How to Move from the U.S to Canada...A step by step guide

(Courtesy of USA Today)

Canada, America’s neighbor to the north, is the world’s second-largest country by area and home to more than 34 million residents in 2011, according to the CIA World Factbook. Moving from the United States to Canada is more involved than just packing up your belongings and finding a new domicile. Before you can move to Canada, you must apply for permanent Canadian residency with the office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Visit Canada to determine where you would like to live and the logistics of moving your belongings there, should your application for permanent residency be accepted. Americans with a valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card can stay in Canada for up to 180 days without having to apply for a Canadian visa.
Determine which type of permanent Canadian residency best suits your qualifications. Choose from the Skilled Workers and Professionals, Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience, Investors and Entrepreneurs, Provincial Nominees and Family-Sponsored categories. Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website ( to review the requirements for each category.
Print the application form for the appropriate permanent residency category from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Complete the application form with a blue or black ballpoint pen; write legibly to avoid unnecessary processing delays.
Submit the completed application along with the applicable processing fee and requested supporting documents to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office listed on your residency application. The supporting documents vary by residency category and include a photocopy of the personal information pages of your valid U.S. passport, proof of English (and sometimes French) language proficiency, birth certificate and financial information.
Wait for the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office to process your application for permanent residency. If your application is approved, you will receive an official Canadian Permanent Resident card.
Rent a self-driven moving truck or hire a moving company that offers international moving services, such as Mayflower. Make a list of all the items that you’re bringing into Canada and their value. Make a second list of any items that will be shipped from the U.S. to Canada at a later date, if applicable. Provide two copies of each list to the customs officials when you enter the country. Give the copies to the driver of the moving truck if you hired an international moving service.

You will be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship after three years of living in Canada as a permanent resident.
You must apply for Canadian permanent residency well in advance of your estimated moving date. It can take up to two years for your permanent residency application to be processed.

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