Moving To Canada: 3 Things You Should Know

Moving can be a stressful experience. There’s so much you have to keep track of and remember in the midst of uprooting your life from one place to another. While a cross-town or state-to-state move can be tricky enough, a move from the US to Canada adds even more complications. Here are the three most important things you need to know if you are planning a move to Canada.

canada flag

Personal entry requirements

Upon your arrival at the Canadian port of entry, you must report to Canadian customs and declare that you are moving to Canada. Customs will then ask you to complete settlers and entry paperwork. All American citizens must provide the following documents to Canadian customs upon their arrival:

  • a valid passport or birth certificate
  • photo identification
  • employer letter of intent
  • employment authorization (also called a work permit) fully filled out by you and your employer and issued and approved by the CEC
  • copies of the moving company’s driver’s inventory listing, which itemizes the goods you intend to import into Canada

What you need to know about imported goods and articles

Duty-free goods:
Duty-free goods must have been owned and in use for a least one year prior to importation, otherwise tax may be applicable. Duty-free goods include: appliances, antiques, books, boats and their trailers, family heirlooms, furniture, furnishings, hobby tools and other hobby items, jewelry, linens, musical instruments, coin collections, stamps or art, private aircraft, and silverware.

Goods subject to taxes:
Canadian customs will accept check, cash, MasterCard or Visa for payment of taxes and duties. Payment must be made before your goods are released for delivery. Goods that are subject to taxes include: personal items that exceed $10,000 in total value, goods purchased less than 1 year before moving to Canada, a mobile home or trailer used as a residence, automobiles, boats, motorcycles, scooters, snowmobiles, office equipment including furniture and safes.

Restricted and Prohibited Goods:
Canadian customs randomly inspects inbound shipments. The quantity of alcohol and tobacco products you take over the border may be restricted. In addition, the following items and goods are prohibited: weapons and firearms, explosives, narcotics, dangerous drugs, obscene articles and publications, toxic and poisonous substances, and non-canned food items. Any prohibited items found during inspection may be seized, and in the instance of firearms, criminal charges could also be filed.

Pets and plants:
Dogs and cats under 3 months old do not require documentation. Dogs and cats 4 months old or older require a certificate signed by a veterinarian that verifies the animal has been vaccinated for rabies within three years prior to entry into Canada. This certification must specify age, sex, coloring, markings, and breed. Common houseplants can enter Canada without permits, but all other plants require a permit from the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) which must be issued in advance of your arrival.

Where to get more information

Integrity Movers is experienced in moving Maine residents north of the border and we are prepared to answer any of your questions as you plan this endeavor. During your free site-based estimate, we will advise you of any steps you need to take in advance of your move to Canada, ensuring all proper measures are taken. In addition, you can get more information from the Canada Border Services Agency, including border wait times and contact information. Canada’s government also supports a website devoted to answering questions about becoming a Canadian citizen. This easy-to-use Wiki also gives the 8 steps you should follow if you’re thinking about moving to Canada.

When you are ready for your big move up north, call Integrity Movers to get a free estimate. Our knowledgeable owner, Jim, will give you a fair quote for the entire job, including packing and cleaning services, if desired. Integrity Movers is Portland, Maine’s newest moving company, and we are standing by to help your move to Canada be as easy and stress-free as possible. Give us a call at 207-233-5545 or visit our website for more information.

Information in this blog was adapted from the informational pamphlet
“Moving from the United States to Canada” – A Comprehensive Guide
No author or publishing information is available.