What to know before moving to Canada from the US

Sep 02, 2015

Whether it's due to corporate relocation or simply out of interest in experiencing life in America's neighbor to the north, moving to Canada from the U.S. can present plenty of exciting opportunities. However, as one can imagine, moving from the U.S. into Canada is not as simple as crossing the border and driving to your new home. There are numerous factors you'll need to take care of upon your arrival, as well as many legal issues you'll have to address. Here's a look at some of the things you should know prior to relocating to Canada from the U.S., as well as recent migratory changes that could impact where you want to live in this new country:

Canada's recent migration patterns

If you're considering a move from the U.S. into Canada, knowing the latest migratory patterns may help you make a better decision on where exactly you'll want to live. According to the 2014 Atlas Van Lines Migration Patterns study, Alberta experienced the highest inbound moves with 38 percent, with British Columbia and New Brunswick both just behind at 36 percent each. Meanwhile, Newfoundland experienced the significant majority of outbound moves in 2014, with 88 percent. However, in the past 10 years, Newfoundland has had 58 percent of its moves determined as inbound, while Manitoba has lead outbound move numbers in the past decade at 66 percent.

"Alberta experienced the highest inbound moves in Canada with 38 percent."

Know the rules

The first thing that needs to be completed when attempting to immigrate to Canada is finding out if you're eligible. This can be done through the Canadian government's website, and typically takes 10-15 minutes to complete a form that asks a variety of questions ranging from your personal background to education to previous work experience. After you're deemed eligible, there are six classes you can apply to be a Canadian citizen with, which include skilled worker, business, family, provincial, Quebec-selected or international adoption classes. Apply for the one that best suits what reasons are influencing your move to Canada.

After your application has been accepted, and you've scheduled the move through our Atlas Van Lines agency family, you'll need to make sure you have all the necessary documents for when you get to the Canadian border. Non-residents entering Canada will need the following:

  • A passport for every family member.
  • Your work or study visa.
  • Marriage certificate for spouse.
  • Employer Letter or Offer of Employment.
  • Detailed inventory listing of goods including their value (in duplicate).

You will need to personally meet the Atlas Van Operator at the Canada Customs facility closest to your final destination to clear your moving shipment into the country. If you're trying to import a vehicle into Canada from the U.S., you'll have to reach out to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles, where you'll need to provide all your vehicle's information so it can determine whether it's eligible for entry. Once you've permanently lived in Canada for three years, you'll be eligible to become an official Canadian citizen. With the right information and moving company, you can make this relocation process seamless, efficient and cost-effective.


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