Moving to the USA from Canada

If you’re a Canadian Citizen considering a move to the United States, it may seem a daunting task. But in reality it really isn’t that much different than moving within Canada. You just need to plan everything well in advance, and booking an experienced mover who can help you navigate all the steps can make things far less stressful.

Of course, there are some things you’ll need to address long before your move, including government forms, updated passports and VISA applications. With this comes a criminal record check, possibly fingerprinting, depending on the State you are moving to. You will also need a Social Security Number. If you’re moving due to work, find out what documents are necessary to carry out your job. For example, a Registered Nurse needs to apply to the CGFNS. This involves sending them an updated passport, copies of marriage license for proof of name change, high school and college transcripts (which can take an awfully long time to arrive), amongst many other things. There are recruiting companies / cross border moving experts that can help you navigate everything that’s needed for your particular profession. If you’ve been hired, you will need your offer of employment letter with you when you cross.

Are you bringing Fido or Fluffy with you? Make sure you have an updated health clearance in writing from your veterinarian along with you for them to see at the border. This should include a current vaccination record. Do not try and sneak your pet across the border. Ensure everything is above board and you alert the border to the fact that you are bringing animal(s) to live in their country.

When you’re first packing, before your movers take over, make a detailed list of everything you’re bringing across with you. Every little last item that’s in your car and in the moving truck needs to be on the list. It is helpful if the items on your list have been coordinated with the boxes in some sort of coding system (i.e. box A has 9 men’s shirts, 2 winter coats and 3 hats in it). Don’t forget to declare that you’re bringing medication into the USA. If they decide to search you or the moving truck and find items that aren’t on the list, things might get difficult. Declare everything. There is actually a government form to be filled out where you’re required to list all of your items. Having a list made beforehand will make filling out this form a breeze once you’ve arrived at the border. Plan to arrive a little before your moving truck as this will give you time to fill in necessary forms at the border.

Try not to pack your car full of your personal goods that are coming across with you. It’s preferable if they’re in the moving truck. The car in and of itself is considered an item you are importing, and it is more than likely it will need to be assessed. Because you are actually importing a vehicle, you will need your original bill of sale, registration information etc. There is also duty applicable to imported vehicles, although in my experience they waived it on my Canadian made car, as I was driving it through at the time of my move. There are also certain standards, emissions and otherwise, and checks that need to be completed on your car when importing to the USA. Research these online to see what, when and where these checks can be completed. And of course, if you plan on driving a car while living in the States, you must license it appropriately to the State you’ll be residing in. Call the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in your State to discuss what all is involved in licensing your car there.

Although it may sound like a lot to get moved to the States, in actuality it’s mostly research and phone calls and forms. Start early gathering information and applying for necessary documents, and you’ll be in great shape come moving day. Stock up on coffee and great music, and enjoy the excitement of moving to a new country!