Moving to the United States could be a dream come true for many people. Those who are starting the journey from Canada should follow these tips so that they know what they have to do before, during, and after the move.
Moving to a different country is a unique experience in that every country runs quite differently in various ways. Canadians moving to the U.S. should start by confirming that they have a valid passport, and apply for a visa that will allow them to get a job or attend school once they arrive. After moving, proper identification is the key to obtaining access to many different parts of American life. Applying for a Social Security number makes it easier to locate housing, apply for employment, and open financial accounts. Driver’s licenses are governed at the state level. Applying for a driver’s license may require a written test of state driving laws, as well as a road test.
Taxes (on Both Sides of the Border)
The way income is taxed depends on how much the person moving plans to sever their life in Canada. Canadian residents who are planning to move may have non-resident taxes placed on the sale of their assets as they get ready to transition. On the other hand, people who move to the U.S. but retain some marker of residency in Canada (e.g. a home) could be liable to pay Canadian taxes on all their income in both countries. Once people are living in the U.S., all income made here is susceptible to U.S. taxation, as well.
Although moving a long distance is often a great time to thin out unwanted possessions, there are certain things that people want to bring with them that call for extra care. An international move may require processes and understanding that people lack, and this is a good reason to consider hiring a moving company experienced in Canada-U.S. moving. Most belongings can come in without effort, but cars and pets usually require additional paperwork.
Although people can use Canadian bank accounts in the U.S., it can be difficult and costly. One way to get established quickly into the U.S. is to set up a bank account using U.S. currency. This way, the account does not get hit with foreign transaction fees every time money is spent. Establishing credit is a bit trickier, since it usually starts with a U.S. credit history. Canadians new to the U.S. could start building an American credit history with a prepaid, secured credit card.
Moving to a completely new place makes locating a good home more complicated. People should ask the locals:
- Which are the best neighborhoods?
- Where are the best schools for kids?
- How much should I expect to pay for rent or a house?
Buying a home in the U.S. from Canada is not impossible, and some banks specialize in helping Canadian residents buy U.S. homes before they move. Some people prefer to rent for a short time in their new city, so that they are more prepared to buy a home that fits their needs, but deciding what works best for each situation is essential.
Settling down after the move should happen pretty quickly, to avoid confusion and stress. Like driver’s licenses, education for children is set by each state. People should investigate the schools that are closest to their new homes, and decide whether they would like to consider public, private, or charter schools. Once they have a job, establishing healthcare services is vital. Many people get health insurance through their employer, although there are ways to purchase health insurance individually.
Making the Transition
There are a lot of things different about living in the U.S., and weather is a notable one. Charleston, South Carolina, and much of the southeastern U.S., is in a humid subtropical climate. This means that cold winters are replaced by hot, humid summers and plenty of rainfall. The southeast has many vibrant cultures and a history going back centuries, with unique approaches to language, music, and cooking.
Planning an international move is a lot of work. With the right amount of attention and care to get all proper paperwork settled, people can enjoy their new homes with relief and anticipation.