Country Guides November 9, 2020

Everything You Need to Know When Moving to Canada From the US

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Were you always dreaming about relocating and starting your life all over in a foreign country? Or somewhere not so foreign? Our northern neighbor, also known as the Great White North, might be the ideal solution for you. Moving to Canada is “easy” because it is not on the other side of the world, we speak the same language, and if you think you can handle all those jokes about Canadians, feel free to enjoy our introduction to life in this country.

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Why Going to Canada Might be a Good Idea?

All jokes aside, the Great White North has a long list of advantages. They have one of the lowest crime rates in the world, which only means that it is one of the best places to live abroad with family. It is a multicultural location that promotes diversity and tolerance, making it one of the friendliest countries in the world, so you will hardly ever feel like you do not fit in. People from all over the world want to move there because it has a stable economy, a great education system, high living standards, and beautiful nature.

Also, if you want to experience all four seasons fully, then this is the right country for you. White Christmas, hot summers, and temperature swings that go from -40° to +104° Fahrenheit. Another great thing is that since the US is so close keeping in touch with friends will be easy. Furthermore, when you figure out how to move abroad you won’t have to pay much for international moving services.

Lake Louise
There are many reasons why moving from the US to Canada is a great idea.

Moving to Canada From US – Requirements and Immigration Program

Have you ever wondered can a US citizen move to Canada? If you did you should know that there are several options for obtaining Canadian citizenship, but first, you have to determine are you relocating for love, work, university, or family? Luckily, even if you know nothing except that you want to live there one day, there is an official online questionnaire that will tell you if you are an eligible candidate or not. Thousands of Americans move to Canada every year, and there are several ways or programs through which you can immigrate.

How Fast Is Their Express Entry?

As the name says, express entry is the fastest way to move to Canada from the USA. However, it takes at least six months, so if you are the right candidate, you can get everything done and move in less than a year. This is not really an immigration program, it is more like a selection process used by Immigration for selecting candidates. Candidates need to fill a free CanadaVisa assessment form to check if they are eligible for express entry. However, when applying for a visa, contact the Canadian Embassy to gather all the current information.

How to Move to Canada From USA Temporarily

Not everyone wants to move to the Great White North and stay there forever. You can go there and get a work visa, but you can also work and run a business without having a visa. Citizens of the US who engage in trade activities or business in CA but have not entered the CA labor market are called business visitors. Also, US citizens can work under the auspice of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Ready to Start Acting Like a Canadian?

Have you asked yourself how to live in another country? When you start thinking about the move, no matter if you are moving overseas or just across the border, you should be prepared to adjust to a new country. Canadians are known worldwide for their nicknames, jokes, and every province has a set of its own, and even though you might have to break the language barrier by learning French there are also some widely-used Canadian colloquial terms and expressions in English you should know:

  • 51st Stater– Do we have to explain anything? However, this is something that usually Americans say for Canadians like they are their 51st state.
  • Canuck and Canucklehead– Probably the most popular diminutive for Canadians
  • Cankie or Cankee– A nickname for Canadian Yankee
  • Hoser– A Canadian who likes to watch hockey and drink lite beer
  • Puckhead– Hockey lover
  • Maple-sucker– A person who consumes plenty of finest Maple syrup
people laughing
Canadians are friendly but knowing the lingo will help you fit in faster.

How to Find Your New Home Moving to Canada From the USA

If you have successfully gone through the process of getting a residence permit, you can now start searching for the place you are going to call home. Don’t hesitate to hire an overseas shipping company to help you during the process. Since you are packing up your entire life be prepare that you might need to use a variety of services overseas moving company has to offer. From storage, and vehicle overseas shipping to packing services they can take care of everything and even provide you with boxes and moving supplies.

While professionals are handling your stuff you can find a roof over your head. Are you renting or buying a home, do you want to live in a house or apartment? One thing is specific for the majority of renting places in The Land of Maple – they all come unfurnished. The home you are renting is nothing but walls and a roof above your head, and it is up to you to furnish it and style it. In most cases, leases are for one year, but you can arrange it to be shorter. The average rent in major cities in 2020 went from $670 to $930 per month, depending on the province.

lake view
There are plenty of places in CA you can call home.

Healthcare and Education Are Top-Notch

No matter if you are relocating alone or with your family education and health are some of the things most people are concerned about the most. CA is known for its free public healthcare system that works really well for the residents who are overall very satisfied with the quality and the service. Public healthcare covers various things that can vary from one province to another, and there is always the option of private healthcare insurance.

If you opted for a relocation because you are pursuing higher knowledge you’ll be happy to know that the education system is also very well developed. Both public and private schools are held in high regard, so expats have plenty of options, whether they are coming there to study or want to enroll their children. The school system is generally the same throughout the country, but some aspects are different in certain provinces.

group of medical workers
Healthcare in CA is top-notch.

CA vs. the USA – Which is More Expensive for Living

You figured out how to move to Canada from the US now the question is how much money you’ll need for life there. Canadians have some benefits like free healthcare, subsidization of schools, paid maternity, and more affordable universities. The average annual income is somewhere the same in both countries, as well as the cost of living, so it is hard to tell what is the better option. Rental prices are higher in the US, but it all depends on what you are looking for and what is your concept of a high-quality lifestyle. Both countries have high standards and salaries, but at the end of the day, it is all up to you and how you manage your money.

CA can be good for your budget because of its affordable education and healthcare.

Why Is Life in Quebec so Different?

Quebec is one of the three biggest provinces in CA, but people hesitate to relocate there because it is a place with a predominantly French-speaking population. However, if you think you are up for learning a language abroad, don’t hesitate to check what the location has to offer. It has a European vibe and chic and classical architecture and the French language will make everyone feel like they are on another continent, so if you want to get a glimpse of Europe, you do not have to go across the ocean. Keep in mind that, this province has different terms and programs for immigration and skilled workers so before relocating make sure you check them out.

What Can Skilled Workers Expert When It Comes to Immigration to Quebec

Quebec does not have a PNP, but they have a specific program for skilled workers to apply. It means that Quebec will mainly accept immigrants who will be able to become economically self-sufficient. Skilled workers may apply for this program as well as graduates. On the other hand, those who were invited have to use the Mon projet Québec portal for submitting their application. Those who are recognized as successful candidates will get a Quebec Selection Certificate (QSC) and will be able to apply for permanent residence.

aerial view of Montreal
Quebec has European architecture and a welcoming vibe.

You Can’t Just Relocate There Are Things to Know Before Moving to Canada

The country is huge, the second largest in the world by area and every corner of it has something to offer. No matter if you opt for moving to Vancouver or living in Toronto, you can travel around and explore its nature. It is not hard to get enthusiastic if you are planning on relocating there. People are too polite, and you can have maple syrup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and no one will judge you.

If You’re Enjoying the Cold Weather You Will Love CA

Are you enjoying winter more than summer? If so you’ll love it in CA.  However, if you like sunny weather more, it will take some time to get used to the climate. It is beautiful but too cold, and winters can be pretty savage up in the north.

Hope a Bear Does Not Cross Your Way

With wast open spaces there are many forests, meaning there are so many bears. Seriously, there are around 500,000 black bears, 20,000 grizzlies, and 17,000 polar bears. Now that is a lot of animals, but their number is just another example of how much Canadians treasure and protect their wildlife.

warning bears sign
CA is filled with bears, so this kind of road sign is not unusual.

Is Becoming a Canadian Worth the Trouble of Moving Internationally

Becoming a Canadian comes with many benefits, you will be able to enjoy affordable education, as well as breathtaking nature. That’s why you should not hesitate to hire an international moving company to help you with the relocation. When you decide what to pack, the professionals will do the rest leaving you with enough free time to gather all the necessary documents to travel abroad but also to extensively research CA. The relocation process might be long, but it will be worth it because at the end of the day you’ll become a resident of one of the friendliest and most accepting countries in the world.

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