With its progressive governing body and tolerant social atmosphere, Canada is an ideal destination to move to as a United States citizen. Before you head for the border to move there permanently, you’ll need to get through a lot of bureaucracy.
1. Get Your Passport
Any international move you plan will require you and every member of your family to have a valid United States passport. Most post offices in the United States will be able to assist you in obtaining your passport. You can go into a post office to retrieve an application and ask any questions you may have. Most post offices will also be able to take your passport-specific photograph for a fee.
2. Check Your Eligibility
Canada has multiple programs that are designed to ease entry into their country as a temporary or permanent resident. You may be eligible to take advantage of one or more of these programs to help expedite your immigration to Canada. There is a short questionnaire that you can fill out on the Government of Canada website. Within 10-15 minutes, the website will tell you which programs you qualify for and provide you with the next steps that you need to take.
3. Fill Out Your Applications
Once you’ve taken a look at the eligible programs you qualify for, choose one and follow the steps to fill out the application. This can be a long and difficult process. The applications will ask you detailed questions and can often be confusing. This is where many people decide to hire an immigration attorney instead of trying to fill out the applications themselves. While an immigration attorney will cost money, you’re more likely to have your application accepted if it’s filled out by an experienced immigration attorney that knows the system.
4. Pay For Tests
You won’t be able to permanently move to Canada until you’ve completed a series of tests and exams. Most importantly, you will need a medical exam by a certified doctor to ensure that your health won’t become a burden on the Canadian healthcare system. Each member of your family that plans to immigrate may need to get this exam. A language exam might also be required to ensure that you can speak one of the two native languages in Canada which are English and French. Each of these exams costs money, so be prepared to pay a couple hundred dollars in total. You will also need a work permit in order to work in Canada. A permit has varying costs depending on the type for which you apply.
Once your paperwork is completed and your permits are obtained, all that’s left to do is pack. Be sure to purge your possessions before moving so that you have fewer boxes to pack and transport across the border. Each of your boxes will be inspected by border patrol agents when you cross, so fewer boxes mean less trouble.