move to canada from us
Are you an American citizen or Permanent Resident looking to move to Canada from US?
or Are you a Worker or Student in the US who prefers to move to Canada?
Chitra & Associates Immigration Consultants in Vancouver can help.
Understand the best programs for your situation
Apply for the quickest path to immigration
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How To Move to Canada From US
In the recent months, the demand for moving to Canada from US has skyrocketed. In 2019, more than 10,000 US residents made the move to Canada. This is why we have provided below a guide to moving to Canada from US.
Are you considering making the move from US to Canada? AMAZING! We can help. Moving to Canada can provide a wealth of opportunities for you and your family, including quality education and universal healthcare. First you need to understand your options to move to Canada legally.
We have compiled a guide with the most common questions we get for individuals and families looking to move to Canada from US below.
American citizens, including American-Canadian citizens, must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada. You do not need a Canadian passport, a Canadian visa or an eTA to enter Canada if you are travelling with a valid U.S. passport.
The following basic requirements must be met:
- have a valid travel document, like a passport
- be in good health
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
- convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- have enough money for your stay
Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. They must present a valid Green Card and a valid passport at check-in.
In moving from US to Canada for work, there are different types of options available for individuals. Some of them are as follows:
- USMCA Work Permit (previously NAFTA Work Permit) for Professionals
Applies to: Individuals who are qualified in one of the targeted professions (including accountants, engineers, lawyers, teachers, etc) and have pre-arranged work in one of these fields.
- USMCA Work Permit (previously NAFTA Work Permit) for Intra-Company Transfers
Applies to: Individuals who are staffed at an American company. These individuals can transfer to a Canadian branch of the firm. We work with clients who are also looking to transfer an executive employee for opening a branch/subsidiary in Canada. Past clients have included IT companies and online retailers looking to expand their market to Canada and set up on-shore service models for their American business and/or clients.
- SWAP Working Holidays Program for Recent Graduates
Applies to: Individuals between the ages of 18 to 35 who have been in a full-time, post-secondary educational program in the past 12 one year.
Find out more about how you can qualify for a work permit in Canada by booking a consultation with our consultants. Based on your qualifications, you may be eligible for one or more programs. If you don’t qualify as a worker in Canada, you may qualify as a student or for Permanent Residency. We can help you with creating an immigration pathway for you.
Are you a U.S. citizen thinking about studying in Canada? Studying in Canada is a great option for those looking for a world class education. Canada’s education system has ranked amongst the best in the world. This includes post-secondary institutions such as University of Toronto and University of British Columbia, which provide exemplary post-secondary programs.
US citizens and residents looking to study in Canada can pursue studies in areas of study such as business, technology, arts, health sciences, trades, and more. Students have the option to pursue 1 or 2 Year Certificates or Diplomas, 2 Year Associate Degrees, 4 Year Bachelor Degrees, Masters degrees and much more.
Students who pursue studies in Canada may qualify for a post graduate work permit if they meet certain criteria. This is an attractive part of studying in Canada as this helps students gain Canadian practical work experience and create an immigration pathway if they choose Canada as their home. When selecting your study program, it’s important to consider the length of the post-graduate work permit that you will be eligible for upon program completion. The post-graduate work permit can range from one to three years depending on your program.
In order to study in Canada, your first step will be to apply to designation learning institutions. Our admissions consultants can help in finding the right programs for you and assisting you with admissions.
Once you are admitted, you will need a Canadian study visa if your course is longer than 6 months. You need to ensure that you have sufficient documentation to prove that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself in school. You can apply for a study permit online or at port of entry (an airport or land crossing into Canada).
Are you looking for assistance with applying for admissions in Canada and applying for your study permit? We can help. We work with our partner company Study Abroad Xperts to find the right programs for you and ensure you have support from an RCIC to answer your immigration questions.
Get started today by submitting your profile for an admission assessment!
Express Entry is one of the easiest ways to get Permanent Residency in Canada. It is a system used by Immigration, Refugees, & Citizenship Canada to process Canadian immigration applications for three economic immigration programs. If you qualify under these programs, you are then assigned a CRS Score and placed with the applicant pool. Applicants with high CRS scores or specific skills get an invitation to apply for Permanent Residency.
The following three federal economic programs are included in this program:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW)
Applies to: Individuals with at least one year of work experience, who meet the minimum language requirements in English or French. You must also score 67 out of 100 points on the FSW selection grid.
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST)
Applies to: Individuals with at least two years of experience in a skilled trade such as the below trades. You must also satisfy language requirements in English or French and have either a Canadian certificate of qualification to practice your trade in Canada or a job offer from a Canadian employer in your skilled trade.
- Industrial, electrical and construction trades
- Maintenance and equipment operation trades
- Supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production
- Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
- Chefs and cooks
- Butchers and bakers
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
Applies to: Individuals with at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada. Skilled work experience includes experience in NOC 0,A,B positions.
These programs are highly competitive with 196,658 invitations to apply being issued in 2019. Everyone is assigned a CRS Score and is picked from the pool based on CRS draws. Only the highest-ranking individuals are invited to apply.
In the 2021-2023 immigration plan released recently, Canada has set a target of 208,500 economic immigrants under federal and provincial programs. This number increases to 213,900 and 217,500 in 2022 and 2023 respectively. This is clearly a strong focus for Canada and is a popular choice amongst our American clients since they tend to have the relevant work experience and qualifications.
Do you want to confirm your CRS score and find out ways to improve your score? Talk to an RCIC to understand your chances and review your score.
In addition to these federal programs, Canada also has provincial programs. Each province operates its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which offers immigration programs based on the province’s needs and priorities. Some popular provincial programs are:
- British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) – Skills Immigration, Entrepreneur Immigration, International Post-Graduate Program, BC PNP Tech Pilot
- Alberta Immigrant Nominee program (AINP) – Alberta Opportunity Stream, International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Self-Employed Farmer Stream
- Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) – In-Demand Skills stream, French Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, Skilled Trades Stream
- New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – NB Skilled Worker stream, Entrepreneurial Stream, Strategic Initiative Stream for French-speaking immigrants
Provincial Nominee programs are a great option for those who don’t qualify under the Express Entry system but still have skills that will meet regional labour market needs. The provincial nominee programs offer a pathway to permanent residency. There are two ways to apply for provincial nominee programs –
- PNP Express Entry: In this method, you create an Express Entry profile and when you get a provincial nomination, you will get 600 additional points added to your CRS score. This gives you a considerable increase in points and pretty much ensures you will get an ITA for permanent residency in the next round. This option is suitable for individuals who meet the basic qualifications for Express Entry but don’t have a competitive CRS score.
- PNP Non-Express Entry: In this you will be directly applying to the province and will get an invitation to apply if chosen. This method does not require an individual to meet certain eligibility requirements that would make them ineligible through express entry.
These are only some of the federal and provincial immigration programs. Based on your profile and situation, you may qualify for many different programs. You need to assess which programs you qualify for, and have the best chances for. There are special considerations for french-speakers and bilingual individuals who may be able to get additional points and qualify for special immigration programs. If you don’t directly qualify for these programs, you may be eligible for an immigration pathway by first studying or working in Canada.
Feeling overwhelmed? We get it. We’re here to help! We specialize in helping individuals understand the best pathway for their immigration. Our risk-free process means you can first understand what you are eligible for, and only then sign up for a full service (or do a guided application – completely up to you!). First step? Book a consultation with us.
Much like economic immigration programs, Canada has federal and provincial programs for businesses, investors and self-employed individuals. Business immigration is complex and requires expert advice to understand which program will be a good fit based on your investment capacity, net worth, and many other factors.
Some of the programs that are available are:
- For Investors – Quebec Investor Program
This program allows investors to immigrate to Canada by providing the sum of $1,200,000 CAD to the Quebec government. The Quebec government then invests these funds for its own benefit and refund it to the immigrant in five years, interest free. They have specific criteria to assess eligibility including net assets, intention to settle in Quebec, and much more.
- For Entrepreneurs & Business Owners – There are provincial programs available including
- BC Immigrant Entrepreneur Stream
- Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program – Business Applicant
- New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – Business Applicant
- Ontario Immigration Nominee Program – Investment Stream
- Prince Edward Island Business Impact Stream for 100% Ownership
- Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program – Entrepreneur (SINP-E)
- Yukon Business Immigration Nominee Program
- North West Territories Immigration Nominee Program – Entrepreneur Stream
- For Self-Employed Individuals – Canada has a special program for self-employed individuals for cultural activities or athletics. You must show that you have taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level or been a self-employment person in cultural activities or athletics. Some of our past clients have included world-class dancers and Olympic shooters.
It is important to get your profile assessed to see if you meet the criteria for any of the business immigration programs. The criteria can be complex, including considerations for your past experiences, net worth, investment capacity, and much more.
Get started by Booking a Consultation with an immigration consultant today!
Canadian cities have their own unique characteristics and charm, whether it be quaint Halifax in Nova Scotia on the East Coast, hustle-bustle Toronto in Ontario, or the relaxed West Coast lifestyle in Vancouver, BC. Read more about two popular choices for American immigrants moving to Canada from US below:
- Toronto: It’s the largest city in Canada and is known for being Canada’s financial hub. It is also home to many of North America’s fashion and design houses. Immigrants to Toronto enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle with a strong job market and plenty of opportunities. It’s close proximity to the US border and the American East Coast markets have made it a popular destination for immigrants moving to Canada from US.
- Vancouver: Located in Beautiful British Columbia, Vancouver is a coastal city with a relaxed lifestyle and plenty of opportunities for those seeking outdoor adventures. Whether it be hiking the Chief in the summers or cross-country skiing on Whistler mountain, thrill seekers enjoy the lifestyle of Vancouver all year long. This is a popular destination for Americans moving to Canada from the west coast or for those looking for a balanced work life so that they can enjoy the scenery of Vancouver.
In order to successfully come to Canada you must also meet admissibility requirements in addition to the requirements for the specific programs. Inadmissibility refers to people who are not able to immigrate to Canada under inadmissibility categories such as medical and criminal inadmissibility.
Inadmissibility is a complex matter and should be discussed with a professional before you apply. If you have a criminal record, you may be criminally inadmissible to Canada. This includes small crimes that don’t result in jail time.
If you believe you are inadmissible, there may be ways for you to overcome your inadmissibility. Contact us to learn more about your options for moving to Canada from US and overcoming inadmissibility.
Past visa refusals can complicate your case significantly. It’s important to understand why your visa was refused and provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the visa officer that your visa should not be refused on this basis.
As a first step, you need to request your visa notes. You can do so through our visa notes service here. We can then walk you through the notes and suggest ways to improve your application to strengthen it before submitting it again.
Ready to Start Your Move from US to Canada?
We can help you get started with a risk-free process. Our proposal is simple – we always start with a consultation. During this time, we understand your situation and explain your options to immigrate to Canada. Immigration is a complex matter and it can be overwhelming with over 80 immigration programs in Canada. The first consultation is your time to get your profile assessed, understand how to start your application, and get to know us.
If you decide to retain our services, we will adjust the consultation fees in our retainer. But we make sure that you are fully informed to do your application should you choose. For our American clients, our most popular service is a guided application where you complete your application with our guidance in the form of multiple consultations.
We can discuss this further when we chat. We would love to help you in this process and are excited for you to see our beautiful country!
check your eligibility
Want to know if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada?
Talk to our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to find out!