What to know if you want to do an international move to Canada

Moving to Canada, eh?

A few months ago the internet was all the rage about Americans searching on the topic of how to move to Canada if Trump wins the U.S. election. But according to Justin Trudeau, the idea is not new. And, according to one comedian, the viable options of places to move in Canada are probably limited for most Americans, who either don’t like the cold, or can’t speak French. Check out that video here for a good laugh. And let’s not forget, with Brexit in the mix, the Brits also seem to want to move to Canada.

But this article is not about moving internationally to Canada only if you’re not happy with your politicians (in a relatively peaceful country, we mean!). People move to Canada for a variety of reasons. And as a moving company in Canada – one that has helped international movers in the past – we thought we’d give a bit of advice on the topic. It can be quite logistical!

We also wrote about some practical tips to help make the move emotionally easier:

While we will give some more logistical advice and tips here, be sure to also consult a legal professional on the topic if you are planning an immigration as a non-Canadian. And, before you start your move, get some good quotes and advice from international movers before you start shipping your belongings overseas. They’ll know how to help for your specific case.

Consider legalities of immigration before you call international movers in Canada

According to Wikihow, there are a variety of reasons a person can be revoked access to move to Canada. However, supposing you are qualified, and have applied for a particular visa that matches your case, you can follow their guide here.

The Canadian government also has a great (and probably more reliable) resource for both finding out if you would qualify to move to the country, and for the application process. They also have a section preparing you for life in Canada, which can be different from where you’ve lived before, even if you think it’s similar in culture and living standards.

The last thing you’d want is to get one small thing mixed up in your application process, or to not have your immigration processed correctly. If you plan yourmove with an international moving company before sorting out these important details, you could end up with an expensive bill for nothing. And, not tomention, a lot of hassle and time without your belongings, which really can make life tough.

Consider how you will earn a living, and your cost of living in Canada

This is an important one. If you’re reading this page, you may be considering to move to Canada as an expat with an existing job that will transfer you to an office in a Canadian city. Fair enough. Some companies may cover your costs of moving internationally too. But living in Canada can mean a shift in financial planning for your daily life too. And if you don’t already have a job, it’s important to know what employers look for. For example, even as the comedian mentioned above notes, in some places, and for some jobs, not knowing French can be a setback for you.

This site has a great resource on matters to do with your finances if you want to move to Canada:


On this site important matters are brought up that you will want to research such as:

  • Medical costs
  • Retirement savings
  • Training and qualifications needed to work in your existing career
  • Moving your pets to the country
  • Taxes on purchases (Europeans won’t be used to the add-on tax at store checkouts!)
  • Standard holiday time (it’s much less than some Europeans may be accustomed to!)

And, in this article on the BBC website, matters such as maternity leave and cost of housing are also discussed as important considerations that could affect your decision to move to Canada.

The Canadian government also has a site called Job Bank, where people can look for employment opportunities:

Consider where you’re going to live when you move to a new country

Canada is a big country. The country does share a common ideological culture, with common federal laws that affect all Canadians (such as healthcare). However, there are definitely idiosyncrasies that define regions in the country.

The most obviously defined province would be Quebec, which is a traditionally (and officially) french-speaking province.

But there are more things to consider when picking a city to live in within Canada, such as:

  • Job opportunities
  • Cost of housing (it can vary a lot!)
  • Nearby universities or schooling programs
  • Weather (this is a big one for many!)
  • Access to travel points like airports
  • Local bylaws
  • Transportation systems and costs (public transport, gas costs, car taxes and laws, etc.)
  • And so on.

This article on our blog may also help when considering moving to Vancouver:

We’ve written a few profiles on specific cities in the Metro Vancouver region, where we mostly operate as a local and international moving company. Check them out for useful insights!

If you’re looking to buy property, check out these articles on our blog:

Consider how you’ll get your ship your belongings to Canada

This one is important. We’ve seen things go wrong all too often to not say anything about it.

It’s important to choose a reputable international moving company when you are shipping your belongings across borders.

For example, see our blog post on things that can’t cross borders so easily from the USA:

But even worse, if a company goes bankrupt, or decides not to help you anymore, it will be up to you to cover the cost of getting your things out of storage, or shipping them to your new home. This is real, and we’ve seen it happen before. See this article on our blog about the true story of international movers with this terrible experience:

Now, one way to avoid this risk is to not try to bring your current furniture and ‘big’ things with you. But that can pose sentimental problems, as well as cost considerations. Depending on the type of furniture you have, it may be cheaper to ship your furniture in a container than to sell and re-buy new furniture whenyou get to Canada. This one site for expats recommends not opting for shipping, especially if you want to move to an inner-country city like Calgary for instance: you’ll need to pay extra to get your container from a port and onto a truck!

But in places like Vancouver, the port is nearby. And like we already said: sometimes parting with your belongings is not an option. And neither is putting them in a suitcase for a plane ride.

For those instances, we recommend reliable furniture moves with international moving companies that can help you with the logistics of the move.

In addition to the logistical planning of shipping household belongings internationally, you may want to check out our typical packing tips to keep your items safe during the long ride to Canada. Here are just some of our articles on the topic, though we encourage you to search more on our blog!

To conclude, moving to Canada takes planning

It takes more than a dream to move to Canada! But it can certainly start with the the dream! Surely Canada has benefits for anyone who wants to live in the country. And after you land, you may quite enjoy the country and culture, and all it has to offer. But like any move, the process can be stressful. For such a large decision, be sure to plan carefully and well in advance.

If you need help with your international move to Canada, feel free to contact us! We’d be happy to provide quotes and advice on your case.

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