Every year, more than 10,000 people come to Canada from the U.S. Additionally, many others come to Canada for jobs and education. You can also explore these options. Just click on the menu below to find the information you need for your immigration goals. 

What is the easiest way to immigrate to Canada from the U.S.?

If you wish to move to Canada from the U.S. as a skilled worker, the easiest route is through Express Entry.

Express Entry is Canada's main way of handling applications from skilled workers who want to become permanent residents. Many people from the U.S. choose this option. One big advantage of Express Entry is that it processes applications quickly, usually within six months. U.S. citizens and residents often have a good chance of being asked to apply for Canadian permanent residence through Express Entry because they usually have strong language skills, work experience, and education.

Under Express Entry, there are three federal skilled worker immigration programs that can lead to permanent residence:

  1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program, for skilled workers with work experience from other countries.
  2. The Canadian Experience Class, for skilled workers with experience working in Canada.
  3. The Federal Skilled Trades Program, for skilled workers with qualifications in trades.

What are my other options for moving to Canada besides Express Entry?

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Similar to the U.S., Canada is divided into different areas called provinces and territories. These provinces are somewhat like the states in the United States. However, unlike U.S. states, Canadian provinces and territories have a big role in deciding who can come to live there as new immigrants. The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a nice option for U.S. citizens and residents who already know which province or territory they want to live in, or for those with specific skills and work experience needed by a particular province or territory. If you're eligible for Express Entry, there's an added benefit to applying. People nominated by a Canadian province or territory and who also have an Express Entry profile, an additional 600 points will be given to their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. This practically guarantees them an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence.


Can my spouse or common-law partner living in Canada sponsor me?

Sponsorship by a spouse or common-law partner

Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner to become Canadian permanent residents. Canada recognizes same-sex marriage, so same-sex partners can apply for reunification if they meet Canada's eligibility requirements. Both the Canadian citizen sponsoring and the person being sponsored must be approved by IRCC for the sponsored person to get permanent residence. To get a visa through this program, the sponsor and the sponsored person must show that their relationship fits into one of these three categories: Spouse; Common-Law Partner; Conjugal Partner. It usually takes about 12 months for spousal sponsorship applications in Canada to be processed from the date they're received.

How can I work in Canada?

Getting a Canadian work visa (called a work permit in Canada) is often a crucial step to legally work in Canada temporarily. You and your potential employer might need to get a document named Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before you start working in Canada. However, most people with work permits in Canada don't need an LMIA. Sometimes, an LMIA is necessary to show that your job in Canada is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the local job market. Once you recieve the LMIA, you can apply for a temporary work permit from the IRCC. Depending on your job and the work you plan to do in Canada, there might be ways to speed up the process.

Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream is a part of Canada's Global Skills Strategy. This federal program helps Canadian employers in growing and IT industries quickly hire skilled foreign workers when Canadians aren't available for certain jobs. To hire workers through this fast-track program, employers need to meet certain requirements like completing a Labour Market Assessment (LMIA) and agreeing to specific salary conditions. The aim of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is to process work permit applications from the Global Talent Stream in 30 days or less.

Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

The Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), previously known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and also called “USMCA”, makes it easier for U.S. citizens to apply for temporary work permits in Canada. Work permits issued under CUSMA usually don't need an LMIA.

U.S. citizens can work in Canada under CUSMA in these categories:

  1. CUSMA Professional: They must be qualified to work in one of over 60 targeted professions, like teaching, science, medicine, finance, law, and more.
  2. CUSMA Intra-company Transfer: People transferred from a U.S. CUSMA company can work temporarily in Canada for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their employer. They must have a continuous employment with their U.S. employer for at least one of the last three years and hold a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge position.
  3. CUSMA Traders and Investors: A U.S. CUSMA trader must show an intention to engage in an important trade in goods or services between Canada and the U.S. A CUSMA investor must prove they've made a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business and want to develop and operate it in Canada.

Intra-Company Transfer

The Intra-Company Transfer Program permits international businesses to bring important employees to Canada without needing to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Because Canada and the United States’ are the largest trading partner of each other, many American businesses have affiliate offices, branches, or subsidiaries in Canada. Employees who work in executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge roles may be eligible to come to Canada with their family and work as an intra-company transferee.

Work Without a Work Permit

Some people from the U.S. can work in Canada without the need of a Temporary Work Permit. This applies to those who are doing business or trade activities in Canada but won't be part of the Canadian labor market. They're called Business Visitors.

Working Holidays

The Working Holidays program, part of the International Experience Canada (IEC), promotes international exchanges among young people from various countries. U.S. citizens aged 18 to 35 can get an open work permit for 12 months through this program, as long as they've been enrolled in full-time post-secondary study in the past year. Even final year students not going back to studies can apply.

Can I move to Canada to start a business?

Starting a business in Canada

Canada's business immigration programs aim to draw investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals from outside Canada who have venture capital, business expertise, and entrepreneurial skills.

Provincial Business and Entrepreneur Programs

Canadian provinces and territories play a crucial role in welcoming economic migrants to their regions, and many seek dynamic and creative entrepreneurs to boost their economies. Provinces and territories can select individuals for immigration based on their own standards. Most Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) have pathways specifically for business immigration.

Self-Employed Persons Program

People who want to live in one of Canada's provinces or territories as professional athletes or artisans can get themselves a business immigrant visa as well as for their immediate family. This program aims to bring self-employed individuals to Canada. Applicants must hold experience in cultural activities or athletics.

The Start-up Visa Program

The federal Start-up Visa Program allows immigrant entrepreneurs to build their business in Canada. This program, considered one of the most distinctive immigration paths globally, offers permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs and assists them in settling in Canada.

Work Permit Options

For many entrepreneurs, the quickest way to come to Canada is by getting a temporary work permit.

Under the CUSMA Investors stream, U.S. residents who invest in new or existing businesses in Canada might be permitted to apply for an Investor Work Permit to manage their Canadian business. Entrepreneurs who plan to keep running an existing business abroad while expanding into Canada might qualify for Intra-company Transfer Work Permits. Those who own the majority of a business in Canada can try to get an Owner-Operator Work Permit. U.S. residents and citizens also have the choice to enter Canada through the Global Talent Stream. Employers in fast-growing sectors or wanting to hire highly skilled global IT professionals, can apply for work permits via this stream and enjoy fast application processing times.

Study in Canada

Can I shift to Canada from the US to study?

Each year, about 15,000 U.S. citizens come to study in Canada. Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) authorize more than 1,500 universities, colleges, and other educational institutions to accept international students. International students can work while studying in Canada, which helps them earn money and gain work experience. Graduates from eligible Canadian institutions can apply for an open work permit called a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP allows recent graduates to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which makes them eligible for permanent residence and increase their chances of successfully obtaining immigration status.

Canadian Citizenship

How can I apply for Canadian Citizenship?

U.S. citizens and residents who move to Canada and live in the country for a few years can eventually apply to become citizens of their new country. This process is called naturalization, and Canada has one of the most open and friendly naturalization processes globally. It's possible to be a citizen of both the U.S. and Canada.

Proof of Canadian citizenship certificates can be obtained by people born abroad to Canadian citizens, by Canadian citizens living abroad who want to work in Canada in jobs reserved for Canadian nationals, or for children born abroad to Canadian citizens.

Criminal and Medical Inadmissibility

Can I move to Canada if I have a criminal conviction?

Not everyone might realize that a past offense, even seemingly minor like a traffic violation, can make a person ineligible to enter Canada. If unsure, it's important to know what steps to take before and during the process of applying for immigration or a temporary resident visa to Canada to ensure entry. Examples of convictions that could lead to ineligibility include impaired driving, theft, assault, disorderly conduct, and drug possession.

A person may also be denied entry to Canada for health reasons if their condition poses a risk to public health or safety, or might burden Canada's health or social services. However, for family sponsorship cases involving a spouse/common-law partner and dependent children, this factor of excessive demand on medical grounds does not apply.

Even if someone or their family member is found to be medically or criminally ineligible for Canada, they still have options.


1) Can I just "move" to Canada?

Yes and no. You don't need a visa to visit Canada for personal or business reasons. As a visitor, you can stay in Canada for up to six months, unless a Canadian immigration officer at a Canadian Port of Entry tells you otherwise. But to enter, the immigration officer must believe that you genuinely plan to leave Canada when your visit ends. As a visitor, you can't make Canada your main home, and generally, you can't work in Canada unless you get a work permit first. You can study in Canada without a study permit only if your course lasts for six months or less. 

2) How hard is it to move to Canada from the U.S.? 

Moving from the U.S. to Canada shouldn't be too complicated because the two countries are neighbors, and you can easily drive across the border with all your belongings. The most challenging part might be applying for a visa through the right Canadian immigration program, which involves gathering all the necessary documents and filling out many forms.

3) Can I live in Canada as an American citizen? 

Yes, American citizens can live in Canada. If you stay for more than 180 days, you'll probably need a visa. You'll also need a visa or work permit if you plan to work in Canada. Even if you become a permanent resident of Canada, you'll still be considered an American citizen unless you apply for Canadian citizenship.

4) What is the immigration process to Canada from the U.S.?

The process will depend on why you're moving and how long you'll stay.

If you want to settle in Canada permanently, the easiest way is to join the Express Entry Pool. Express Entry is an online system for immigration applications that's fast, taking about six months to process. They'll assess your skills, education, and work history and give you a score. If your score is high enough, you might get an invitation to apply for permanent resident status.

If you're staying more than six months, you'll need to apply for a work or study permit. How long you can stay with this permit depends on the length of your studies or job offer in Canada.

For shorter stays, you might consider getting a visitor visa. With this visa, you can stay in the country for up to six months and can renew it 30 days before it expires if you need more time.

5) How long can I visit Canada for? 

Usually, officers from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a Canadian Port of Entry give entry stamps to visitors that are valid for up to six months from the entry date. You can extend this period from within Canada.

6) How can I immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker? 

Canada offers over 100 merit-based immigration streams for skilled workers. These programs evaluate candidates based on factors like age, education, language skills, work experience, and family ties in Canada.

U.S. residents and citizens can apply to immigrate as skilled workers through Express Entry. If they already have a specific province or territory in mind, they might qualify for one of the Provincial Nominee Programs. The Quebec Skilled Worker Program is also available for those intending to settle in Quebec.

7) Who qualifies as a skilled worker in Canada? 

Canada evaluates criteria related to human capital, including age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language skills, and adaptability.

Under the Express Entry immigration system, the Canadian government selects federal skilled workers. Canadian provinces choose skilled workers from abroad who have training and experience that match the needs of employers in their province through their Provincial Nominee Programs.

8) What is the Express Entry immigrations system? 

Express Entry is an electronic system for managing immigration applications to Canada.

It doesn't introduce a new immigration program. Instead, it helps with selecting and processing Canada's economic immigration programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Class
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • The Canadian Experience Class
  • A portion of the Provincial Nominee Programs

Applicants express their interest in immigrating to Canada and, if they qualify for at least one of these programs, they enter the Express Entry pool. In this pool, they're ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The federal government then selects candidates from this pool who receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for immigration to Canada under one of the programs. Express Entry changes Canada's immigration system from a first-come, first-served approach to an invitation-based system. Modeled after similar systems in Australia and New Zealand, Express Entry aims to speed up the processing of skilled immigrants who are likely to succeed in Canada.

9) I have heard that Canada has a points-based immigration system. What does that mean? 

Canada uses a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess profiles in the Express Entry pool. Candidates receive scores based on factors like age, education level, language skills, work experience, whether they have a job offer in Canada, and certain adaptability factors.

Once individuals create an Express Entry profile and enter the pool, they become candidates and are ranked alongside others. The Express Entry pool is competitive, with a points-based ranking system where candidates can earn up to 1,200 points under the CRS. The government regularly holds draws, inviting the highest-ranked candidates to apply for permanent residence through an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

10) Can I work in Canada without a work permit? 

Usually, you must have a visa or work permit to work in Canada. US citizens or residents visiting Canada for business can stay for up to 6 months without needing a work permit. Some jobs, like athletes or those working for Canadian charitable or religious organizations, might not need a work permit.

11) I am an entrepreneur, what are my immigration options in Canada? 

The federal government provides streams like the Start-Up Visa Program, the Self-Employed Program, and there are different entrepreneur immigration categories in the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). To find out more, you can check out this page on Canada's business immigration programs.

12) How do I know if I need a permit to work in Canada? 

In Canada, work visas and employment authorizations are called work permits. The Canadian government issues this document, allowing a foreign national to work for a particular employer in a specific role. Most U.S. residents and citizens will need a work permit to work in Canada.

13) Who can get a work permit in Canada?  

Foreign individuals who want to get a work permit must meet several eligibility criteria based on where they are when they apply. The type of work permit you can get depends on your individual circumstances. You can find more details here.

14) Is it possible to extend my Canadian work permit? 

The timeline of a work permit depends on the type of job in Canada and the category of the work permit you applied for. You can extend a work permit while you're in Canada, but some work permits have a maximum length.

15) Can I afford to move to Canada? 

If you apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family for the initial few months after arriving in Canada. The amount of settlement funds required depends on the size of your family. You will be required to provide written proof that you can access this money if you are invited to apply for permanent residence.

All immigrants who arrive in Canada must pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee and cover expenses related to supporting documents, such as diplomas, certifications, photographs, credential assessment, language tests, and medical examinations.

16) Can I move to Canada with no job? 

Foreign nationals can qualify for immigration to Canada even without a Canadian job offer. The best choice for those wanting to immigrate without a job offer is to apply for Express Entry. However, having a valid Canadian job offer greatly improves your chances of being invited to apply for permanent residence.

Certain Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in Canada and some work permits don't need candidates to have a Canadian job offer to be eligible.

17) Which country is more expensive to live in? Canada or the U.S.?

The cost of living in Canada changes depending on where you choose to live. Generally, living in big cities costs more than living in smaller rural areas. Most Canadians spend 35% to 50% of their income on housing and utilities.

Similar to many other countries, Canada adds sales taxes to lots of goods and services. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), imposed by the Canadian government, is added to the price of most goods and services. Additionally, most provinces have a provincial sales tax (PST), ranging from 7% to 10%. Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario combine the GST with the PST and call it the HST.

While Canada might have slightly higher taxes than the U.S. generally, healthcare and education costs are much lower.

In total, your expenses will depend on the lifestyle choices you make.

18) Is studying in Canada cheaper than in the U.S.?

Usually, your tuition and living costs in Canada are lower than in the U.S.

International students can also work during and after their studies in Canada, allowing them to earn money to support themselves and gain work experience.

19) Where will I pay income taxes after I move? In Canada or the U.S.? 

Canada and the U.S. have a tax treaty. This treaty aims to prevent double taxation and avoid tax evasion related to income and wealth taxes, making moving to Canada easier. One main difference between the two countries is that Canadian income tax law depends on residency, while U.S. tax law depends on citizenship. However, the Canada-U.S. tax treaty includes various mechanisms, such as foreign tax credits, to ensure individuals don't have to pay taxes to both countries.

20) Will I be able to access health care services in Canada? 

Canada operates a public health care system, ensuring critical care is available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents, as well as some temporary residents. Each province and territory has its own public health insurance plan to cover basic medical needs. In some provinces, health insurance may start up to three months after arrival.

If you're not covered, it's important to prioritize seeking healthcare for you and your family upon arrival. Additionally, getting private health insurance from an insurance company to cover emergencies until your provincial health insurance plan starts is advisable.

21) Can my health have an effect on my ability to immigrate to Canada?

Yes, if you have a health issue, you might be medically unable to enter Canada. Medical inadmissibility occurs in two situations:

1. The less common situation is when someone is considered a threat to the health of Canadians. This happens if a person has a communicable disease that could spread in Canada. Although there aren't many contagious illnesses that permanently affect health, diseases like HIV and AIDS could lead to medical inadmissibility.

2. More often, medical inadmissibility is determined by considering how much strain an individual would put on the Canadian healthcare system. If someone needs frequent and significant medical care, they could be medically inadmissible. There are no certain rules for any medical inadmissibility in this context; it's decided case by case. However, factors like the cost of medication and how often someone needs to see a specialist are considered.

22) Am I allowed to bring my family members to Canada from the U.S.?

When you choose to immigrate to Canada, you can bring your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children with you.

Your spouse might be eligible to come to Canada with you on an open work permit, allowing them to work for any employer without needing a confirmed job offer. Additionally, if you have dependent children with you, they don't require a study permit to attend Canadian educational institutions.

Canada acknowledges the legal rights of same-sex couples, including in immigration matters.

23) I and my spouse are separated; can I immigrate to Canada from the U.S. with my children? 

Yes, in most cases, proof of permission from the non-accompanying parent will be necessary. You'll need to submit a notarized form as evidence.

24) Am I allowed to bring my pet(s) to Canada? 

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has the power to deny entry to any animal that doesn't meet its entry requirements. To learn more, click here.

25) How is the coronavirus pandemic impacting immigration processes? 

Canada is still processing immigration applications during COVID-19. Despite travel restrictions, individuals from the U.S. can still enter Canada during the pandemic if they fall under the list of exempted individuals. 

26) Can I work in Canada without applying for permanent residence first? 

Yes, this is possible. Many Americans are currently working in Canada with valid legal status, even though they don't have permanent resident status.

27) Is it possible for me to go from temporary residence to permanent residence? 

Certainly! Indeed, acquiring a temporary work permit in Canada often serves as a pathway to obtaining permanent residence. Individuals holding active temporary work permits in Canada have various avenues to transition from temporary to permanent status, including participation in Express Entry Programs.

The Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) evaluates candidates based on factors such as work experience.

To qualify for the Canadian Experience Class, you must possess minimum experience of one year of skilled work in Canada, acquired while holding temporary resident status.

Moreover, if you hold a temporary work permit in Canada and your employer extends an offer of employment for at least one year, you may also accrue points under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Alternatively, candidates may opt to apply through Provincial Nominee Programs. These programs typically necessitate employer sponsorship for admission to Canada. Initially, candidates might receive temporary work permits to enter Canada while their application for permanent residence is under review.

28) Is moving to Quebec different from moving in the rest of Canada? 

Quebec stands out in Canada due to its predominantly French-speaking population. As per the 1991 Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec has authority over selecting economic immigrants, including skilled workers and entrepreneurs. This selection process falls under the jurisdiction of the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI).

Foreign individuals aspiring to settle in Quebec have the option to do so through economic immigration programs such as:

  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
  • Quebec Experience Program (Programme de l’expérience québécoise or PEQ)
  • Quebec Business Immigration

29) Can a U.S. citizen or resident seek asylum or refugee status in Canada? 

Whether an individual or family can be granted asylum or refugee status isn't based on their nationality. It depends on how they are treated and protected by their home country. However, very few American refugee claimants are accepted in Canada, so it's unlikely that a refugee or asylum application from a U.S. citizen would be approved in Canada.

30) How many immigrants does Canada allow per year? 

In its 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada plans to welcome over 400,000 immigrants annually. The majority will be admitted through economic class programs like Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program, and federal programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP). This increase in immigration levels is aimed at sustaining Canada's robust economy.

Please Visit The Official Links