Moving to Canada | Country Guides | I Love Moving

Everything You Need to Know Before Moving to Canada

Posted Country Guides / November 6, 2020
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Around 377,500 Americans live in Big White North, the second-largest country in the world, and most of them are staying within 100 miles of the US border. Moving to Canada will not only put you in place with excellent employment and educational opportunities but also in a spot with breathtaking scenery.

When it comes to international moving, many Americans opt for relocating to a neighboring country because of its vicinity, and because healthcare and education are more affordable. Luckily, countries have diplomatic agreements that help speed up the immigration process. However, before you embark on this once in a lifetime adventure, you should go over some basics questions like Can I live in Canada if I am a US citizen, Can you move to Canada without a job, How much money do you need to immigrate to Canada, and Is moving to Canada a good idea?

What Are the Things You Should Know Before Moving to Canada From the US

No matter if you are moving to another country for love or in pursuit of a career and higher education, you should learn a few things about it. That’s why we should go over some things every expat settling down in Great White North should know:

  • It is composed of ten provinces and three territories
  • Both English and French are official languages
  • It has the longest coastline of all the countries in the world
  • Around 82% of all Canadians live in urban areas
  • Forests cover almost half of the land.

What Are the Overall Costs of International Moving

While you were making the moving abroad checklist, have you stopped and asked yourself How much money do you need to immigrate to Canada? First things first, even though you are not shipping overseas your belongings, you will need an international moving company to help you relocate.

With the help of professionals who offer high-quality packing services, you won’t have to learn how to pack shoes or even how to box up jewelry. All you have to do is decide what to pack and what to donate or put in storage. True, professional help comes with the price, but don’t let that put you off relocation.

According to data from the WorldFreightRates website, shipping a 20ft container from New York to Vancouver will cost you between $2,570 and $2,850. However, if you are shipping belongings from Los Angeles to Vancouver, you’ll pay around $565. For more accurate estimates, don’t hesitate to call your chosen overseas shipping company and ask for a free quote.

How to Choose the Right Immigration Program When Moving to Canada From the USA

Have you wondered how to move to another country? No matter if you are moving overseas or just across the border to Great White North, you will still need to pick the right immigration program.

The Canadian government established a few types of visas for the Americas. If you have long-term relocation plans, you can apply for permanent immigration through a few programs:

  • Express entry processes your application within six months and as a person with US citizenship. With express entry, you have a chance to apply for permanent residence because of strong language skills and skilled work experience.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs allow Canadian provinces to have a say in which expats can come and settle in a particular place. These provincial programs can be great for expats who already know which province they wish to settle down in.
  • Immigration to Quebec might not be for all Americans since they will have to think about breaking the language barrier because this is a French-speaking province. However, if you are up for the challenge of learning a language abroad, don’t hesitate to look into relocating to Quebec.
  • Spousal/Common-Law Sponsorship is a program that can allow you to get permanent residence if you are married to a Canadian. Also, the country recognizes same-sex marriages, so partners are also eligible to apply for this sponsorship.
  • Business Immigration programs attract expats that can contribute to the country’s economy.

If you are still wondering, Can I live in Canada if I am a US citizen, take another look at all the possible ways you can become a resident, from express entry to business programs, and you will surely find the best way to do so. Also, if you want to know, Can you move to Canada without a job, contact the embassy and check what kind of options they have for you. However, keep in mind that employed and highly qualified workers are more likely to get a visa.

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Will the Immigration Process Be Easy if You’re a Skilled Worker

In 2018, after 24 years of NAFTA trade agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada, a new deal was reached. However, this agreement named USMCA left the part about work visas unchanged, allowing three countries’ skilled and professional workers to easily get a visa. That’s why when you start collecting documents needed when moving abroad, don’t forget to contact the Canadian embassy and check if you are eligible for their skilled worker permit. There will be a few steps in acquiring the work permit, but thanks to USMCA, the whole process will go smoothly. Furthermore, while you are gathering all the documents, ask about all the ways you can apply for citizenship along the way.

Can’t You Just Drive With Your Old Driver’s License

When relocating, have you considered hiring an international moving company that can provide you with vehicle shipping services? Bringing your car with you when relocating should be a no-brainer decision, after all, for the most part, Canadians and Americans have similar driving laws. However, you will have to adjust to a new country and its metric system because everything is measured in kilometers and not miles.

When you figure out how international car shipping works, it is time to think about the driver’s license. If you have a valid driving permit, you can use it for a while, but the timeframe will depend on the province you are relocating to. After a while, you need to get a Canadian drivers license by:

  • Passing a written exam on road rules
  • Passing one or two driving tests

Enjoying a Stress-Free Ride Won’t Be Possible Without a Car Insurance

Did you know that it is illegal to drive without car insurance in Great White North? That’s why if you own a vehicle, you must get insurance coverage. Furthermore, if you are going to drive someone else’s car, like your relative or a friend, make sure you are listed on their insurance plan.

Different insurance options include coverage for injuries to yourself and damage to the vehicle or the costs of damage and injury you brought on someone else in an accident. When you are getting insurance, the overall costs will depend not only on the plan you choose but also on your location, age, driving experience, and record.

How Are Healthcare and Education Systems Different Than in the US

Are you looking for the best place to live abroad with your family? Whether you are relocating with kids or alone, you should get familiar with your next location’s healthcare system. Luckily, if you opt for settling down in Great White North, you will have access to high quality, universal healthcare. This is one of the biggest differences you’ll encounter as an American. Every citizen and permanent resident has access to the province’s health insurance program that covers all the necessary hospital services.

The next thing that makes the country so appealing to expats is the fact that Canadian universities cost less than American schools do. If you are looking for a place to get higher education without having a lifelong burden of student loans, this is where you should go. Of course, tuitions depend on the chosen school, bachelor’s in engineering, medicine, business, and social sciences being among the most expensive ones. They can cost up to $22,800 a year. Furthermore, if you are pursuing a master’s degree, know that computer science, law, and business ones are amongst the priciest, and tuition can be around $49,500.

There Are More Than a Few Affordable Universities if You Hope to Gain Higher Education

If you wanted to relocate and save some money on education, don’t worry, there are more than a few universities around the country where you gain knowledge without draining your bank account. Here is a useful guide on universities with the most affordable tuitions:

  • The University of Regina, where tuition fees are around $15,200 a year.
  • Athabasca University with tuition fees of approximately $13,120 per year.
  • The Memorial University of Newfoundland where tuition fees are somewhere around $8,200 a year.

Where Should You Start a New Life When Moving From the US to Canada

You will be relocating to one of the friendliest countries in the world, making it one of the best places to live abroad. That’s why no matter where you choose to settle down, you will probably feel welcomed. However, most Americans that relocate opt to settle down in one of these areas:

  • Toronto, Ontario – When you choose to move to Toronto, you will be staying in the country’s largest city that has everything from jobs to entertainment. Living in Toronto might be a bit on the expensive side for the Canadian average, but it is worth paying the price.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia – it is located on the west coast, and it attracts expats with its gorgeous scenery and many parks, making it ideal for people relocating with dogs. Nearby skiing resorts and breathtaking mountain views make a living in Vancouver an unforgettable experience.
  • Montreal, Quebec – when relocating here, employ all the tips for learning a new language because people predominantly speak French. Moving to Montreal will put you in the city with affordable rent ideal for thrifty folks.
  • Ottawa, Ontario – as one of the best places to live in Ontario, the country’s capital is not as sleepy as it used to be. Now you get to enjoy plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, as well as all-year-round access to nature.

Is Moving to Canada a Good Idea

Are you still on the fence about relocation? Even though picking up your bags and leaving the US might seem scary, if you do your research, find an appropriate visa, and choose the right place to settle, the whole process would run smoothly. Great White North is a country filled with job, education, and entertainment possibilities, on top of it all, beautiful scenery and affordable healthcare make it a tempting spot for many expats. Don’t hesitate to embark on this journey, endless possibilities make it worth all the trouble.

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