6 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Canada

While Canada is a close neighbor of the US, it’s important to remember that it’s its own country with its own rules and regulations. There are many perks and benefits to moving to Canada, such as free healthcare and a high quality of life. If you’re considering an international move to Canada, don’t let the idea of moving across the border stress you out. With Blue Chip Moving and Storage, we can help make the transition to a new country easy and stress-free.

Below you’ll find a list of the most important things you need to know before your big move. These tips will make your transition smooth and hassle free. Moving to another country doesn’t have to be hard. With a little preparation and readiness, you can have an enjoyable and fun move.

1. Make Sure Your Travel Documents Are Up to Date

Moving to a different country like Canada requires a lot of paperwork and documentation. To avoid any hassles at the border or later on down the road, make sure you have these things that all U.S. citizens are required to having when making the move to Canada.

  • A valid passport or birth certificate (depending on age) for you and every member of your family
  • A Canadian work visa & confirmation of residence status for every member of your family moving with you
  • Two copies of a detailed inventory of all items that you’re shipping, making note of items that are of value and anything that is going to be arriving at a later date
  • A letter from your new employer indicating validity of your new Canadian job

2. Getting Your Car to Canada

Unless you’re planning on living in a downtown area of one of Canada’s larger cities, it’s probably a good idea to have a car. Much like the U.S., Canada has several small and medium sized towns, cities and suburbs that are sprawling and difficult to access on foot. It’s completely possible to bring your current car from the U.S. to Canada if you follow these steps:

  • Have a copy of your vehicle’s registration and title to present at customs 72 hours before your vehicle is set to enter Canada.
  • Give your original registration and title to the driver at the time of loading.
  • Make sure that all vehicle duties and taxes on your car are assessed. The best way to do this is to contact the Canadian customs before you ship or drive your car to Canada.

3. Getting a Driver’s License in Canada

Once you successfully have your car in Canada, you’re going to need a valid Canadian driver’s license to legally operate it. Although you may have a valid U.S. driver’s license, the test you took in the U.S. won’t be valid in Canada. Depending on the province you’re moving to, you may be able to convert your license by filling out the required paperwork.

When thinking about getting a driver’s license in Canada, it’s important to keep in mind that unlike the U.S., Canada gives out driver’s licenses by province and not federally. Each province has their own rules and stipulations for receiving a driver’s license.

If you happen to be moving to Ontario, it may be your lucky day. Each province has agreements with different countries that allow citizens of that country with a valid license to obtain a Canadian driver’s license without having to retake any tests. Ontario is the only province that has such an agreement with the U.S.

4. Know the Rights You Have in Canada

Just like the legal rights you have in the U.S., when you move to Canada you obtain certain unique Canadian rights. It’s important that you know and understand your rights in case you are ever caught in a situation where this information would be useful.

Like the U.S. Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives political and social rights to Canadian citizens and certain civil rights to non-citizens on Canadian soil. This Charter is an essential document in all of Canada’s government, political, and social realms.

5. Getting Healthcare in Canada

One of the biggest perks of living in Canada is getting to take advantage of their publicly-funded, universal healthcare system. Not every resident gets this perk though, and whether or not you’re eligible for Canadian healthcare depends on the type of visa you have.

Look into Canada’s healthcare site to see the type of healthcare you are eligible for based on your visa. Keep in mind that while healthcare is paid for by public federal funds, healthcare cards and availability is administered by each individual province.

6. Preparing for the Canadian Weather

After all the paperwork and documentation is said and done, there is still one thing left for you to prepare for when moving to Canada—the weather. Unlike the U.S., and especially unlike sunny California, the majority of Canada receives heavy snows and below freezing winters.

While the winters can be quite brutal, especially in northern Canada and the eastern coast, the summers are generally mild and even hot in some provinces. Although if you’re used to the long falls and springs of the U.S., you’re in for a rude awakening. Canada’s weather is notorious for changing from warm sunny summer to full-out blizzard in a short period of time.

Not to worry—as long as you pack your puffiest winter parka and heavy duty snow boots you will be able to face even the coldest of winter weather. Don’t let the -25°C blizzards keep you from enjoying one of the most beautiful and friendly countries on earth!


Bottom Line

Moving from California to Canada can be quite a culture and weather shock at times, but the benefits of their universal healthcare, booming economy, and friendly citizens make it all worthwhile. Now that you’re armed with these helpful tips and things to know before taking the leap and moving to another country, your move can be easy and fun.

For a move this big, you’ll want to hire only the best international movers in California. Luckily, Blue Chip Moving is here to help with all your residential moving needs! Whether it’s packing up your family’s belongings, or transporting it all safely and soundly across the border, Blue Chip wants to make your international move a breeze. Call us today for more information about how you can make your move to Canada hassle and stress-free!

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