So, you want to move to the States eh?

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Topic author

So, you want to move to the States eh?

Post Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:42 am

I'm going to sticky this thread at the top of the list for anyone looking for information about moving to the US.

Let me first say that we here at CanuckAbroad are in no way experts about immigration in any way shape or form, other than for the most part, we've immigrated somewhere ourselves!

Over the years I've determined that Canadians will want to move to the US for one of 3 reasons, they are: Weather, Money, or Love. Not necessarily in that order.

If you're thinking of moving because you just can't handle the Canadian winters anymore, that is understandable, but there is a lot more to it than just packing up your belongings and heading to the border.

Same if you've decided you can make more money in the US than you can in Canada. You can't just pack up and go.

And for Love. So, you've fallen in love with an American and you want to go spend the rest of your life with them in the states? Yep, you guessed it, you can't just just pack up your stuff and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, there are rules and we have to live by them if we want to live legally in the US indefinitely.

I'll link some websites here that may be of help to you to start your research. And a reminder, we're not experts here at CanuckAbroad, we're just Canucks who've happened to move somewhere. What works for one person may not work for someone else.

First, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services aka, USCIS (formerly called INS) where you can find all the forms you'll need for your immigration journey, no matter the reason you're going. Also of course, the laws regarding immigration to the US.

2, Customs and Border Patrol for information on what you can take, and what you need in order to take it.

3, US Department of State These are the folks who actually will be deciding whether or not you can enter the US. Be nice to them!

4, If you're thinking of moving because you can't stand winter, or because you think you can make more money in the US, you'll need some sort of visa. As Canadians we have few choices of what we're eligible for, but you may want to have a look at the information for TN visas A TN visa is a non-immigrant visa, usually valid for One Year (renewable). You must have the qualifications and a job offer from a US employer to be eligible for a TN visa.

.also to remember, as Canadians we can visit the US for up to 6 months at a time, or per calendar year, whichever comes first. During that time, you are considered a Visitor, and not eligible to work. At all. Not even telecommute to a Canadian job over the internet. You cannot work in the US unless you have a work permit. Even for a foreign employer.

5, If you're thinking of moving because you've fallen in love with an American, check out the information at Visa Journey This site has changed over the years, but its the one I used for information about my K3 visa, and has helped hundreds upon hundreds of other couples hurdle immigration. There is even a Canada specific forum.

There are quite literally dozens upon dozens of websites out there dedicated to immigration to the US. These are just a few. Watch out for lawyers who say they can take your case and speed up the processing of your applications, or for any consulting office who charges you money for visa application packages. The forms are free at the USCIS website, there's no reason to pay for them from a consultant. And No Lawyer, no matter how good they are, can speed up the process, certainly not for marriage/family based immigration. It takes as long as it takes.

There may even be other options available to you to move to the US, but these are the most common for Canadians. TN visa, or marriage based.

If anyone here has any other website or kernel of information they'd like to add, please let me know, or just post it here.

Like I said, we're just a bunch of Canucks who've moved somewhere, we're no experts.
oohmercymeModeratorUser avatar
Posts: 315
Joined: 21 Mar 2004
Location: London, England

Post Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:01 am

Woohoo! Good sticky Reba! :D

Because the *What professionals are eligible for a TN Visa?* question comes up several times a week, here it is front and centre -->
Last edited by oohmercyme on Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic author

Post Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:56 am

Thanks Lori! :)
Posts: 167
Joined: 2 Apr 2007
Location: San Diego, California

Post Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:19 pm

Hi - great sticky idea Reba!

If the NAFTA Job list comes up often, then here is a link to Scrutinized NAFTA Occupations. Some of these occupations are not on the official NAFTA Job Title and may require special attention when applying for your TN Visa. So please be aware of them.

Here's the link
nivshaNew Member
Posts: 7
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Location: Canada

Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:13 am

Great info thank you. My question today is how to I attain application forms for "Special Talents" visa AKA EB-1(A) visa? Any experience with this particular visa anyone? Anyone? Going once, going twice, sold?
nivshaNew Member
Posts: 7
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Location: Canada

Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:18 am

Quote Reba:

".also to remember, as Canadians we can visit the US for up to 6 months at a time, or per calendar year, whichever comes first."

If I visit the states for 6 months, after that time I have to come back to Canada and what happens next? Is there a period of time that I have to remain in Canada before I can go back for say another 6 months? Or wait till the following year to do another 6 months visit?

Topic author

Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 4:11 am

YOu should be able to find the forms to download from the immigration website for any and all visas that they have currently.

Once you come back to Canada, you should stay as long as you were out. So if you're gone for 6 months, you should stay again 6 months. You can't (legally anyway) just turn around a few days later and go back for another 6 months. This will also ensure that you won't lose your provincial healthcare benefits in Canada. Most provinces require that you are resident in the province at least 5 or 6 months per year to cover you.
nivshaNew Member
Posts: 7
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Location: Canada

Post Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:28 pm

Oh, that really sucks about six months away and six months back! Thanks for the clarity though.
byddiNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 Nov 2007

TN visa... getting the sequence right!

Post Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:12 am

Hi, I currently live and teach in Northern Ireland. My husband has a green card and I have a Canadian passport (By birth). We want to move to the USA and I would like to know if I go there without a job lined up can I look for one when I'm there and then apply for the TN visa?
Topic author

Post Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:04 am

Are you planning to show up at the US point of entry and just move in and start looking for a job?

What do you plan to say to the border official when they ask the purpose of your visit?

They may deny your entry all together. And if your husband has been out of the US for more than 12 months, his green card is likely no longer valid. Does he have a re-entry permit?

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