How to Immigrate from the US to Canada

There are many circumstances that see Americans deciding to make the move up north to Canada, including work, school, a vibrant economy, and beautiful landscapes. Both Canada and The United States allow for dual citizenship, and there are several different permit options to choose from depending on your unique situation. The two main ways US residents immigrate to Canada are through work or through sponsorship.

The Express Entry Program 

The easiest way to immigrate to Canada is through the Express Entry System. The application process is free and 80% of applications are processed within 6 months, making it one of the fastest systems in the world. In order to receive an invitation, applicants must be eligible under one of the three economic immigration programs, namely The Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Creating a free Express Entry profile will allow Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to determine your eligibility for one of these programs. Applicants are assigned a score out of 1,200 points, and anyone scoring above the minimum cut off will receive an invitation to apply. 

Work Permits

If you are moving up north for work, there are a few different permits that may be available to you. NAFTA Work Permits facilitate trade of goods, and movement of temporary workers between Canada, the US, and Mexico. They are issued to US citizens with eligible temporary job offers from a Canadian employer. An Employer Specific Work Permit is similar, as it is presented to those who have a valid job offer from a specific employer, but it usually requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment document proving that the employer tried to fill the role with a Canadian citizen before offering it to a foreign national. Lastly, Spousal Open Work Permits are granted if the US citizen has a spouse or common-law partner who is a temporary worker or international student in Canada. 

Study Permits 

Study Permits are quite easily attainable and allow students to start work immediately (up to 20 hours per week during the school term, and 40 hours during holidays). This course of immigration can also be beneficial for long term plans as you can obtain a Post-Graduate Work Permit which can be valid for the same duration as your study permit – up to 3 years after graduation. Not to mention, Canadian work experience as well as a degree from a Canadian institution drastically increases your chances of successfully applying for permanent residency.  Moving to Canada can be a life changing experience, though it may seem a little daunting. Doing your research and talking to those who have been through the process firsthand will help clear up the unknowns and make the application process easier and smoother. The lawyers at Mikhailitchenko Law Office are compassionate and professional, and ready to help change people‚Äôs lives. Contact us to learn more about the process behind making the move from the US to Canada.