“Move to Canada from USA”
That search term – “move to Canada from USA” – hit Google like the plague a few days ago as hundreds of millions of Americans hit the ballots to vote for their next President. And though the results came as surprising to many, the time has come: Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.
So to help all of our American friends, we’ve compiled this fairly exhaustive resource of how to move to Canada in case you feel the need to flee.
Moving to Canada from USA Method 1: Get a family member to sponsor you (Family Class Immigrant)
There are three categories of people eligible to be sponsored into Canadian residency.
Group 1: Parents, grandparents, adopted children and other relatives
|You must meet one of these criteria:||Your family member in Canada must meet all of these criteria:||Your family member in Canada must NOT meet any of these criteria:|
One thing to keep in mind if you plan on going through this process in 2016: as per this press release, the government of Canada has already hit their cap and has stopped accepting applications for parents and grandparents in 2016. That happened just one week into 2016, so if you do plan on applying in 2017, be sure to do it in the first day or two to ensure your application gets through!
Group 2: Spouses, common-law or conjugal partners, or dependent children living outside of Canada
|You must meet one of these criteria:||Your family member in Canada must meet all of these criteria:||Your family member in Canada must NOT meet any of these criteria:|
Group 3: Spouses, common-law partners and dependent children living inside Canada
Who is a spouse or common-law partner? Both must:
- Live with you in Canada;
- Have a valid passport or travel document;
- Be 18 years old or older; and
- Be your spouse or common-law partner for genuine reasons and not primarily for the purpose of getting permanent residence in Canada.
- Can be opposite sex or same-sex
|Spouse||Common Law Partner|
As we said in Group 2 above, a dependent child must:
- Be under the age of 19 and not a spouse or common-law partner; or
- Have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before the age of 19 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical condition.
That said, once you’ve identified that you fit into one of the above classifications, look back to Group 2 to see the criteria your sponsor needs to meet.
Two Important Notes:
- Since March 2, 2012, if you enter Canada as a sponsored spouse or partner you are not eligible to sponsor a new spouse or partner for a period of 5 years from the date you land in Canada. Contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 for more information.
- Since October 25, 2012, if you apply to come to Canada as a sponsored spouse or partner, you may be subject to a 2-year conditional permanent resident status, with some exceptions. Contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 for more information.
By the way, we’ve mentioned above that you must sign an undertaking promising to provide financially for the well-being of the person being sponsored. Here’s a handy chart showing when that responsibility ends:
|Family member type||Your obligations end|
|Spouse or common-law or conjugal partner||3 years after that person becomes a permanent resident|
|Dependent child or a dependent child of your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and UNDER 22 years of age on the day he or she becomes a permanent resident||10 years after that child becomes a permanent resident OR on the day that child reaches age 25, whichever comes first|
|Dependent child or a dependent child of your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and 22 years of age or OVER on the day he or she becomes a permanent resident||3 years after that child becomes a permanent resident|
|Any other person (e.g., parents, grandparents, or a dependent children of your parents)||10 years after that person becomes a permanent resident|
Moving to Canada from USA Method 2: Get a Skilled Worker Visa
The skilled worker class is considered by many to be the most effective way to gain Canadian residency. When applying through this class, officials will consider your age, work experience, education, and the field in which you will be working. You’ll need to match one of the 347 eligible occupations below. Immigration.ca has a free assessment tool for determining your chances of being granted a work visa under the skilled worker program. Do the assessment here and you’ll have your results back in 1-2 business days.
You also need to meet these 6 criteria:
- Possess one-year of continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment within the previous 10 years in one of 347 eligible occupations listed under the applicable National Occupational Classification system (below); AND
- The work experience must be classified within Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades) within the meaning of the National Occupational Classification system; AND
- Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid comprising of six selection factors. The current pass mark is 67 points;
- Undergo language testing from a recognized third party and demonstrate intermediate level language skills in English or French corresponding to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7)
- Possess suitable settlement funding;
- Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.
Here’s the full list of eligible occupations, with their associated 4-digit NOC code:
|0011 Legislators||2123 Agricultural representatives, consultants and specialists||3237 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment||6346 Funeral directors and embalmers|
|0012 Senior government managers and officials||2131 Civil engineers||4011 University professors and lecturers||7201 Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations|
|0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services||2132 Mechanical engineers||4012 Post-secondary teaching and research assistants||7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations|
|0014 Senior managers – health, education, social and community services and membership organizations||2133 Electrical and electronics engineers||4021 College and other vocational instructors||7203 Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades|
|0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c.||2134 Chemical engineers||4031 Secondary school teachers||7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades|
|0016 Senior managers – construction, transportation, production and utilities||2141 Industrial and manufacturing engineers||4032 Elementary school and kindergarten teachers||7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers|
|0111 Financial managers||2142 Metallurgical and materials engineers||4033 Educational counsellors||7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors|
|0112 Human resources managers||2143 Mining engineers||4111 Judges||7232 Tool and die makers|
|0113 Purchasing managers||2144 Geological engineers||4112 Lawyers and Quebec notaries||7233 Sheet metal workers|
|0114 Other administrative services managers||2145 Petroleum engineers||4151 Psychologists||7234 Boilermakers|
|0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers||2146 Aerospace engineers||4152 Social workers||7235 Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters|
|0122 Banking, credit and other investment managers||2147 Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||4153 Family, marriage and other related counsellors||7236 Ironworkers|
|0124 Advertising, marketing and public relations managers||2148 Other professional engineers, n.e.c.||4154 Professional occupations in religion||7237 Welders and related machine operators|
|0125 Other business services managers||2151 Architects||4155 Probation and parole officers and related occupations||7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)|
|0131 Telecommunication carriers managers||2152 Landscape architects||4156 Employment counsellors||7242 Industrial electricians|
|0132 Postal and courier services managers||2153 Urban and land use planners||4161 Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers||7243 Power system electricians|
|0211 Engineering managers||2154 Land surveyors||4162 Economists and economic policy researchers and analysts||7244 Electrical power line and cable workers|
|0212 Architecture and science managers||2161 Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries||4163 Business development officers and marketing researchers and consultants||7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers|
|0213 Computer and information systems managers||2171 Information systems analysts and consultants||4164 Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers||7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers|
|0311 Managers in health care||2172 Database analysts and data administrators||4165 Health policy researchers, consultants and program officers||7247 Cable television service and maintenance technicians|
|0411 Government managers – health and social policy development and program administration||2173 Software engineers and designers||4166 Education policy researchers, consultants and program officers||7251 Plumbers|
|0412 Government managers – economic analysis, policy development and program administration||2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers||4167 Recreation, sports and fitness policy researchers, consultants and program officers||7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers|
|0413 Government managers – education policy development and program administration||2175 Web designers and developers||4168 Program officers unique to government||7253 Gas fitters|
|0414 Other managers in public administration||2211 Chemical technologists and technicians||4169 Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.||7271 Carpenters|
|0421 Administrators – post-secondary education and vocational training||2212 Geological and mineral technologists and technicians||4211 Paralegal and related occupations||7272 Cabinetmakers|
|0422 School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education||2221 Biological technologists and technicians||4212 Social and community service workers||7281 Bricklayers|
|0423 Managers in social, community and correctional services||2222 Agricultural and fish products inspectors||4214 Early childhood educators and assistants||7282 Concrete finishers|
|0431 Commissioned police officers||2223 Forestry technologists and technicians||4215 Instructors of persons with disabilities||7283 Tile setters|
|0432 Fire chiefs and senior firefighting officers||2224 Conservation and fishery officers||4216 Other instructors||7284 Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers|
|0433 Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces||2225 Landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists||4217 Other religious occupations||7291 Roofers and shinglers|
|0511 Library, archive, museum and art gallery managers||2231 Civil engineering technologists and technicians||4311 Police officers (except commissioned)||7292 Glaziers|
|0512 Managers – publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting and performing arts||2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians||4312 Firefighters||7293 Insulators|
|0513 Recreation, sports and fitness program and service directors||2233 Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians||4313 Non-commissioned ranks of the Canadian Forces||7294 Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)|
|0601 Corporate sales managers||2234 Construction estimators||5111 Librarians||7295 Floor covering installers|
|0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers||2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians||5112 Conservators and curators||7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades|
|0631 Restaurant and food service managers||2242 Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)||5113 Archivists||7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews|
|0632 Accommodation service managers||2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics||5121 Authors and writers||7303 Supervisors, printing and related occupations|
|0651 Managers in customer and personal services, n.e.c.||2244 Aircraft instrument, electrical and avionics mechanics, technicians and inspectors||5122 Editors||7304 Supervisors, railway transport operations|
|0711 Construction managers||2251 Architectural technologists and technicians||5123 Journalists||7305 Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators|
|0712 Home building and renovation managers||2252 Industrial designers||5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters||7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics|
|0714 Facility operation and maintenance managers||2253 Drafting technologists and technicians||5131 Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations||7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics|
|0731 Managers in transportation||2254 Land survey technologists and technicians||5132 Conductors, composers and arrangers||7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics|
|0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing||2255 Technical occupations in geomatics and meteorology||5133 Musicians and singers||7314 Railway Carmen/women|
|0821 Managers in agriculture||2261 Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians||5134 Dancers||7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors|
|0822 Managers in horticulture||2262 Engineering inspectors and regulatory officers||5135 Actors and comedians||7316 Machine fitters|
|0823 Managers in aquaculture||2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety||5136 Painters, sculptors and other visual artists||7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics|
|0911 Manufacturing managers||2264 Construction inspectors||5211 Library and public archive technicians||7321 Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers|
|0912 Utilities managers||2271 Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors||5212 Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries||7322 Motor vehicle body repairers|
|1111 Financial auditors and accountants||2272 Air traffic controllers and related occupations||5221 Photographers||7331 Oil and solid fuel heating mechanics|
|1112 Financial and investment analysts||2273 Deck officers, water transport||5222 Film and video camera operators||7332 Appliance servicers and repairers|
|1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers||2274 Engineer officers, water transport||5223 Graphic arts technicians||7333 Electrical mechanics|
|1114 Other financial officers||2275 Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators||5224 Broadcast technicians||7334 Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics|
|1121 Human resources professionals||2281 Computer network technicians||5225 Audio and video recording technicians||7335 Other small engine and small equipment repairers|
|1122 Professional occupations in business management consulting||2282 User support technicians||5226 Other technical and co-ordinating occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting and the performing arts||7361 Railway and yard locomotive engineers|
|1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations||2283 Information systems testing technicians||5227 Support occupations in motion pictures, broadcasting, photography and the performing arts||7362 Railway conductors and brakemen/women|
|1211 Supervisors, general office and administrative support workers||3011 Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors||5231 Announcers and other broadcasters||7371 Crane operators|
|1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers||3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses||5232 Other performers, n.e.c.||7372 Drillers and blasters – surface mining, quarrying and construction|
|1213 Supervisors, library, correspondence and related information workers||3111 Specialist physicians||5241 Graphic designers and illustrators||7373 Water well drillers|
|1214 Supervisors, mail and message distribution occupations||3112 General practitioners and family physicians||5242 Interior designers and interior decorators||7381 Printing press operators|
|1215 Supervisors, supply chain, tracking and scheduling co-ordination occupations||3113 Dentists||5243 Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers||7384 Other trades and related occupations, n.e.c.|
|1221 Administrative officers||3114 Veterinarians||5244 Artisans and craftspersons||8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry|
|1222 Executive assistants||3121 Optometrists||5245 Patternmakers – textile, leather and fur products||8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying|
|1223 Human resources and recruitment officers||3122 Chiropractors||5251 Athletes||8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling and services|
|1224 Property administrators||3124 Allied primary health practitioners||5252 Coaches||8231 Underground production and development miners|
|1225 Purchasing agents and officers||3125 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating||5253 Sports officials and referees||8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers|
|1226 Conference and event planners||3131 Pharmacists||5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness||8241 Logging machinery operators|
|1227 Court officers and justices of the peace||3132 Dietitians and nutritionists||6211 Retail sales supervisors||8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers8255 Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services|
|1228 Employment insurance, immigration, border services and revenue officers||3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists||6221 Technical sales specialists – wholesale trade||8261 Fishing masters and officers|
|1241 Administrative assistants||3142 Physiotherapists||6222 Retail and wholesale buyers||8262 Fishermen/women|
|1242 Legal administrative assistants||3143 Occupational therapists||6231 Insurance agents and brokers||9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing|
|1243 Medical administrative assistants||3144 Other professional occupations in therapy and assessment||6232 Real estate agents and salespersons||9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities|
|1251 Court reporters, medical transcriptionists and related occupations||3211 Medical laboratory technologists||6235 Financial sales representatives||9213 Supervisors, food, beverage and associated products processing|
|1252 Health information management occupations||3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists’ assistants||6311 Food service supervisors||9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing|
|1253 Records management technicians||3213 Animal health technologists and veterinary technicians||6312 Executive housekeepers||9215 Supervisors, forest products processing|
|1254 Statistical officers and related research support occupations||3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists||6313 Accommodation, travel, tourism and related services supervisors||9217 Supervisors, textile, fabric, fur and leather products processing and manufacturing|
|1311 Accounting technicians and bookkeepers||3215 Medical radiation technologists||6314 Customer and information services supervisors||9221 Supervisors, motor vehicle assembling|
|1312 Insurance adjusters and claims examiners||3216 Medical sonographers||6315 Cleaning supervisors||9222 Supervisors, electronics manufacturing|
|1313 Insurance underwriters||3217 Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists, n.e.c.||6316 Other services supervisors||9223 Supervisors, electrical products manufacturing|
|1314 Assessors, valuators and appraisers||3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health)||6321 Chefs||9224 Supervisors, furniture and fixtures manufacturing|
|1315 Customs, ship and other brokers||3221 Denturists||6322 Cooks||9226 Supervisors, other mechanical and metal products manufacturing|
|2111 Physicists and astronomers||3222 Dental hygienists and dental therapists||6331 Butchers, meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale||9227 Supervisors, other products manufacturing and assembly|
|2112 Chemists||3223 Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants||6332 Bakers||9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing|
|2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers||3231 Opticians||6341 Hairstylists and barbers||9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators|
|2114 Meteorologists and climatologists||3232 Practitioners of natural healing||6342 Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners||9235 Pulping, papermaking and coating control operators|
|2115 Other professional occupations in physical sciences||3233 Licensed practical nurses||6343 Shoe repairers and shoemakers||9241 Power engineers and power systems operators|
|2121 Biologists and related scientists||3234 Paramedical occupations||6344 Jewellers, jewellery and watch repairers and related occupations||9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators|
|2122 Forestry professionals||3236 Massage therapists||6345 Upholsterers|
Moving to Canada from USA Method 3: Get a Business Visa
There are 3 types of business visas available to prospective immigrants to Canada: the Entrepreneur Program, the Self-Employed Program, and the Investor Program. They all require that applicants earn sufficient points in the selection factors to meet the pass mark, of which the selection factors include points awarded for education, proficiency in Canadian official languages, work experience, age, and adaptability factors to life in Canada.
Here are the program-specific eligibility criteria for each of the three:
You can use this assessment form by workpermit.com to see if you could be a good fit for the program.
There are other ways to get into Canada –provincial immigration and Quebec-selected immigration, for example – but we’re not going to talk about them here.
Why? For a number of reasons, the most prominent being that if you aren’t eligible for any of the three methods above, then there’s a very, very slim chance that you’re going to be eligible for another method. Do yourself a favour and go deep on one or several of the first three before looking at other options.
Let us know if you have experience trying any of these methods! It’s never easy moving to a new country, but we’re here to help you along the way 🙂
Also, since so many of you have been asking us for them, here's our full list of country-specific posts outlining how to ship anything from Amazon to any country in the world. Our 2-step method makes it as simple as humanly possible, and takes about 3 minutes total: Austria, Bahrain, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Asia as a whole, Europe as a whole and the United Arab Emirates.
While you're at it, international travelers should read our N26 review for the best way to get free ATM withdrawals the best rates on currency conversion - anywhere in the world.