and southern points however in the southern tip like Rio Grande Valley, it is usually in the 15°C and 21°C. 

6. What to do as a local in Texas

Residents of Texas take pleasure in spending their weekends either watching or playing football. In professional football, Texas has two popular teams known as the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. 

Texans are very culturally intune with their music. Texas has had a huge influence on country-music over a few decades. You will typically find bars full on the weekend where people like to catch up with a beer. One of the most popular Texan bars is known as Billy Bob’s. On top of this, Austin is known to have the best nightlife in Texas!

If you truly would like to become a local, take time to be with nature and get to know the culture. Texans take pride in who they are and their culture!

7. Fun facts about Texas

  • Fun Fact #1: Texas is the second-largest state in the United States. 
  • Fun Fact #2: The state motto in Texas is “Friendship”. 
  • Fun Fact #3: If you are a Beyoncé fan, the popstar was born in Houston, Texas!


Moving from Canada to Texas is an exciting time that promises a unique experience! It offers an appealing lifestyle, making it attractive to individuals, young professionals, and families alike. Texas has several family-friendly neighborhoods and communities to offer to its new residents.

Are you planning to move soon? Check the best San Antonio movers to assist you.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Ann Nacario

The author

Meet Ann – our head writer with a knack for making moving and city living a breeze. From the many details of moving to picking the perfect moving company, she’s your guide. Ann has a friendly yet detailed approach to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. When she’s not writing about relocation, it will always be on her mind, but you’ll catch her spending time with her three furry friends.

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