An Easy Guide to Moving to Canada from the US

- Updated July 11 2022

Thinking about moving to Canada from the US? If you’re a US citizen or permanent resident you don’t have to travel too far for a fresh start filled with better opportunities. Your neighbor up north is welcoming more than 1.2-million immigrants by 2023 to live and work in a country that puts diversity, equality, and its people first.

More and more people are moving to Canada from the US and in this guide, we take a closer look at the advantages of working and living in Canada as opposed to the US and how you can make the move north permanent. 

Is Canada Different from the USA?


In a lot of ways, Canada and the US differ day and night. While America is led by a president, Canada is a Commonwealth country led by a prime minister and headed by Queen Elizabeth II. It’s safe to say that Canada mirrors the UK. For example, if you take a road trip from Washington and cross the border to Canada you’ll notice the speed signs change from miles per minute to kilometers per minute. But besides the different metric systems, what are some other significant differences?

1. Canada’s Public Healthcare System Works

If you move to Canada from the US all your essential healthcare needs will be covered under Canada’s Medicare System no matter your level of income or age. According to OECD, if you want to get additional coverage for things such as optometry or dentistry, you’ll spend 5 times less for private premiums than you currently are.

Learn more: Healthcare in Canada VS the US

2. Canadians Believe Immigration Strengthens their Economy

Since 2005, Canada has upped its immigration intake and plans to welcome more than 1.3 million newcomers over the next three years! According to the Canadian Government, immigrants contribute to the economy by filling gaps in the labour force and paying taxes and spending money on goods, housing, and transportation. Immigrants are innovative and start new businesses which in return employ Canadians.

More than 50% of Canadian immigrants are highly educated, putting Canada at the top among the OECD countries. Highly skilled tech workers are moving to Canada from the US for better job opportunities in Vancouver, dubbed the new “Silicon Valley”. The World Economic Forum ranks Canada as the world's seventh most efficient labour market due to its openness to welcoming lower-skilled workers.

This is a startling contrast compared to the US which has seen a 7.5% drop in immigration figures due to fewer spouses, children, and parents of US citizens and permanent residents gaining approval to immigrate.

3. Canada Offers Cheaper Study Options

Can you guess the most educated country in 2022? Nope, it’s not Denmark, Japan, or Israel. According to the World Population Review, Canada is home to the most educated people. Over 56% of the population has post-secondary qualifications. This may have a lot to do with the more affordable tuition and easier application processes. An undergraduate degree in Canada ranges between $5,000 - $20, 000 per year whereas an undergraduate degree in the US starts from about $23,000 per year. Canada may not boast Ivy League schools but 16 Canadian universities feature in the top 500 of the Times Higher Education Ranking of 2022. A noteworthy accomplishment.

More Interesting Differences Between Canada and the USA


4. Canadians are happier than Americans. According to the World Happiness Report of 2022, Canada ranks 15th overall in contentment and the USA came in at 16th.  

5. In the USA, they drink Starbucks and in Canada, we prefer Tim Hortons.

Tim Hortons | Canada

6. Canadians get 3 weeks longer maternity leave and have access to parental benefits. 

7. Canada has a higher minimum wage rate and a lower cost of living compared to the USA.

8. Canada has two official languages, French and English. The USA has no official language.

9. Hockey is Canada’s game whereas American football is the most-watched sport in America.

Hockey match in Canada watched by excited fans

10. Canadians get out more, travel more, and spend 4 hours less watching TV than Americans.

How to Move to Canada From the USA

It’s easier to move from one first-world country to another, especially if that country is situated right above you, geographically speaking, which is why moving to Canada will only take you onward and upward, leading you to a brighter future. Canada offers more than 80 visa and immigration programs to achieve permanent residency in Canada.

Each immigration program has its eligibility requirements that must be satisfied and application processes that must be followed. Find out how you can move to Canada from the USA below and how we can help you make it happen!

1. Immigration to Canada from the USA as a Skilled Worker

Chefs preparing platters

If you have skilled work experience in the skill type listed in the table below, you can apply for permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry System. The Express Entry is a system that selects high-scoring candidates for three economic immigration programs, namely the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

The best part about Express Entry immigration is that it processes applications in as little as 6 months and you don't need a job offer to qualify! It is arguably one of the fastest immigration systems in the world.

Express Entry Immigration
Skill TypesExample Job Positions
ProfessionalsMedical workers, accountants, architects, lawyers, teachers, scientific staff, etc.
ManagersHospitality, mining, legislation, finance, etc.
Trade WorkersCarpenters, welders, plumbers, cooks, chefs, etc, 
Technical WorkersCivil engineers, broadcast technicians, computer network technicians, etc.

2. Immigrate to Canada from the USA If You’re a Recent Graduate

Studying in Canada not only provides you with hundreds of cheaper options in breathtaking areas across Canada but it opens more immigration pathways for you as a recent graduate. After your studies in Canada, you can apply for an open work permit to work anywhere in Canada and kickstart your career. To be eligible for immigration, be sure you apply to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) for international students who want to pursue a permanent life in Canada.

3. Immigrate to Canada from the USA as a Semi-Skilled or Unskilled Worker

Farmworker | Dairy Farm

Some jobs call for on-the-job training or labour-intensive tasks that don't require post-secondary education. And believe it or not but Canada has a shortage of these types of workers in many of its provinces and territories. For this reason, Canada has designed special immigration pilots aimed at semi-skilled or unskilled workers in jobs such as trucking, farming, and home care workers. After working in Canada for 6-9 months and receiving full-time job offers from their employers, these workers can apply for permanent residency in Canada through the pilots below and many more.

  • Agri-Food Immigration Pilot
  • Long-Haul Truck Driver Pilot
  • Child and Home Care Provider Pilot

4. Immigration to Canada from the USA If You’re an Entrepreneur

Canada and the US are no strangers to doing business together. The two countries export thousands of products and agri-foods to and throw every day. If you’re an entrepreneur and would like to broaden your horizons in Canada you may be interested in the Start-up Visa Program. Canada is one of the top ten best countries for start-up businesses and with its many business immigration opportunities, you’ll be self-employed living in Canada with a skilled Canadian workforce in your hands.


What is the actual difference in the cost of living between the USA and Canada?

There is no accurate way of telling the exact difference between Canada and the USA as the cost of living differs based on which province/territory/state you're looking at. According to, the cost of living in Canada for a single person, excluding housing costs is around US$919.33 per month. In comparison, the cost of living in the USA for a single person, excluding housing costs sits slightly higher at around US$968.81 per month.  Rent in the USA is also around 10% higher than in Canada.

How do I know if I'll qualify for permanent residence through the Express Entry program?

You never know for sure but a huge aid in guaranteeing your chances of gaining permanent residency is to improve your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score. If you're looking to get the most out of your CRS assessments, have a look at this article

What is an Open work permit?

An open work permit, like the one you'll get upon completing a degree in Canada, is a work permit that allows skilled foreign nationals to work anywhere in Canada for any employer as they please. This is in contrast to Canada's closed work permit, which allows foreign nationals to work in Canada but only with a specific employer for the specific length of their employment. The employer would also have to prove they couldn't fill the foreign national's position with a local via presenting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

How We Make the Move to Canada from the USA Easy

Canadian Flag

The physical move from the US to Canada may not be too difficult since you can quite literally drive across the border with all your belongings but applying for the right immigration program, collecting all the documents, and filling in the heaps of paperwork is another headache altogether - one you can avoid by simply applying to that’ll take care of the entire visa application process on your behalf.

By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only improve your chances of success in the visa application process, but you will get expert advice on which program is best for your specific needs. Our RCICs are highly qualified and are granted permission by the IRCC to assist you with your eligibility evaluation, review all your documents and application forms, and submit them to the Canadian government for you. Why take the chance of having your application denied because your forms are incorrect or sent in too late.

Ready to move to Canada from the USA? All you have to do is complete our application form to receive your eligibility assessment today. It's just that simple.