Moving to Canada from the USA

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Process: Moving to Canada from the USA

Thinking of starting a new chapter of your life in Canada, leaving the USA behind? Canada’s allure is undeniable, with its scenic beauty, welcoming communities, and promising opportunities. Each year, a significant number of Americans opt to immigrate to Canada, seeking a fresh start and a better quality of life. The journey to Canada may seem overwhelming, but fear not! At CanadaByChoice.com, we’ve got your back. 

In this blog, The Ultimate Step-by-Step Process: Moving to Canada from the USA, we’ll be your guiding light, leading you through every phase of the immigration process.

Moving to Canada from the USA

Becoming a Permanent Resident: Relocating from the USA to Canada

If you are interested in moving to Canada and obtaining Permanent Residency and citizenship there are a few options are your disposal. 

Express Entry

When it comes to efficient immigration pathways to Canada, Express Entry stands tall as the most favored choice among aspiring immigrants, this includes USA citizens looking to make the move. 

Express Entry is designed to attract economic migrants who can contribute to the Canadian economy, this streamlined system offers a quick and relatively smooth process for obtaining permanent residency. Express Entry is not a program in itself but rather an online system employed by the Canadian government to manage applications from skilled workers seeking permanent residency.

Under the Express Entry system, skilled workers can apply through three programs: 

Canada Experience Class: The Canadian Experience Class is an immigration program that allows individuals who have gained professional work experience in Canada to apply for permanent residency.


Federal Skilled Worker: The Federal Skilled Worker Program is an immigration program that allows skilled workers with work experience in a designated occupation to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.


Federal Skilled Trades: The Federal Skilled Trades Program is an immigration program that allows skilled tradespeople with work experience in a specific trade to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

Applicants are ranked using a point-based system that considers various factors, including age, education, language proficiency, and work experience. The Canadian government conducts periodic draws, inviting the highest-ranking applicants from the pool to apply for permanent residency. The entire process typically takes under one year and, in some instances, just a few months from application to receiving an invitation for permanent residency. So, if you possess valuable skills and qualifications, Express Entry might be the best option for you. 

Provincial Nominee Programs

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a crucial immigration pathway that enables Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals with the necessary skills and experience for permanent residency. 

Tailored to meet the unique economic demands of each province, the PNP offers specific streams and criteria aligned with local labor markets. This pathway is the second most popular pathway of immigrating to Canada. 

Some PNPs are streamlined through the express entry and for candidates already in the Express Entry system, the PNP provides an additional chance to increase their Express Entry score, 600 additional to be exact. While PNPs operating independently may take longer.

Successful applicants often spend a minimum of two years as residents in the nominating province before having the option to relocate within Canada. 


If you are an American and have family ties to a Canadian permanent resident or citizen, sponsorship might be ideal for you. Types of sponsorships include Spousal, Common-law, Conjugal Partner, Dependent Children, Parents, and Grandparents. With a sponsorship, the sponsored individual can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. However, before receiving their permanent residency, they can acquire a work permit allowing them to work in Canada as they wait for their permanent residency application.


Start-up Visa


If you have the capital to invest in Canada, the Business Immigration route might be an option for you.

You can apply through a Federal or Provincial (PNP) business immigration program. Whether you are self-employed or are looking to establish a business in Canada you can apply for the Start-Up Visa. To qualify for the Start-Up Visa, you will need to have a letter of support from a designated angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator. You have to meet the ownership requirements for a qualifying business. You have to meet the language requirement by getting a score (CLB) of 5 in all four categories for either English or French. You need to have an adequate amount of money to settle and provide for the cost of living before earning an income. Alternatively, several Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) cater to foreign applicants who wish to start a business in a particular province. Many PNPs offer regional entrepreneur programs that require a lower investment to apply.

Immigrating from USA to Canada (1)

Utilizing USMCA: A Pathway for Immigration to Canada from the USA

Canada, USA and Mexico have a signed agreement, the Canada-United States-Mexico-Agreement (CUSMA) also referred to as USMCA in the United States and previously known as NAFTA. This is a free trade agreement and in the agreement it includes labour movement between the countries. There are three provisions for temporary labor movement.


  1. Professionals: eligible individuals must meet specific education, qualifications, and work experience criteria relevant to their profession. This provision aims to enhance cross-border trade and economic cooperation by enabling qualified professionals to work in another member country on a temporary basis to provide their expertise and services. Such jobs include (accountant, engineer and nurse). 

  • Intra-Company Transfers: Under the CUSMA, there are provisions for “Intra-Company Transfers.” These provisions allow multinational companies to transfer key personnel, including managers, executives, and specialized knowledge workers, between their affiliated offices in the member countries without the need for a labor market impact assessment or a specific job offer. Intra-Company Transfers facilitate the movement of skilled employees within the company’s international operations, promoting cross-border investment and business growth within North America.

  • Traders and Investors: Citizens of the member countries can engage in cross-border trade and investment activities with reduced barriers. The agreements facilitate the movement of traders, who conduct substantial trade in goods and services, as well as investors, who make significant investments in the member countries. This arrangement aims to promote economic cooperation and investment opportunities within North America, fostering growth and prosperity for businesses and individuals alike.


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Students and Young Adults

International Experience Canada 


US citizens are eligible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit. This program offers open work permits to young individuals, providing them with an opportunity to gain work experience in Canada. It includes categories such as Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op, allowing individuals to work for any employer in Canada. This is great if you are in school or recently graduated and want to temporarily live in Canada and explore its many destinations. 


Study in Canada


Canada has nearly 1,500 Universities and colleges that are authorized to admit international students. To apply for a student visa, firstly you need a letter of approval from a college or university. The institution must be a designated learning institution (ask us if your school of interest is a DLI (Designated Learning Institution) in Canada. Before you can be fully enrolled, you will need to prepay your tuition and provide proof that you are financially secure enough to cover your living expenses while you study. You will also need a valid passport or travel document for each family member that allows you to return to the country that issued it. After completing your program, you can apply for a work permit. With Canadian education and post-graduate work experience an individual would be a candidate for the Canadian Expirence Class in the Express Entry, which is a pathway to permanent residency. 

Housing Ban Canada

Immigrating to Canada from the USA opens the doors to a world of opportunities, and the allure of Canada’s breathtaking landscapes and promising lifestyle attracts a significant number of Americans seeking a fresh start. At CanadaByChoice.com, located in Windsor, a vibrant border town with Detroit, we have extensive experience helping individuals embark on this life-changing journey. With our strong ties to both Canada and the USA, we are uniquely positioned to provide expert guidance throughout the entire immigration process. Whether you choose the streamlined Express Entry program, explore the Provincial Nominee Program, or consider family sponsorships and business opportunities, our seasoned team is here to support you at every step.

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The information in this blog is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Everyone’s immigration goals, objectives and situations are different. Please contact us to speak to a consultant for advice.

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