Steps to Move to Canada from USA

move to canada from US

Last Updated On : March 28 , 2024

Moving from the United States to Canada represents a major transition filled with exciting opportunities for American expatriates. Whether you're a student, expat, or skilled worker considering relocating to Canada to explore new professional horizons, we've assembled this comprehensive guide to provide you with vital information. 

Delve into this resource to understand the nuances of the Canada immigration process, gain valuable insights into life in Canada, and discover the essential requirements to enhance your chances of success.

Are you feeling uncertain about the immigration procedures for moving to Canada from the USA or unsure about the travel guidelines?

1. Select One Immigration Program

Moving from Florida to Canada offers numerous immigration pathways tailored to diverse circumstances. Here's a breakdown, with guidance from a Canada immigration consultant to navigate the process effectively.

A.) Express Entry: 

This serves as Canada's primary mechanism for managing skilled worker applications for permanent residence. The United States stands out as a significant source country for individuals immigrating to Canada through Express Entry

Citizens and residents frequently enjoy favourable opportunities to receive invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry, thanks to their strong language skills, skilled work experience, and high educational attainment.

B.) Provincial Nominee Program (PNP):

Each Canadian province or territory operates its own immigration program. If you have a specific province in mind for settlement or possess skills in demand by a particular region, exploring PNP options is advisable. Nominees from provinces gain additional points within the Express Entry system (EE).

C.) Family Sponsorship Visa:

Canadian citizens/residents can sponsor spouses/common-law partners for permanent residency. LGBTQ+ partners eligible. Approval by IRCC is required.

D.) Start-Up Visa Program:

The Start-Up Visa Program beckons immigrant entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to establish businesses in Canada. With support from designated Canadian organisations, language proficiency, and settlement funds, applicants can kick start their ventures, create jobs, and compete globally. Successful candidates first arrive on a work permit and later transition to permanent residence once their businesses thrive.

2. Check Requirements

Transitioning to the next stage of the Canada PR process from the USA entails various crucial elements:

Express Entry Requirements:

Fulfilling the criteria of one of the three federal immigration programs within Express Entry is essential. You have a choice between the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Requirements:

Canada, like the U.S., is divided into provinces and territories. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) aids immigration. Express Entry profiles gain 600 CRS points for provincial nominations.

Proof Of Funds for Canada PR:

For Express Entry, demonstrating sufficient funds to sustain yourself and your family post-arrival in Canada is mandatory. The required amount varies based on family size, commencing at $13,757 for a single individual as of 2023.

Provincial Nominee Program fund requisites can vary. Some PNP streams may exempt applicants from providing proof of funds if applying through the Canadian Experience Class or possessing a valid job offer.

3. Enter into Express Entry Pool:

The Express Entry Pool is a system that manages various express entry profiles who are looking for Canadian PR. People with the highest scores in the pool are invited to apply for a Permanent Resident visa (PR).

A) Complete Express Entry Profile:

Commence by crafting your profile on the official website, providing details encompassing age, education, work history, and language proficiency.

Ensuring accuracy and up-to-date information is crucial for successful submission of your express entry profile.

B) Calculate CRS Score:

Your profile undergoes assessment using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), assigning points based on factors such as skills, work experience, and linguistic capabilities. You can gauge your score using online tools provided by the Canadian authorities.

C) Keep updated with Express Entry Draws:

Stay informed about Express Entry draw announcements, typically occurring biweekly. These draws select candidates with the highest CRS scores from the express entry pool.

D) Receive an ITA if Qualified:

You must then submit a comprehensive application within 60 days of receiving the ITA. Utilise the Canada Immigration Tracker to stay updated on your application progress.

4. Pay the fee of Canada PR Process:

  • Processing fee for Express Entry pathway: CAD 825
  • Application fee for the right of permanent residence: CAD 500
  • Biometrics fee: CAD 85

It is important to pay all fees upfront, including the right of permanent residence fee, to avoid processing delays.

5. Travel Guidelines for moving to Canada from USA

Below are the travel guidelines for relocating to Canada from the USA, presented in bullet points:

  • Documentation: Ensure you have all necessary travel documents, including a valid passport and any required visas or permits.
  • COVID-19: Latest update states that COVID-19 test results are not required for entry into Canada, though adherence to recommended vaccination guidelines is advised.
  • Reporting Requirements: For arrival in Canada via private boat or non-commercial aircraft, acquaint yourself with specific reporting obligations.
  • Advance Declaration: Use the convenient Advance Declaration feature in Arrive CAN to submit your customs and immigration declaration before your flight US to Canada.

6. Life as a US Citizen in Canada

Living as a US citizen in Canada can be immensely rewarding, with access to a superior quality of life, diverse communities, and robust public services. Here's a concise overview of the aforementioned aspects:

2024 Policies for Newcomers:

Canada has introduced new regulations and laws in 2024 that impact newcomers at federal and provincial levels. These changes cover adjustments in employment, taxes, and international student tuition.

American Communities in Canada:

A vibrant American expatriate community thrives in Canada, particularly in provinces like Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. Major urban centres such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are home to lively American communities.

 Employment Opportunities in Canada:

US citizens have the opportunity to seek employment in Canada through programs, the Canadian Work Permit and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). The employment landscape is diverse, offering opportunities across a wide range of industries.

Canada's Healthcare System:

Canada provides a universal healthcare system to its citizens and permanent residents. Non-citizens, including US citizens, may access certain healthcare services based on their immigration status, with some provinces offering more extensive coverage than others


Embarking on the exciting journey from the USA to Canada opens doors to countless opportunities. With PAIC's expert guidance, navigating the immigration process becomes a breeze, guaranteeing a seamless transition for American expats. Explore the Canada Immigration Tracker and start your journey to Canada from the US.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The application fee for Canadian permanent residency is approximately equivalent to USD 1,365 for the primary applicant.
US citizens are generally able to purchase property in Canada without specific visa requirements. However, if they intend to make the property their primary residence, they may need to obtain a visa.
Sherbrook, Quebec, is considered the most affordable place to live in Canada, with a monthly cost of living for a single person at $1,193.4, excluding rent.
Yes, you may qualify for certain immigration pathways.
Yes, but you still need to meet Canada’s immigration requirements.
Yes, after meeting residency and other eligibility criteria.