Moving to Canada from the United States
There are many ways to immigrate to Canada from the United States or to reside in Canada temporarily.
Work in Canada
Much like in the United States, Canadians enjoy a free market economy, where individuals and enterprises are rewarded for their innovation and hard work.
Obtaining a Canadian work visa/permit is usually an important step towards working legally in Canada. If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, You and your prospective employer may have to obtain a document called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before you begin working in Canada. This document serves as proof that your employment in Canada will likely have a neutral or positive effect on the local labor market. Our offices can assist with the process.
Working Holidays (SWAP)
Working Holidays - Student Work Abroad Programs facilitate international exchanges between young people from different nations. U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 to 30, inclusive, may obtain an open work permit for 12 months under this program, provided that they have been enrolled in a full-time post-secondary study at some point in the past twelve months. Final year students not returning to studies are also eligible.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. citizens may be eligible for facilitated processing when applying for a Temporary Work Permit in Canada. Work Permits under the provisions of NAFTA do not usually require an LMIA.
U.S. citizens may work in Canada under NAFTA through one of the following categories:
- Intra-Company Transfer
- Intra-Company transferees from the U.S. may be transferred to Canada on a temporary basis in order to work for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their employer. These individuals must have worked continuously for their U.S. employer for at least one of the last three years and be employed by the company at the time of application in a position that is considered managerial, executive, or involving specialized knowledge.
- Traders and Investors
You can find out more on NAFTA here: NAFTA
Because Canada is the United States' largest trading partner, and vice versa, a large number of American businesses have affiliate offices, branches, or subsidiaries in Canada. The Intra-Company Transfer Program allows international businesses to bring key employees to Canada without the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Employees who work in executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge roles may be eligible to come to Canada with their family and work as an intra-company transferee.
A number of situations may occur when U.S. citizens can perform work in Canada without needing to secure a Temporary Work Permit. This includes individuals who engage in business or trade activities in Canada but will not enter the Canadian labor market, known collectively as Business Visitors.
Other positions covered by this provision include after-sales service workers, athletes, performing artists, media, and military personnel.
Young Americans do consider Canadian universities and colleges for education. International students in Canada can also work while studying, allowing them to support themselves and gain work experience.
Studying in Canada is a pathway towards immigrating to Canada permanently.
Permanent Immigration to Canada
A major advantage with the Express Entry immigration selection system is that applications are processed within six months. Americans have higher chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry, due to language skills, the probability of having obtained skilled work experience, and the higher education that they may have completed.
More on Express Entry can be found here.
The Provincial Nominee Programs may be a useful starting point for Americans who know which province they wish to move to, as well as others who have specific skill sets and work experience that certain provinces are looking for.
More on Provincial Nominee Programs can be found here.
Immigration to Quebec
Quebec is home to the city of Montreal, which has a large English-speaking population, a relatively low cost of living, and the second-highest per-capita student population of any city in North America. The U.S.–Canada border is also just a 45-minute drive from downtown Montreal.
Quebec is the land of heavily subsidized daycare for children and huge public investment in education, job training, and retirement costs.
A large percentage of American immigrants to Canada arrive after being sponsored by a Canadian spouse or common-law partner.
More information on the Spousal/Common-law partnership can be found here.
Business Immigration to Canada
Through the Business Class immigration programs, Canada aims to attract individuals that have a significant ability to contribute to the Canadian economy.
Provincial Business/Entrepreneur Programs
Canadian provinces decide which economic migrants settle in their jurisdictions, and many of them are looking for energetic and innovative entrepreneurs to help grown their economies.
Federal Business/Investor Immigration
The goal of Canada's federal business immigration programs is to attract investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals from outside Canada with venture capital, business acumen, and entrepreneurial skills.
Self-Employed Persons Program
This program seeks to bring people who will become self-employed in Canada. Applicants must have either relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics or experience in farm management.
The province of Quebec presents some interesting business immigration options for US citizens as well.
Quebec Investor Program: This program allows individuals with a net worth of at least CAD$1.6 million and managerial experience to make a government-secured investment for a period of five years.
Quebec Entrepreneur Program: To qualify as an entrepreneur, an individual must have a net worth of at least CAD$300,000, have managerial experience in a business that they either owned or controlled and be willing and able to establish or acquire a business in Quebec which will create at least one incremental job in Quebec.
Quebec Self-Employed Person Program: Under this program, self-employed persons must have a net worth of at least CAD$100,000 and must have work experience in the profession or trade that they intend to practice in Quebec.
Considerations when Moving to Canada
Canada and the U.S. have a well-documented Tax Treaty that, for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital.
Canada has a public health care system that makes critical care accessible to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents alike, as well as certain temporary residents.
How to proceed?
1. Email us Your CV/Resume, 4-5 sentences about Yourself/Family Situation, If you or your spouse took IELTS – Test results, family in Canada (if any), desired province.
* If Business Immigration / Employee Relocation / Investments - Short description of the issue
2. We review your documents and appoint a consultant/lawyer to contact you with the brief assessment
3. You decide whether to proceed.
If you require in-person consultation, please email us to schedule an appointment.
All our cases are handled by experienced lawyers and RCIC immigration specialists.
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Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and the copyright owner is the: Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Immigration Quebec, Canadian Provinces and Territories
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