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What to Expect When Moving to The USA

moving from Canada to the USA

There are many reasons that someone would want to move to the USA. Perhaps, you have fallen in love and wish to marry, or you are getting a job transfer, looking for new job opportunities or wanting to further your education. No matter what your reason for moving, there are certain steps that are necessary in order to reside in the USA.

Some people think that the move will be pretty easy, but unless you have the necessary information, you may just end up stopped at the border and then you will have to turn around and go back home. In order to avoid that scenario we will list some of the important things that you may have overlooked.


Make sure that all passports, yours and those of your wife and children, if they are going with you, are up to date.


There are many types of visas that are available. Your reason for moving to the USA will dictate which type of visa you will need.

For instance, if you wish to become a permanent resident in the USA you can do this in two ways.

  1. You can have a family member sponsor you as a permanent residence immigrant.
  2. You can have an employer sponsor you.

There are certain criteria that must be satisfied in order to be sponsored. This would include

  • Proof that your sponsor will be able to support you enough so that you will be living above the poverty line
  • You must show proof that you are related if you are using a family member to sponsor you
  • In the case of an employer sponsoring you, your employer will need to file specific forms and show that they are giving you full time employment.

There are other circumstances where you can obtain a Green Card, but specific forms must be filled out and accepted before you can make the transition.

A Green Card must be renewed after 10 years. At that time, you may be able to apply for citizenship and become a permanent resident of the USA.

Moving Your Household Belongings

In order to bring your household effects with you, you will need to fill out a special declaration form. Generally, what you have been using and have had in your possession for more than 1 year is eligible to come into the USA duty free. This does not include clothing, jewellery, and equipment such as cameras, video recorders, stereo equipment etc. Check with the U.S. Government for a complete list of allowable goods.

Many people do not want to worry about filling in numerous forms and listing all of their items. To prevent the headaches, they will sell most of their stuff on Kijiji or Craigslist before moving. This also lowers the cost of movers tremendously. Remember, many of the things that you have can be easily replaced. If you save money on moving all of your things, then you will have that money to spend on new stuff once you are settled in.


All cars that are bought over the border to the U.S.A. are subject to importation regulations. Their rules and regulations regarding emissions etc. are quite strict. Money spent on bringing the car up to the correct specifications can quickly add up. Many people will sell their car and purchase another once they are in the USA.


Although there is what seems to be a bit of red tape to get to your final destination, once everything is set up properly, you will be able to relax and enjoy your new life in the USA. Bon Voyage.

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