How to Immigrate to Canada from the US

Suppose you’re in the United States and considering immigrating to Canada. In that case, there are plenty of things to consider, from understanding your eligibility to learning about the best places to live in Canada. This guide on how to immigrate to Canada from the US will walk you through every step to find your ideal place to settle down and enjoy all that Canada has to offer! 

How to Immigrate to Canada from the US
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Canada and the United States of America are great trading partners in addition to sharing a border. This connection makes travel between the two countries easier than it is for most immigrants. Canada offers many Americans who want to immigrate a safe, inexpensive, and accepting option. Because it is directly next door and offers free public health care, subsidized education, a welcoming population, and a growing job market, living in Canada is a great alternative.

Canada is home to more than a million Americans. 2019 saw the "landing" of 11,000 US citizens and permanent residents in Canada. Many US citizens and residents seeking permanent status use Canada's renowned immigration system, Express Entry. However, there are other ways to immigrate to Canada as a US citizen or authorized permanent resident.

Fastest Ways to Immigrate to Canada from the US

Here are the three fastest ways US citizens and permanent residents can immigrate to Canada.

1. Express Entry

Possibly the most straightforward method for immigrating to Canada is through Express Entry. It is the primary technique employed by Canada to handle applications for permanent residency from skilled workers (PR). The second-largest country from which immigrants enter Canada through Express Entry is the United States. U.S. citizens and residents will likely be requested to submit an Express Entry application for Canadian permanent status. They have strong language skills, relevant work experience, and a high level of education, among other things, which contribute to this.

Moreover, the Express Entry system has three Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Programs. The requirements for each of the programs are as follows:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

To solve the labor shortages brought by an aging population and a declining birth rate in Canada, the country extends an invitation to talented workers to settle there permanently. With this program's help, Canada has brought in talented employees from around the world, including university professors, registered nurses, and IT specialists. You could apply for Canadian PR if you meet the FSWP qualifying requirements below.

  • One year of full-time, compensated employment corresponds to the National Occupational Classification's (NOC) skill levels 0, A, or B.
  • Provide proof of language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening by submitting an English or French test corresponding to a level 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
  • An appropriate Canadian body, such as a university or college, has recognized your degree or certification, and you can now submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
  • On the initial admission system, you will receive 67 points out of 100 based on age, education, work experience, language proficiency, adaptability, and whether you have a legitimate employment offer in Canada.

Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

One of three federal economic projects managed by the Canadian government's Express Entry system is the FSTP. For skilled tradespeople looking to immigrate to Canada, one of their options is to apply for permanent status through the FSTP. Due in part to the fact that they are not obliged to provide proof of their degree of education, FSTP applicants may have lower CRS scores than other Express Entry applicants.

  • Have full-time employment for a Canadian employer, or
  • a certificate of qualification is certified by a relevant Canadian authority.
  • Submit a language proficiency test with a minimum level of 5 for speaking and listening on the Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) and CLB 4 for reading and writing.
  • Have two years of full-time work experience in a trade
  • Can you demonstrate your skills and experience

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

You must fulfill the following criteria to be qualified to apply for permanent residency through the CEC stream:

  • Meet the minimal requirements for language proficiency in speaking, hearing, reading, and writing in either English or French throughout the four exam domains.
  • A minimum of one year of skilled work experience, whether it be one year full-time or two years part-time, in Canada
  • Your job experience must have been obtained while you had a work permit and a valid temporary visa.

2. Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)

The Express Entry System is the simplest method of entering Canada because a province nomination will increase your CRS points. Canada has numerous provinces, each with its own rules and laws, much like the United States. There are 13 provinces and territories in the nation, each having its executive branch. The provinces of Canada have a significant impact on immigration. If you possess specific expertise needed in a province, that province may nominate you as part of its Provincial Nomination Program (PNP). Of 13 provinces total, 11 have PNPs in place.

Submitting interest in a particular province is another safe option for applying for permanent residency in Canada. A provincial nomination dramatically raises your chances of receiving PR status. If you create a profile on the Express Entry System and use that profile to apply for a PNP, your CRS score could increase by 600 points if your PNP application is accepted. You'll need to demonstrate your connections to a specific province and your plans to remain there. For instance, having family members in the area or a legitimate work offer in a particular province will improve your chances of being nominated.

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3. Family Sponsorship

Over the years, many family members have crossed the border into Canada and established homes there. You may be qualified to immigrate to Canada through family sponsorship if you have children, parents, or a spouse already living there.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor:

  • Spouses or common-law partners
  • Parents
  • Children

Anyone who sponsors you must demonstrate they have the money to support you and any extra family members for a specific period.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) is a trade deal between Canada, Mexico, and the US. It was formerly known as NAFTA. It strengthens the close economic links that exist between the three nations. Travel between these countries is made more straightforward as a result of their positive connections with one another. Although this relationship does not immediately grant you permanent status in Canada, it gives you the steps to do so if you want.

You might not be required to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with your work visa application if you are a US citizen or permanent resident. In general, many Canadian employees cannot obtain or choose not to obtain this document. A Canadian company must demonstrate that they have made an effort to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident before hiring a foreigner. The necessity to hire a foreigner arises if they cannot identify a qualified applicant, leaving a labor market vacancy. The LMIA will be favorable as a result.

You can work in some industries in Canada without obtaining an LMIA work permit. A Canadian employer will probably hire you more frequently. You can enter Canada with a work permit if you have a legitimate job offer. You can think about applying for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream of the Express Entry Profile after a year of earning worthwhile Canadian work experience. Although it's not the simplest way to come to Canada, doing it this way enables you to live and work there while you figure out your PR status.

How Much does it Cost to Immigrate to Canada from the US?

Moving to any country has several expenses, many of which are difficult to track. To successfully budget your relocation to Canada from the US, it's crucial to understand precisely what charges you must pay for the visa fees, the cost of living, and moving costs. The final factors affecting moving prices are where you live, where you're relocating, and how much you need to move. These expenses are, therefore, particular to each immigrant. Because there are significant fixed expenses associated with these components, it is much simpler to estimate the cost of immigration to Canada and the cost of living there compared to the US.

Canadian Immigration Costs

There are a few main routes that you might take if you want to petition for immigration to Canada from the US. The Express Entry program is the most well-liked of these. Many applicants use the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in Canada to increase their likelihood of being granted permanent residency. You must first pay processing costs for your Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) or Express Entry profile. These processing costs change depending on the province or territory you are applying to. Once you've submitted your application, you can see the fees on your Express Entry or PNP profile, although you almost always have to pay the processing fees for both immigration profile types.

Temporary Residence Permit

There are fewer, smaller costs to pay upfront if you intend to relocate to Canada from the US with a temporary residency or work permit. You will still need to pay the required permanent residence payments if you decide to obtain permanent status in the future. Obtaining a work permit, study permit, temporary residence permit, or using a family sponsorship scheme like a Super Visa are the main ways that someone can stay in Canada temporarily.

Each temporary residency permit requires the following processing fees:

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  • Study permit (CAD$150)
  • Temporary resident visa including Super Visa (CAD$100)
  • Maximum family rate for the temporary resident visa (CAD$500)
  • Work permit (CAD$155)

You can begin planning your transfer from the US to Canada once you have secured the required visa or permit and paid the immigration fee.

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