3 Ways to Move to Canada from the USA

Published on: September 6th, 2022
Last updated: December 19th, 2022

Thinking of moving to Canada from the US? It may be easier than you think. Take a look at our recommendations on the 3 best ways to make the move to Canada from the USA.

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In recent years, Canada has become a hotspot for immigrants from all over the world. And with so much to offer for newcomers to Canada, it’s no wonder why! Canada has a lot to offer, especially for Americans looking to move to a new country. With a lower cost of living in most cities, more affordable education, and an overall safer environment, it’s no surprise that immigration from the US has been on the rise in recent years. Whether you’re looking to move to a large city or the countryside, Canada has it all.

While US citizens can easily travel to Canada, they need a visa in order to live and work in Canada. Fortunately, there are plenty of programs that make it possible for Americans to immigrate to Canada. However with over 100 different Canadian immigration pathways for skilled workers, business people, and families. With so many options it can feel overwhelming to know where to start, or how to find the best program for you, so read on for our recommendations

How to Move to Canada from the USA

#1 Express Entry

For those who qualify, Express Entry can be one of the best ways to immigrate to Canada. Express Entry is one of the fastest and easiest ways to move permanently from the US to Canada. On average, Express Entry applications are processed within 6 months.

Express Entry is made up of three economic immigration streams. The Federal Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Experience Class, or the Federal Skilled Trades program. To be eligible to enter the Express Entry pool, you must be eligible to enter one of these three streams. Each program has its own specific requirements. The program that is best for you will depend on your own unique profile and experience.

Once you apply through a selected program, applicants are then entered into a pool. Once in the pool, candidates will be assigned a score and will be ranked against other candidates in the pool. Only the top-ranking candidates will be chosen to apply to immigrate to Canada.

Fortunately, both US nationals and US residents tend to rank very well once in the pool. This is because they generally have high language abilities, great education, and solid work experience.

If you’re curious about what your CRS score might be, Canadim offers a free CRS score calculator that lets you estimate your ranking in the Express Entry pool.

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#2 Work in Canada

Americans may also qualify for a NAFTA work permit. NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is an agreement between Canada, the US, and Mexico that facilitates trade between the three countries. It works in part, by allowing certain professionals to work in Canada without first securing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

NAFTA permits are issued through the international mobility program to American citizens. They must have an eligible job offer from a Canadian employer to come and work in Canada. NAFTA also makes it possible to transfer a US worker to a Canadian branch if you work for a company with branches in both the US and Canada.

If you are living in the US, but are not a US citizen, you will not be able to benefit from NAFTA. However, you may still be eligible to work in Canada on an employer-specific work permit. This may require you to first get an LMIA, which is a document that proves the employer tried to find a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to fill the role. If you work for a company that also has a presence in Canada, you may also be able to secure a work permit as an Intra company transferee, again, avoiding the need for an LMIA.

#3 Study in Canada

Another popular option to move to Canada from the US is by coming as an international student.

Not only does Canada offer lower tuition rates than the US, but international students in Canada can also start working immediately. A Canadian study permit allows a student to work up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during breaks and holidays.

After graduating, international students may also be eligible for a special work permit that allows them to work for any employer, anywhere in Canada.

Applicants who could be interested in one day becoming a permanent resident, studying and working in Canada could also be of benefit. Canadian work experience and a degree from a Canadian institution, drastically increase your chances of having a successful Canadian permanent residence application.

Interested in learning more about your options to immigrate to Canada? Take our free assessment to discover all of your options.

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