USA flag on the right, arrow in the midde pointing to Canadian flag; implying immigration from US to Canada

How to Move/Immigrate from USA to Canada

For many people in the United States, the idea of moving to Canada is an appealing one. There are plenty of reasons why someone from the United States might consider moving to Canada. While you don’t need a visa to visit Canada, immigrating there is another story to consider. Even though the two countries are right next to each other, you still need to undergo the legal processes involved with immigration. So if you’re looking for more information on how to move from US to Canada, here is a comprehensive guide that covers everything that you need to know about moving or immigrating from the USA to Canada.

If you’re interested in moving to Canada, here are some things to consider:

If you are looking to immigrate to a country with beautiful landscapes and high quality of life, Canada is the place for you. The scenic landscapes range from mountains and valleys on the west coast, vast prairies and farmland on central Canada, maple forests and freshwater lakes on the east coast, and stunning Arctic tundra in northern Canada. In addition to their beautiful scenery, there is also plenty of clean air and water, as well as a diverse culture that makes it a great place to move to.

Beautiful blue lake in polar tundra along Dempster highway, Yukon, Canada. Credits // GalynaAndrushko

As a country with low national debt levels, a strong stable economy due to its natural resources (i.e., timber, minerals), and lots of job opportunities (especially for skilled workers), immigrants from all over the world make their homes here.

As of 2021, 21.5% of Canadians were born outside of Canada, so you can see how welcoming Canada is to immigrants.
While many countries suffer from crime rates that can negatively impact the safety and security of citizens, this is not an issue Canadians face. Crime rates have been steadily decreasing since 2011 across the nation.

This is due mainly to their progressive policies that prevent crimes before they take place by addressing factors such as poverty or mental health issues rather than solely focusing on punishment after crimes have occurred.

Additionally, their comprehensive healthcare system ensures Canadians can receive proper medical care for injuries instead of resorting to committing criminal acts in order to pay off hospital bills (like may happen in other countries).

Determine whether you’re moving for work or for school

The most common reasons to move to Canada from US are either to find work or to continue your education at a Canadian university or college.
If you have already accepted a job and have been offered an employer-sponsored working visa, you’ll follow a different process than if you are immigrating to Canada in order to attend school.
If you’re moving for work, it’s likely that your new employer will help guide you through the visa application process. If not, talk to your prospective employer about what paperwork is required on their end, and learn more about which type of work visa you may be eligible to apply for here.

If you’re moving for school, apply to Canadian schools, find out if any offer scholarships, and apply for those

For those looking to move for academic purposes, you can start by Canadian schools, find out if any offer scholarships, and apply for those.
While the costs of attending a Canadian university or college are typically lower than they would be in the U.S., they’re still far from cheap—and if you can get some of that cost covered in advance, you’ll already be ahead of the game. In terms of simple logistics and paperwork, it’s easy enough to apply to Canadian schools from afar.
Most institutions will have all required documentation easily available online. Although it may seem nit-picky and pedantic at first, carefully reading through the requirements for admission will save you time and hassle later on down the line.

Contact your current school to find out what credits will transfer over to Canada

If you’re currently a student at an American college or university, it’s important to check whether your credits will transfer over to Canadian schools. You should contact your current school, as well as the school you intend to go to in Canada and find out what credits can be transferred.
Be sure that these credits are compatible with the program you want in Canada—if they aren’t then it may not be worth the time, effort, or money required for the move.

Can a US Green cardholder work in Canada?

If you are a US green cardholder (permanent resident), you may be eligible to work in Canada.
Canada is one of the countries that have a Working Holiday Visa Program that allows young people from other countries to work in Canada for up to two years. To be eligible, you must be between 18 and 30 years old and have a high-school diploma or its equivalent. You will also need to prove that you can support yourself financially while working in Canada.
If you are not a US permanent resident, there are many ways that you could still be able to work in Canada. There is an International Experience Canada program that allows young people from other countries to work in Canada for up to two years.

It is important to note that if you are not a US citizen, then you will need to apply for this program before your visa expires. If your visa expires, then it cannot be renewed without going through the entire process again from scratch (unless it was issued with multiple entries).
You can also apply for permanent residency through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. This program allows skilled workers who have been working in Canada for at least one year and who meet certain criteria such as education level, language proficiency level, etc., to apply on their own behalf or on behalf of their spouse or common-law partner.

Finding employment in Canada

The internet is a great place to start your job search.

  • Make sure that you have an account with an employment agency and check it regularly for new vacancies.
  • In addition, make sure that your resume reflects all of your skills, training, experience, and education; as well as highlights any applicable Canadian work experience (if you already have some).
  • When applying for jobs online, you should also consider contacting recruitment agencies in Canada who will be able to advise on opportunities from a range of different employers in your chosen location.
  • If you are serious about relocating to Canada, then networking can help you find new employment opportunities: either by joining a professional network such as LinkedIn or by attending conferences, trade shows, and business events.

Look into whether or not you’ll need special licensing or education before you can start working in Canada

If you’re looking for work in Canada, there are a few things to consider. You’ll need to get a work permit, and depending on your occupation you may also need proof of certain skills and qualifications. For example, if you’re a nurse, doctor, or dentist who trained outside of Canada you will need to take an exam that tests your qualifications.

In addition to your technical skills, you may also be asked to prove your language abilities by taking an exam like the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The minimum CELPIP score is 4L and IELTS is 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.0 in each component.

There are different ways to apply for a work permit—some people can get a permit without having secured a job offer first. The type of work permit you need will be based on the occupation you’re applying for and how long you want to work in Canada. For example, if you’re applying for a low-skilled job, you may be eligible for a temporary work permit that’s valid for up to two years. If you’re applying for a high-skilled job, you may be eligible for an open work permit which would allow you to work for any employer in Canada.
You can apply online or by mail to the Canadian visa office responsible for your country or region. The processing time can vary depending on the office—it could take anywhere from a few days to months to get a decision.

It’s important to note that having a criminal record could make it more difficult for you to get a work permit. If you have a criminal record, you will need to provide a police certificate as part of your application. In some cases, you may also need to provide additional documentation such as court documents or proof that you’ve completed any sentences imposed.
If you’re approved for a work permit, you’ll receive a letter of introduction which you will need to present at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada. You may also be asked to provide your fingerprints and have a photo taken (biometrics).

Different work permits that make you eligible to move to Canada

If you are trying to move or immigrate to Canada and are applying for a work permit, there are a few different types of permits that you can apply for. These have different rules and requirements, so it is important that you check the rules and guidelines for your individual circumstances.
A work permit is not the same as permanent residence status; it simply allows you to live in Canada temporarily because of your job or employment. Depending on the type of work permit you’re eligible for, there may be additional factors that determine if you can stay in Canada after your job ends.

There are two main types of work permits:

Temporary Work Permit:

A temporary work permit allows someone to come to Canada for a limited period of time due to their employment needs (usually less than 4 years). The specific amount of time depends on the type of job being offered and certain regulations by Citizenship & Immigration.

A temporary work permit requires an offer letter from a Canadian employer before being issued by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC). In addition, further certification may be required depending on the province where the employer is located, which means they must show proof that they tried unsuccessfully to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident before hiring someone outside Canada.

Open Work Permit:

An open work permit allows an individual with pre-approved employment authorization in Canada, but without having secured an offer letter or contract with a specific employer ahead of time. Many open permits do not require approval from Service Canada/Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSD) but will require documentation from CIC showing why such authorization was granted.

Family Sponsorship for immigration

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to sponsor your family member’s immigration to Canada. In order to sponsor a family member, you must prove that:

  • You and your family members meet certain requirements
  • You have enough money to support the people you want to sponsor and their dependents after they arrive in Canada (to do this, you will need to provide proof of income)
  • Your sponsored relative(s) must also pass criminal and medical checks


There are a few different ways for families to sponsor immigration to Canada. These include sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner, or child to immigrate, as well as becoming a caregiver for certain types of relatives.

As with most sponsorship processes, the person seeking to sponsor their relatives is known as the “sponsor” and the person being sponsored is known as the “sponsored person” or “principal applicant.”

There are three steps involved in sponsoring a family member or relative:

Step 1 – Decide on the type of application you will submit.
You can sponsor your relatives if you are 18 years of age or older, a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident and meet certain requirements. You can also co-sign an undertaking with another sponsor. The people you want to sponsor must also meet certain requirements.
Step 2 – Gather documents for your application.
You need to provide documents to support your sponsorship application. These documents prove who you are (photocopies of passports, birth certificates, etc.) and that you meet the requirements to be a sponsor (bank account statements, proof of employment, etc.). The documents that you need depend on your situation.
Step 3 – Submit the completed application package to CIC.
If all the information required is included in your application package, it will be processed within 12 months. You will be contacted if additional information is needed.
The processing time may change based on the number of applications CIC receives and how long it takes you to provide the requested information.
If you meet all the requirements of your application, CIC will approve your sponsorship and notify you by letter.

Startup Visa

The Startup Visa is, in essence, a program that gives permanent residency to entrepreneurs and their family members. The rules are pretty strict:

You must have a qualifying business

A qualifying business means you created a business that meets several conditions. These include meeting ownership requirements, demonstrating that the business is controlled and principally managed in Canada, proving it contributes to economic development through increased employment or skills training and being able to show that the business is funded by eligible venture capital investment.

The business must be supported by a designated organization

Before you can apply for permanent residency, you must be accepted by one of the designated organizations. These are organizations that have an established history of working with immigrant entrepreneurs. The process of getting this support includes reaching out and pitching your business idea to the organization and then be evaluated according to set criteria. Once you have received a letter of support from a designated organization, this must be attached to your application.

You must meet the language requirements of CLB/NCLC 5

In order to qualify for the Startup Visa, you must take a language test from an accredited agency and score at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (NCLC). The test results must not be more than two years old at the time you submit your application.
The language requirements for the Startup Visa are designed to ensure that you have the necessary skills to communicate effectively and participate in everyday life in Canada.
Meeting these requirements will help to maximize your chances of success as an entrepreneur, giving you the best chance to contribute to economic development and growth through increased employment or skills training in Canada. If you are unsure about your language skills, it is a good idea to take a test and work on improving your proficiency before you apply.

Have enough financial capacity to settle in

Keep in mind that the Canadian government will not provide financial support to new start-up visa immigrants.
In order to be accepted into the Startup Visa program, you must have enough financial resources to support yourself and any dependents that are coming with you. This can include cash or other liquid assets such as money in a bank account or securities.
You may also need to show proof of income from previous work or business activities if you do not have enough liquid assets.
It is important to carefully review the Startup Visa requirements and to meet all of the necessary financial eligibility criteria before you apply. This will help ensure that your application is processed smoothly and quickly and that you successfully immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur.

Provincial Nominee Programs

The Provincial Nominee Program is structured in a similar way to the Skilled Worker program. However, the provinces determine which workers they want to work and live in their province. The Provincial Nominee Program works as an option for people who want to immigrate to Canada but do not have a permanent job offer or are not eligible for skilled worker programs.
Some provinces do not have this program, so make sure to double-check your province of destination if this is the route that you want to take with your immigration.

Express Entry

One of the easiest ways to move to Canada from US is through the Express Entry System. This system was introduced in 2015 and is designed to speed up the process for skilled workers who want to live and work in Canada.
The Express Entry system is points-based, and points are awarded for factors such as age, education, work experience, language skills, and whether you have a job offer from a Canadian employer. If you are eligible for the Express Entry program, you will be entered into a pool of candidates. From this pool, the Canadian government will select the candidates that they believe will be the most successful in Canada.

The selected candidates will then be invited to apply for permanent residence.

After receiving an invitation to apply, you will have 60 days to submit your complete application. If your application is approved, you will be granted permanent residence and can live and work anywhere in Canada.
The Express Entry system is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to immigrate to Canada from the US.

Within the Express Entry, there are 3 immigration programs:

The Canadian Experience Class

This category is for skilled workers that have Canadian work experience and should have been obtained within the three years before you submit your application.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

This category is for skilled workers that have at least one year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment.

The Federal Skilled Trades Program

This category is for skilled tradespeople that have at least two years of full-time work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment, and are currently working in that occupation.

You must meet the specific criteria of at least one of these programs to be eligible for Express Entry.


As accommodating the Canadian government is, there are certain groups that are not allowed for admission into Canada:

  1. Anyone with a criminal record (this includes those who have committed crimes outside of Canada).
  2. Anyone who is under a removal order (and has not already returned to their country of origin or applied for re-entry into Canada).
  3. Anyone who is unable to satisfy an immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.
  4. Anyone who is inadmissible on medical grounds.

Make sure to double-check all of your requirements and eligibility before you apply to avoid any issues or delays in your application.

If you’re moving for work, talk to your employer

If you’re moving for work, talk to your employer about getting a work permit.
You’ll need a work permit to legally work in Canada. Your employer in Canada will need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire you.

The LMIA is proof that employers have tried, but failed, to hire Canadians/permanent residents before they can look abroad. It also serves to assure Canadians that foreign workers won’t take jobs away from qualified Canadian workers.
If your employer cannot get an LMIA or if the position you are applying for doesn’t require one, you can still apply under International Mobility Programs. Under these programs, employers don’t usually need an LMIA but must prove that hiring you will benefit Canada in some way (for example by transferring valuable knowledge or expertise).

Finding a place to live in Canada

Now that you’ve figured out how to move your belongings from the United States to Canada, it’s time to take care of the next step: finding a place to live. Of course, there are many factors that go into finding the right location for you in Canada.
First, research which cities have the best quality of life in Canada. If you don’t already have a job lined up in Canada, choosing one of these cities will make it easier for you to find work once you get there.
Additionally, if you can visit Canada before moving there permanently, this will give you an opportunity to scout out potential places to live during your trip and identify any locations that catch your eye (or avoid any areas where other people told you not to move).
When evaluating where would be best for your new Canadian home base, take into account things like rent or housing prices (and other monthly costs) in each city; whether or not you’ll need a car, and what transportation costs are like; as well as how easy it is to walk or bike around different neighborhoods.

Canadian Taxation

Moving to Canada is a big decision. You’ll have to get used to a new culture, a different language, and new laws. One of the most important things you’ll need to understand is how Canadian taxation differs from American taxation.
The first thing you should know is that there are two major types of taxes in Canada: income tax and sales tax. Income tax is paid by people who earn money from working or from investments, while sales tax applies just to goods and services purchased by consumers.

Keep in mind that while taxation between the US and Canada is structured similarly, you can definitely expect to pay more in taxes in Canada. This seems like a huge disadvantage, but these taxes are directed towards more programs and services that benefit all Canadians, like healthcare and education.
Of course, you’ll want to speak with a tax professional to get a better idea of how much you’ll be paying in taxes once you move to Canada. They can help you understand the different types of taxes you’ll encounter and how to file your taxes correctly so that you don’t end up owing any money (or worse, getting audited by the CRA).
Overall, it’s important to be aware of how taxation works in Canada so that you can plan accordingly. Whether you’re moving for work or just starting a new life in Canada, being informed about how the Canadian tax system works will help ensure your financial success and stability in this exciting new chapter of your life.

Applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Now that you’re all moved in and settled into your new place in Canada, it’s time to start thinking about work. And in order to work in Canada, you’ll need a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Your SIN is a nine-digit number that the Canadian government assigns to workers and businesses so that they can pay taxes properly and keep track of how much money everyone is making.
To apply for your SIN, you’ll first need to fill out an application form with all of your personal information (including your name, address, date of birth, etc.). You can pick up this application from most banks or post offices across Canada.

Then, you’ll need to provide documents such as proof of identity (such as a passport or driver’s license), a copy of your work permit (if applicable), and other specific forms depending on how you plan on working in Canada.
Once you have everything filled out and ready to go, make an appointment with Service Canada and submit your application. From there, it should take roughly two weeks for your SIN to be issued to you.

Overall, applying for a Social Insurance Number is an important step in securing your job in Canada. With the help of careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible so that you can start working and earning money as soon as possible!

Moving/immigrating from the America to Canada needs careful planning

Moving/immigrating anywhere is perfectly doable, but you need to make sure that you plan for everything so that there are no problems with your migration. When you’re figuring out how to move from US to Canada, this needs careful planning.

It’s important to make sure that you have all of your bases covered, including having a job lined up, or your academics sorted out, if you’re moving for academic purposes. You should also make sure that you have your living situation taken care of, and that you are prepared for the differences in culture, living quality, and expectations when you live in Canada compared to the Unites States.

Overall, the process of how to move to Canada from US requires careful planning and preparation. With the right information and resources, you can make sure your move is a smooth and successful one!