Moving from USA to Canada checklist | The Essential Checklist for a Successful Move

If you’re thinking about moving from the USA to Canada, you need to make sure all your papers (and travel needs) are correct. Making sure your documents and other travel requirements are in order is really important when you’re moving from the USA to Canada. You can’t afford to get things wrong.

Moving from USA to Canada checklist

If they’re not right, it could cause problems when you try to enter Canada. This could lead to a longer wait at the border and might even prevent you from getting into the country right away. So, it’s a good idea to double-check everything before you go. This way, you can have a smoother journey and won’t have to worry about any unnecessary delays.

To avoid any hiccups and make your movement smooth and stress-free, we’ve put together a detailed checklist that covers everything you need to know and do before making the move. You can call it “Our moving from the USA to Canada checklist”.

Moving from USA to Canada checklist

You need to get all your stuff right before heading for the borders.

Research and Preparation

  • Visa and immigration requirements: Before you pack your bags, make sure you have the right visa to Canada. Canada has many visa categories, so ensure you have applied for the one that suits your situation and start the application process well in advance.
  • Healthcare system: Canada offers a publicly funded healthcare system, but you may need to understand how it works. Apply for a health card (also known as a provincial health insurance card) as soon as you arrive to access medical services.
  • Budget and cost of living: Compare the cost of living in your current location with the city you’re moving to in Canada. On average, the cost of living in Canada can be 5-10% lower than in the USA, but specific costs vary depending on the city.

Paperwork and Documentation

  • Passport and Visa: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from your planned arrival date in Canada. Keep your visa documents readily accessible.
  • Personal Identification: Gather important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and driver’s licenses. These might be required for various administrative processes in Canada especially if this is your first time traveling to Canada.


  • Renting or buying: If you are moving to Canada permanently, decide whether you want to rent or buy a home. Renting initially can give you time to explore the neighborhoods and understand the housing market before making a long-term commitment.
  • Utilities and services: Research and set up essential services like electricity, water, internet, and cable/TV connections in your new home.


  • Bank accounts: Open a Canadian bank account to manage your finances locally. This will be useful for receiving your salary, paying bills, and conducting day-to-day transactions.
  • Currency exchange: Familiarize yourself with the currency exchange rates and consider transferring your funds to a Canadian account before moving to get the best rates.

Healthcare and Insurance

  • Health Insurance: While waiting for your provincial health card, consider obtaining private health insurance to ensure you’re covered for medical expenses during the waiting period.

Moving Logistics

  • Shipping and customs: If you’re bringing belongings, research shipping options and understand the customs regulations. You may need to pay duties and taxes on certain items.
  • Packing and transport: Arrange for movers or plan the logistics of transporting your belongings to Canada. Make a checklist to ensure you pack all your essentials.

Settling in

  • Driver’s license: If you plan to drive in Canada, check the requirements for transferring your driver’s license. You may need to take a written or practical driving test.
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN): Apply for a SIN to work and access government benefits. You’ll need this for tax purposes as well.
  • Local registration: Register with your local municipality or city as required. This might involve updating your address, registering for school if you have children, and understanding local services.


Moving from the USA to Canada is a significant step, you need to plan before taking this step. By following this checklist, you’ll be better prepared and easily integrate into the community in Canada Remember, it’s only stressful if you fail to plan ahead. Good luck!

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