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Moving to Canada

Your Complete Relocation Guide

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Looking to make your dream of moving to Canada a reality? For all the little details on how to move to Canada from the US, we’ve developed this handy guide. From international moving costs, visa applications to expected living costs, learn all you’ll need to know before strapping on your winter coat and making the big move to Canada.

International Movers Costs US to Canada

Generally speaking, there are multiple factors associated with international moving costs. However, the transport of your belongings tends to be the biggest expense, which is largely influenced by the size of your move.

If you’re moving to Canada from the East Coast, you can expect your international moving costs to be between $5,400 and $10,800. If you’re relocating to Canada from the West Coast, expect rates between $7,200 and $8,200.

Moving to Canada from the East Coast

We compiled the average costs of moving to Canada for a three-bedroom household from the East Coast to Canada below.

DestinationSea-freightRoad Transport
Toronto, Ontario$5,400 – $7,300$2,400 – $3,300
Montreal, Québec$5,300 – $7,200$2,000 – $2,800
Vancouver, British Columbia$6,700 – $9,100$9,800 – $13,200
Calgary, Alberta$8,600 – $11,400$7,900 – $10,800

Disclaimer: Please are that the above rates are based on estimates and prices will vary depending on your point of departure.

Moving to Canada from the West Coast

Below you can find a list of the average moving costs for a three-bedroom household from the Pacific side:

DestinationSea-freight roadRoad Transport
Ottawa, Ontario$7,200 – $9,700$9,100 – $12,200
Montreal, Québec$6,800 – $9,200$9,300 – $12,600
Victoria, British Columbia$5,500 – $7,500$4,500 – $6,200
Edmonton, Alberta$7,400 – $10,100$6,000 – $8,200

Disclaimer: Please are that the above rates are based on estimates and prices will vary depending on your point of departure.

Moving Companies to Canada

Are you searching for movers to Canada? You’re in the right place. Take a look at the 3 best international removal companies from America to Canada:

1. Laser Moving

2. Ruby International

3. Uplift Movers

International Movers Quote to Canada

By now you’ll have noticed that the price ranges for moving to Canada are not quite exact. This makes it all the more important to find the best price from the right moving company for your particular move. Compare reliable and professional international movers to get the best prices possible!

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Moving to Canada as an American

If you decide to move to Canada for more than 180 days, you will have to apply for either a work visa or a permanent residency, depending on the reason of your move.

Make sure to check first if you’re eligible to apply for these permits before starting any process.

Working in Canada

How hard is it to find a job in Canada? In many cases, it’s no easier or harder than back home. As we mentioned before, you’ll need a work permit in order to legally work in Canada.

When looking for a job in Canada, many online job boards will be familiar to many of you already:

How to Move to Canada for Work

In Canada, work visas come in two ways:

With an open work permit, you’d be allowed to work for any employer in Canada. An employer-specific permit, on the other hand, only allows you to work for a particular employer.

Obtaining a Canadian work visa costs around $155 CAD ($117 USD).

Specific Requirements

In Canada, work visas are issued to different types of workers :

  • Temporary workers;
  • Business people
  • Students;
  • And caregivers.

You must keep in mind that there are specific requirements for each type of worker. As well, eligibility requirements differ depending on whether you apply from inside or outside of Canada.

If you’re moving to Canada from the US as a skilled immigrant, you’ll eligible to apply for Express Entry. This is only applicable if you’re planning to become a permanent worker rather than just a temporary one.

Getting a Permanent Residency

Planning on making the Great White North your forever home? Then you’ll need to apply for full permanent residency. There’s three main ways you can obtain a permanent residency:

  • Express entry: As mentioned before, you can apply if you’re qualified as a skilled immigrant. This entry automatically provides permanent residency.
  • Family sponsorship: If a relative is above 18 years old and currently a permanent resident of Canada, they can sponsor a family member.
  • Business entry: If you’re interested in operating a business in Canada, you’re eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Business Immigration Program. 

Getting an International Health Insurance

If you’re a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident then you’re entitled to public health insurance.

In every province, most basic medical services are generally covered by this insurance. But it would be too easy if there weren’t extra little details to it, so it’s important that you research local health ministries about your coverage.

Private Insurance

Private insurance is also there to boost your coverage for blind spots in the universal healthcare system. This is particularly effective for:

  • Prescription medicine
  • Dental care
  • Ambulance services
  • Physiotherapy
  • Prescription glasses

If you’d prefer, you can also take out international health insurance in the United States before or after moving to Canada. With it, you’ll enjoy added coverage for medical emergencies and routine healthcare work.

Opening a Bank Account

When moving to Canada it might be smart to open a Canadian bank account. Here’s the set of documents you’ll need to open an account with most banks:

  • Passport
  • Secondary form of ID
  • Immigration papers
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Resident permit

We recommend that you check out the Canadian Government’s website for further information about personal taxes, business taxes, and much more.

Do keep in mind that as a US citizen, your income is still subject to U.S. income tax regardless of where you reside. Therefore, it’s important to understand the tax implications of a US citizen moving to Canada.

Finding a School for the Children

For American families considering moving to Canada, much of the Canadian education system will appear familiar. Education levels in Canada span kindergarten through the 12th grade, and typically follow a similar academic calendar as in the US.

However, certain details vary per province, such as the school starting age or if late elementary/early secondary school years are grouped into middle (or junior high) schools.

Because access to education in Canada is free and funded through local taxes, the quality of education in affluent communities is often reflected in property prices.

Moving to Canada with a Car

If you’re planning to move from the US to Canada with a car, keep in mind these three points.

1. Check the admissibility of your car in Canada

To be imported from the United States to Canada, a vehicle must be included in Transport Canada’s list of authorized models. Make sure to check the list to verify the eligibility of your car model for importation by consulting Transport Canada’s approved list.

2. Gather the Required Documents

Importing your vehicle to Canada from the US will require you to collect a few mandatory documents. Here’s a checklist to stay organized:

Before Leaving the US

  • The vehicle title or certificate of origin
  • The bill of sale of the vehicle
  • The recall clearance letter form the vehicle manufacturer
  • The vehicle modification records if any modifications have been made

At the Canadian Border

After Entry into Canada

  • The transport Canada Inspection certificate issued after the inspection
  • The certificate of title provided by the provincial licensing office
  • A proof of address in Canada

3. Pay the Appropriate Fees

  • The RIV Fee for processing your import application
  • Good and Services Tax (GST)
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
  • Customs duties
  • Transport Canada Inspection Fee

Moving to Canada from the US – The Checklist

Moving internationally requires a good organization and planning. We recommend noting the following points to make sure you’ve got it all covered when moving to Canada.

Before Moving to Canada

  • Collect all important documents: Ensure that all the paperwork you might need is in check. This doesn’t only include visas and permits, but also birth certificates, medical and dental records, and so on.
  • Select an international mover: Not sure where to start? Check out which international movers made it to our top 5!
  • Pet documents: In case you’re planning on moving to Canada with your pet, ensure that your furry friend has all the necessary documents to meet the pet entry requirements in Canada.
  • Notify others about your move: Keep in mind that there might be governmental and tax organizations you might need to notify about your move to Canada.
  • Pack: Tedious but necessary, it’s important that you go through your belongings and determine what items you’d like to move with you and pack them all up.

After Moving to Canada

  • Health insurance: Apply to Canada’s public health insurance so you can be covered as soon as possible.
  • Bank account: Set up a Canadian bank account in case you haven’t done it online already.
  • Unpack: Try to unpack everything within the first couple of weeks of your move.

Living in Canada as a an American

The cost of living in Canada will vary depending on the city that you live in as well as on the number of people in your household.

Based on, the average costs of living in Canada is 14% cheaper than the US. Generally, the most expensive cities to live in include:

  • Vancouver, BC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Victoria, BC
  • Calgary, AB
  • Hamilton-Burlington, ON


Living and finding housing after moving form the US to Canada is going to be 28% cheaper on average. Take a look at these average rent prices per city:

City1-bedroom Apt.2-bedroom Apt.3-bedroom Apt.

Disclaimer: these numbers are estimations gather from

What’s It Like Living in Canada?

Canada is sometimes referred to as a European country across the Atlantic. Some go as far as calling it ‘Candinavia’, because living in Canada includes so much public welfare and progressive values.

Americans Living in Canada

For many Americans, living in Canada will be much the same as living back home. Canadians are famous for their politeness, and often express deep concern and attention for others even in casual scenarios, which may require an adjustment period.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Canada

There’s many reasons why you could be moving to Canada from the US. Before planning your international move check out the pros and cons of moving to Canada.


 Universal healthcare
 Pristine wilderness
 Strong workers' right


 Regional economies
 Long-distance between cities
 High costs of living

Good Luck Moving to Canada!

We hope we’ve managed to give you a better understanding of how to move to Canada. In case you need some extra assistance, at Sirelo we got your back! Check out the articles we have linked below for you –they’ll be of great help!