How To Move To The USA From Canada: All You Need To Know
Wondering if it’s easy to move to the US from Canada and how to do it? As you will see later, that depends on a lot of things. The US, no doubt, has one of the topmost positive immigration policies in the world. Her diversity tells the story and power of immigration.
Visiting there as a Canadian is a breeze because no visa or authorization is required from you, besides your valid Canadian passport. However, if you plan to gain permanent residency, work, invest, or study in the US, that’s a different ball game altogether, with many requirements to be met and factors to be considered.
But don’t be discouraged just yet. As long as you do what’s required of you and stay on the right side of the law, you will find the process smooth.
Despite the clamor you may have heard from the media, newspapers, and other news outlets, America loves immigrants, especially those who will contribute and continue to build her economy. With a bit of patience and correct information, you can surely realize your desire to immigrate from Canada to the US.
Keep reading to learn more on how to move to the USA from Canada
What Do I Require To Move To The US?
As expected, you’ll require proper documentation in order to facilitate your immigration from Canada to USA. If you are a US citizen but have been living abroad, you will have to present a valid passport or a Nexus Card (if you are utilizing a Nexus Kiosk when traveling from a designated Canadian airport). That includes children as well.
However, there are special circumstances where you may be required to provide different documentation, like when traveling on official maritime or military business. If you are not a citizen of the US, you will either need a visa or green card to be allowed to enter the country.
How Do I Obtain A US Visa?
There are different types of visas and in order to know which one is right for you, you have to determine how long you intend to stay in the US (temporarily or permanently) and why you are moving there.
The two important categories you should be aware of include:
- Non-immigrant Visas – These are issued to those who travel to the US on a temporary basis. To get one, you may require approval from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a foreign labor certificate, or participation in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Note that each visa has specific restrictions and benefits. For example, with a work visa, you may qualify for retirement and healthcare.
- Immigrant Visas – These, on the other hand, are to those who travel to live in the US permanently. To get one, you have to be sponsored by your employer or family. With an immigrant visa, you have the ability to get a social security number, receive healthcare, and earn retirement.
Once you are sure what you need and have identified a category that suits your situation best, you can now settle on a type that best fits your circumstances. Under those two categories, you will come across multiple types of visas classified based on the purpose of travel.
Some of the common reasons why Canadians move to the US include starting a new job, for economic reasons, getting an education, and for marriage purposes. Note that there’s a certain criterion that must be met with regard to the different reasons you want to move to the US.
Moving To The US From Canada Permanently
As we mentioned earlier, being a Canadian citizen does not automatically qualify you as eligible to move to the US permanently. You still have to meet the requirements of the US immigration system.
Some of the factors that will be used to determine your eligibility will include but are not limited to:
- Family members staying in the US
- Work experience
- Income/net worth
- Whether or not you have an existing job offer in the US
Once the question of eligibility for moving to the US has been settled, you will also need to have an idea of why you want to make the move. This could be because
- You have a skill set that would be valuable to US businesses
- You have already landed a job in the US
- You are an investor looking to invest in the US
- You are a Canadian married to a US citizen and, therefore, are moving to the US to be with your spouse
Moving To The USA From Canada For Work Reasons
When moving to the US from Canada because of a job offer, the first requirement is that your employer must serve as your sponsor. When it comes to obtaining permanent residency, that will be determined based on your skill sets. There are three different categories that will help determine your permanent residency. They include:
If you are a Canadian with extraordinary skills and abilities in your profession, then you are likely to fall under this category. It covers
- Ph.D. Holders
- Business, science, arts , athletics, and education professionals
This category is reserved for employees with extra skills in the field of arts, business, and science. You must have an advanced degree .i.e. a bachelor’s degree with significant experience, a master’s degree, or a law or medical degree in order to qualify for this category.
If you are a skilled Canadian worker, you are likely to fall under this category as this category includes professionals who have a bachelor degree.
If you have a job offer in the US that you have already accepted and have started the process, it’s advisable to stick with your current employer. Should you opt to change your employer before the process is complete and you have already attained your green card, you might lose your chance to move to the US and get a job or have to pay back the employer for any costs incurred on your behalf. Your new sponsor will then be forced to start the process all over again, which means loss of valuable time for both parties.
Applying For A Green Card
Just like an immigrant visa, a green card allows you to enjoy a permanent residential status. However, unlike the former, a green card doesn’t limit you to any particular industry or legal rights. You are also free to travel as you wish and even seek citizenship after the card has expired.
Steps to applying may vary. However, basically, it involves a person sponsoring you, completing an application form, undergoing biometric screening, and attending consular processing interview conducted by the US Consulate in Canada.
When due processes, including medical exams, have run their course and all forms are approved, you will then receive a stamp on your passport and receive your green card.
Obtaining US Citizenship
You can obtain US citizenship in three ways. First is upon the expiry of your green card, which is 10 years. You can either renew it for another 10 years or apply for US citizenship. The second way is if you are married to a US citizen. Both situations will require that you complete the naturalization process. Lastly, you can participate in the Diversity Visa lottery.
How Do I Move My Items From Canada To The US?
There are plenty of shipping companies that offer such services. Usually, they’ll specify what you can and can’t ship with them. In order for them to move your items, you will need to supply them with the following copies: proof of status if you are a US citizen, a visa if you are not a US citizen, a customs form 3299, and the US Customs and Border Protection Form 1-94. Some companies may require more than that.
Since most of them don’t ship pets and anything that has a VIN number; i.e., cars, motorcycles, trucks, ATVs, etc., you will have to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that govern the shipping of cars and moving of pets to the US from Canada.
While our guide doesn’t exhaust everything, consider what we’ve discussed as the most important information you need to know and understand when figuring out how to move to the USA from Canada. As a Canadian moving to USA, you stand a great chance of successfully settling, working, and living in the country, provided the reason you have for moving is valid and you meet the requirements in your visa category.
The US being as vast as it is with a diversity of beautiful landscapes, cultures, and a robust economy, it offers you a chance to explore its many economic opportunities and enjoy the high living standards.