Expert Advice for Canadians Moving to the U.S.

Immigrants throughout history have sought after residence in the U.S. for greater opportunities for careers, families, and lifestyles.

Moving is a stressful process, especially when moving between countries, which adds to its own confusion. There’s a lot to research, such as how to obtain U.S. auto insurance with a Canadian license.

And with so much to research and learn about moving between countries, it can be tricky to keep track of everything on your checklist.

Let’s go over some tips and strategies to help make your move from Canada to the U.S. a smoother process.

Navigating the Immigration Process

The main aspect that makes moving to different countries so complicated is the immigration process, which is typically daunting and time-consuming.

When it comes to moving to the United States from Canada, there are three different immigration paths to consider:

  • Employment sponsorship
  • Business and investment
  • Family sponsorship

When moving to the U.S. on a work visa, the employer you plan to work for will sponsor your visa so you can live and work in the country.

You’ll need to be approved for one of the three employment authorizations: Employment Authorization Card/Work Permit, Employment Visa, or Permanent Resident Card/Green Card. Each of these documents has different requirements.

In the case of moving to the U.S. with a business and investment sponsorship, you’ll need either a Business Visa or an Investor Green Card.

When you are moving to the U.S. with these sponsorships, your goal should be to start a business or invest in one.

Lastly, a family sponsorship is obtained by marrying or being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. The Green Card process in this case greatly depends on your exact situation.

Documentation Needed for Moving

As expected, there are many documents that are necessary when moving from Canada to the U.S., and exactly which ones you need also depend on how you are entering the country.

In general for moving, though, you’ll need to give proof of identity during your application process.

If you are flying into the U.S. from Canada, you will need your valid passport or NEXUS card to enter the country.

If you and your family are entering the U.S. by road or sea, you’ll need a Canadian passport as well as one of these documents:

  • NEXUS Card: A border crossing card for expedited border crossing for U.S. and Canada.
  • Enhanced Driving/Identification Card: State-issued enhanced driver licenses provide proof of identity and U.S. citizenship. They provide those crossing the border with a permit to drive.
  • FAST Card: A document used in the Free and Secure Trade program between Canada and the United States.
  • SENTRI Enrollment Cards: Another program created by the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection that allows clearance for pre-approved and low-risk travelers.

You will also need to fill out U.S. Customs Form 3299 so your belongings can be imported to the state you are moving to.

The documents mentioned here are not every single document you will need for your moving process, as it depends greatly on which visa you are pursuing.

For example, there are specific forms that are necessary when you are getting a work visa.

Paying a Departure Tax

When individuals move out of Canada, they may be subject to a departure tax, also known as deemed disposition tax, imposed by the Canadian government.

Once you left Canada, you were considered to have disposed of certain types of property at their fair market value (FMV) and then immediately reacquire them for the same amount.

This will apply to most properties, but there are many exceptions.

The best option for figuring out your departure tax and learning more about disposing of your property, you should get in contact with a tax advisor a while before your move so you can get everything in order without stress.

Getting Auto Insurance in a New Country

When moving from Canada to the United States, insurers will see you as a new driver, and you will have no credit history unless you have lived in the U.S. before.

Therefore, you may end up having higher premium costs.

Aside from that, there are various other factors that influence the price of your insurance premium.

Here are some other factors to consider:

  • The area to which you’re moving: Big cities are more likely to have higher crime rates, increased traffic, or vandalism, meaning you’re likely to pay more when living in these areas.
  • The car you own: Flashy and high-performance cars are considered to be risky to insurers, so it costs more to insure cars such as these.
  • The amount of coverage you choose: Naturally, the more coverage you have on your policy, the higher your premium will cost. Consider what kinds of policies are necessary for you and only select those that are necessary.

Each state has its own minimum insurance requirements and laws surrounding them, so do your research on the laws that are relevant in the state you choose to move to.

Choosing a Reliable Moving Company

The right moving company can help you move your belongings across the border as painlessly as possible.

Ideally, the moving company helping you with your move is reputable and has years of experience. Plus, they may be able to network with others across the country.

In addition, a reputable moving company can assist you throughout the entire process, helping you with paperwork, transporting your vehicles, and more.

Damage insurance is also something you should consider.

The last thing you want to worry about during a stressful move is whether or not your belongings are going to make it across the border safely.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Emigrating from Canada to the U.S. doesn’t have to be as scary or as stressful as it seems.

Take your time, do your research about immigration law, and seek advice from professionals who can help you along the way.

You’ll be glad you took the time to do so when you’re able to safely settle yourself and your family down in your new home.

Cheryl Henson

Cheryl Henson is a passionate blogger and digital marketing professional who loves writing, reading, and sharing blogs on various topics.

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