In recent times, the number of people moving from Canada to the US has increased tremendously. As both the countries are neighbors, and Canada is located to the north of the US, there is a significant migration happening between these two countries.
However, sometimes there is a shift in the number of people moving to the US from Canada. At times, there is an interlude, while there is an invasion of Canadian citizens into the US most of the time.
There are diverse reasons why people are moving from Canada to the US. Several years ago, there was huge immigration of Canadians into the US.
The reason was the booming manufacturing industry in the US, and people mainly from the eastern Canadian region were migrating to work in the US. Since then, there has been a massive inflow of Canadians into the US.
Today, a number of Canadian students are moving from Canada to the US to pursue their higher education at institutions located in the US.
Canadian citizens represent the fifth-largest foreign student group in the US higher education institutions. Another reason people are moving from Canada to the US is the ample amount of career opportunities in the US.
Many skilled professionals and highly qualified Canadians relocate to the US for work purposes. Moreover, developments like the implementation of the NAFTA Professional Visa (TN Visa) allow Canadian citizens working in a number of professional occupations a clear pathway to move to the US.
Such developments have further increased the number of people moving from Canada to the US. While most Canadians move to the US either for work, higher education, or even to start a new venture, others relocate to be close to their family members or experience a new lifestyle.
According to a few estimates, thousands of Canadians move from Canada to the US every year. As the reasons for moving from Canada to the United States of America are varied, so are the citizenship and visa options.
But we have got you covered as we are here with a complete guide to help Canadian citizens move to the USA.
1. Moving from Canada to the US:
Once you have your reason to immigrate to the USA, you can accordingly take the steps and follow the entire immigration process properly with the help of an immigration officer.
To permanently relocate to the USA, one needs to obtain a permanent residence green card officially known as Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) or an “immigrant visa.
The green card will help you obtain a clear pathway to becoming a US citizen. It can be renewed unlimited times and permits available employment opportunities.
However, everyone may not be eligible for obtaining a green card. Moreover, applying for a green card may prove to be expensive and very time-consuming, which is why people often opt for nonimmigrant visas.
These visas can be temporarily used for various purposes like work or higher education. Irrespective of the temporary tag, the nonimmigrant visas are renewable and can be used for several visits to the USA.
Thus, many Canadian students planning to immigrate to the USA for higher studies go for the option of temporary visas such as F-1 or J-1 student visas. Moreover, as applying for and obtaining green cards is time-consuming, nonimmigrant visas prove to be convenient.
The next step is to check which green card you are eligible for. There are various types of green cards, and you need to apply for the one you are eligible for accordingly.
2. Types of green cards:
2.1. Family sponsorship based green cards:
The people living in Canada can acquire a green card to become a permanent US citizen either through marriage or being an immediate relative of a US citizen. So if you are a spouse, a parent, sibling, or an immediate relative, you can apply for a green card to become a US citizen.
However, for every relation, there are different applications requirements. So one needs to figure out which category they belong to and then proceed with the appropriate immigration process.
Additionally, one will require identity proof while entering the USA. If you are traveling via airways, you will need a valid passport or a Nexus card as identity proof to enter the country.
On the other hand, if you are traveling via roadways or seaways, you will need a Canadian passport and a Nexus Card, an Enhanced Driving or Identification card, FAST Card, or SENTRI enrollment cards.
2.2. Employment-based green cards:
With a bundle of career opportunities available in the USA, most Canadian immigrate using employment-based green cards. These green cards are provided in five different categories based on what expertise or benefits one can bring to the US.
These five categories are EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4, and EB-5. The first four categories mainly focus on the skills and expertise you can bring to the country.
In most cases, your US employer will sponsor your application for the work visa again based on your exceptional skills and professional training.
Overall, depending on the period you will be working for in the USA, you will be provided with either of the following documents- Employment Authorization Card/ Work Visa (Permit), Employment Visa, Permanent Resident Card/ Green Card.
The fifth category of EB-5 is issued to the investors spending between $500,000 – $1 million to create job opportunities in American communities. However, the eligibility for the same varies as per your home country.
2.3. Education-based green cards for moving from Canada to the US:
Many Canadians move to the USA for higher education purposes. A student visa is given to the students immigrating for education as a study permit.
The Canadian students choose to study from a number of US institutions.
2.4. Humanitarian green cards:
The humanitarian green cards are also provided to people belonging to communities, including victims of abuse, human trafficking, crime, and so on. These green cards are also issued to asylees and refugees as per their refugee status.
However, in such cases, the application of green cards is not easy. Thus, if you belong to any of the communities mentioned above, make sure to obtain an appropriate immigration approval.
3. Forms to ensure appropriate immigration
ETA-750: This is an application form that is supposed to be filled out and submitted to the Department of Labor through your employer.I-140: Your employer will fill out this form and submit it to the INS.
I-485: This form must be filled out and any other documents for you and your family, and it is submitted to the INS. In the meantime, you should also submit the AP (Advanced Patrol), Travel Document, or the Employment Authorization Document.
When all forms are completed and approved, you will get the stamping in your passport and receive your plastic Green Card.
Please note that the green card has a validity of 10 years, so after every 10 years, it will expire, and you will have to renew it. To avoid this, you can go for a permanent solution, that is, you can apply for US citizenship after 10 years so that you do not need to keep reapplying for the green card.
ETA-750: This application is filled out and submitted through your employer to the Department of Labor.
4. If Documents Are Not Done Properly
Please keep in mind that if you fail to fill out your documents properly, your application process will be put on hold, and the entire process will get further delayed. Also, while filling out the forms, you will lose your chances of becoming a US citizen if you provide any fraud information.
You need to do all necessary research and get immigration help from a professional when applying for US citizenship. It can be a very confusing and complex problem. It is good to contact an immigration attorney to walk you through the process.
5. Cross Border Moving Company Essentials:
Immigrating to another country is a big move, be it for work, higher education, or any other purpose. It is very important to consider all the safety aspects while relocating to the USA from Canada.
Therefore, you must get your hands on a reliable cross-border moving company. You can look out for the following things when selecting among international moving companies.
Make sure to check out the years of experience the company has in this working line. A well-recognized company will have years of experience as a lot of effort goes into training the staff and trial and errors periods.
Go for an established company as they will possess the expertise and the knowledge of the rules and regulations that one needs to abide by while moving to another country. Moreover, such companies also hold a license to provide services in this particular industry and usually have a lot of good international networks.
Check whether the company you are opting for provides you with damage insurance. Moving across countries is indeed a very long process. Thus there is a possibility of your things getting slightly damaged.
There are presently a few international moving companies that have the expertise in moving across borders and providing professional services. Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, U Pack, and Atlas Van Lines are a few.
Once you are a green card holder and have moved to the United States of America, make sure that you check out for the following things:
5.1 Driver’s License:
Once you have moved to the USA, you may require a driving license to drive around in your city. To apply for a driving license in the United States of America, you will probably require a Social Security Number.
Therefore, you must carry all your identification documents such as your birth certificate, passport, driver’s license of your home country, and, most importantly, your immigration status.
5.2 Banking and Finances:
It is very important to properly manage your finances after you have immigrated to the United States. You will need financial access to pay your bills, pay taxes, and receive cash. Therefore, one must first open a bank account with access to a USD account and a CAD account.
Further, all the documents and identity proofs that are required vary with each bank. Although, an ID number, identity and address proof, and a Canadian government-issued photo ID are the common requirements at every bank.
5.3 Health insurance in the US:
As quoted in “Health is Wealth,” it is essential to get health coverage, mainly when you have immigrated to a new country.
Thus, while moving to the USA, one of your major tasks must include getting your health insurance. The primary requirement to gain access to the various healthcare services is to live in the US and be a citizen or be present lawfully.
Unlike a few other countries, health insurance in the USA is issued via private companies. Unless it is a matter of unemployment, disability, or living under the poverty line, there is no government involvement.
Canadian immigrants can also consider the New Immigrants Health Insurance program while they complete the process of being a permanent resident.
Furthermore, one can facilitate themselves by choosing from a wide range of health coverage programs available for US citizens. Some of them include Private medical insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and many more.
The companies that provide such programs are Sirius International, Seven Corners, and Lloyd’s Of London.
6. Accommodation after moving from Canada to the US:
While you are planning to relocate to the USA, accommodation is something that you will indeed have to look out for. Generally, life in the United States is quite expensive, especially if you live in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Boston.
If you are looking for accommodation in expensive cities, the cost for a single person would be around $1,100–$1,114 per month. However, cities like Oklahoma City or Cincinnati are comparatively low cost. If you are a student immigrating to the USA for educational purposes, you can check out your accommodation in the university dorms.
If you have your family members along then, it may cost around $4,045–$4,118 for four members. However, most people prefer apartments as they are more affordable.
A 1-bedroom apartment in an expensive city area will cost around $3000–$3,300, while if you take an apartment within the no so costly regions, it will cost around $1,800–$2,500.
Thus, most of your expenses will mainly depend on the accommodation options that you opt for.
7. Best Cities in the US to live in:
What do you think makes an ideal hometown? Quality of living, safety, expenses, housing, residents? Well, the US has got plenty of places that can be your ideal hometown.
So, let’s check up on a few places:
7.1. Austin, Texas
Austin has been ranked as the no.1 place to live in the US for three consecutive years. So, how can one miss this one out?
The cost of living can be a bit expensive in Austin. However, it provides you with great working opportunities.
7.2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
One of the most beautiful places in the US has to be Colorado Springs. The city’s quality of life is exceptionally good. Moreover, the weather all year round is quite appreciable.
And there are a lot of things to explore in this area.
7.3. Portland, Oregon
Portland is a highly desirable place in the US. The city is known for its lively vibes, food, drinks, art, and culture. Moreover, the city offers a plethora of job opportunities.
Denver is one of the best places for outdoor enthusiasts. This place is known for outdoor activities like skiing, biking, and snowboarding.
8. Food and Shopping in the US:
As a Canadian Immigrant, you may not be with the localities and the setup of the roads in the United States. But to your advantage, the United States of America is home to various grocery stores.
In addition, you will find their franchises in almost every state in the US. Here is a list of places to buy your groceries and beverages while in the US.
While buying any alcohol, make sure that you have the legal right to consume the same in the country.
- Whole Foods
- Save Mart
Besides, you will also have access to huge hypermarkets such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Target. These are where you can purchase your necessities like cutlery, toiletries, and other home essentials. You can also buy several other items from the local grocery stores and hypermarkets.
Immigrating to another country is a lengthy and stressful process. It involves a lot of legal work, filling out several forms, etc. However, when it comes to moving to the United States, which is considered a country where dreams become a reality, your immigration process will be worth it.
There will be an ample amount of opportunities waiting for you in the US. Just make sure to plan and organize your moving process well in advance to have stress-free immigration.
We have tried to cover everything you need to know about moving from Canada to the US. Still, you can check out this article to know more about the immigration process.