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Moving from USA to Canada

Jun 1, 2008
The United States and its immediate neighbor to the north have always had an open border policy which made it possible to travel back and forth between the two countries with just a driver's license. After 9/11 and the ratification of the Patriot Act this all changed.

Crossing the border now into Canada requires a passport and moving to Canada has become more complicated. Heightened security in the United States has caused a ripple effect up north that makes immigration and establishing residency more difficult and time consuming.

You must first apply for an immigration visa and go through a medical examination to ensure that you're not bringing any hazardous or communicable diseases over the border with you. Once you receive the results of this physical examination and your visa you will have twelve months to complete the move.

The next step is attaining a permanent resident status. The normal waiting period to attain permanent resident status in Canada is now as long as eighteen months and you must have a guarantee of a job that will enable you to pay Canadian taxes.

To move to Canada you need both your Canadian Immigrant Visa and confirmation of Permanent Residence beforehand. It is also required that you have a valid passport for yourself and each member of your family.

Hiring a moving company to go from USA to Canada is a more tedious process also. When you hire a moving company now you need to make sure they are qualified and experienced in international moving and shipping. You will not have to pay import or duty tax on personal and household effects but you do need to have in your possession two copies of an itemized list of all your belongings and their individual values in Canadian dollars and two copies of a similar list for any items that you will be shipping later. A qualified moving company can help you compile this list.

Security in Canada and around the world has been increased extensively over the past seven years and it's important to remember when passing through customs and crossing international borders that these precautions have been put in place for your protection.

They are not there simply to inconvenience you and create obstacles and challenges to your moving process. Compliance should be coupled with a certain level of gratitude for the men and women who enforce these new laws. This thought can be particularly helpful when you experience long delays in the process.

Doing your homework ahead of time can prevent some of these delays from happening. Hire the right moving company and have all your paperwork in order before you go and your move will be easier and much less stressful.
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