California to Canada: Cross-border relocation tips

Canada has such a lot more to offer than just being a welcoming country with free healthcare, despite this being its most well-known quality. Moving there can be simple if you’re ready, regardless of whether you’re new to the country or moving back home. In our article, we will give you cross-border relocation tips for moving from California to Canada.

Acquire personal ID and travel papers early for your cross-border relocation

Get a hard copy of your birth certificate or an official U.S. passport as soon as you can if you don’t already have them. You cannot enter the country without them, and processing dates may vary and take up to six months. You’ll need valid documentation to establish your U.S. citizenship when crossing the border into Canada by vehicle, and the majority of airlines need a passport. If you want to become a citizen or establish permanent residency in Canada, you’ll need a passport and a visa. Depending on your circumstance, you could also require the following personal documents:

  • Divorce document or marriage license
  • Adoption certificates
  • A driving license can be required for a cross-country relocation
  • Previous employment records
  • Records of one’s health and vaccinations

Observe customs regulations when bringing or shipping anything to Canada

You are permitted to carry most home items with you when you move to Canada. To establish whether items will or won’t be subject to a duty fee, there exist laws and regulations. The vast majority of privately owned objects, including books, clothes, linens, furniture, and other personal belongings, are generally duty-free. Duty fees apply to business-related equipment, including commercial vehicles as well.

Items that are restricted or illegal

If you’re unsure of your status or how to properly import something, it’s advisable to contact the Canadian Customs Office. Some items may be subject to restrictions, prohibitions, or duty fees:

  • Safety gear for infants or children (they are obliged to meet the safety standards of Canada)
  • Animal, plant, or food products
  • Gifts worth more than $60 Canadian
  • Worn-out mattresses

Seek employment in Canada

There may be alternative ways to move to Canada and spend time here as a tourist or student. Your future employer must demonstrate to the Canadian government that a Canadian can’t fill a specific role for you to be hired and granted a work permit (as Americans, we simply needed work permits, not work permits + visas). Although this is a common practice for obtaining work permits in many nations, including the United States, it is nevertheless noteworthy.

A woman scrolling through her laptop while preparing for a cross-border relocation;
A new job in Canada will make your next chapter much more enjoyable.

Hire a skilled moving company for your cross-border relocation from California to Canada

Anybody who moves long distances, especially abroad, may find it stressful, so you must find someone for overseas relocation. Driving a rental truck to Canada is an option, but not everyone should cross the border with their entire household’s worth of possessions. Packing these items is a new challenge as well, but specialists can do it for you and help you relax a bit during the process. Furthermore, full-service movers who operate in Canada may charge inflated fees and require a longer delivery date.

Stuff you should pay attention to before coming to Canada

Give yourself plenty of time to decide where you want to live before moving to Canada. Knowing your priorities and what you’re ready to give up is crucial because this is a large country with enormous cities. Consider factors such as local weather patterns, transportation, adjacent educational institutions, prices, and the cost of living. Do some research on the area and the neighborhoods you’re thinking of. Consider your particular circumstances before migrating to Canada since moving solo will be different than moving with a family.

A Toronto logo in the city.
Canada and Toronto streets have a much more homey look.

Location and housing when preparing for your cross-border relocation

A downtown apartment in Toronto is likely to be the most expensive option. City centers are going to be the most expensive area. Homes in smaller towns or away from the major cities will be more reasonable, but you might want to consider the cost and duration of commuting. That’s why taking a quick peek at the guide to Midtown Toronto might be a smart decision. Outside of the downtown neighborhoods, you will primarily be looking at apartments or tiny houses. You may anticipate living in pleasant accommodations because Canadian architects are excellent at creating structures that will keep you warm during those bitterly cold winters and cool during the summers.

Canada’s rental market

Many foreigners prefer to rent. You may choose to rent directly from the landlord, but certain properties—particularly apartments in bigger complexes—are likely to have a property manager who oversees and collects the rent. You may want to verify the specific requirements for where you’re looking because there are some differences in the renting between territories and provinces. Make sure you are aware of any guidelines or rules about parking, mail delivery, garbage and recycling pickup, and laundry (particularly if you live in an apartment complex).

Choosing a reputable school in Canada

The Canadian academic year lasts close to 200 days, beginning in September after Labor Day and ending in June. School is required until the age of sixteen. The quality of education is very high, and there are several possibilities for schooling for children of ex-pats. It’s one of the reasons migrating to Canada makes sense for ex-pats with kids! The administration of schools is the responsibility of each province and territory, rather than a federal system. Throughout the country, there are both public and private schools.

Bunch of kids sitting in a classroom;
Be sure that your kids will adjust very easily to their new Canadian environment.

How to organize your finances before making your cross-border relocation to Canada

The year of transition is the most difficult, therefore you should organize your finances before you relocate. A comprehensive record of all your pensions, investments in registered and unregistered accounts, bank accounts, assets, and everything held in trust is essential. Furthermore, you might wish to cease any direct debit payments and ask your bank if they can support you if you move to Canada.

In summary

To sum up, your cross-border relocation from California to Canada will firstly seem confusing but after all worth it. Make sure you check on yourself every step of the way and try to enjoy the process as much as you can.