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Moving to Canada from the U.S.

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada from the United States or to reside in Canada temporarily, but each pathway requires a plan.

The United States and Canada share a long and storied history. Both of these vast, ambitious nations were, by and large, settled and governed by immigrant communities-and both the U.S. and Canada continue to receive hundreds of thousands of newcomers from around the world on an annual basis.

Looking to discuss your move to Canada with other U.S.-based people? We have a dedicated section on our forum. Register today and discuss your options with other members.

Every year, thousands of American citizens make the decision to move to Canada. Some are attracted by economic opportunity, others are sponsored by a spouse or partner, while many other Americans come to work or study in Canada on a temporary basis. Indeed, some are enticed by more than one of these factors, or other considerations.

As long as there has been America, there have been Americans moving to Canada. The ill-tempered nature of the 2016 Presidential Election cycle in the U.S. has led to increased interest from Americans who wish to live in a forward-looking, progressive and safe place where they and their families can benefit from a large swathe of opportunities-and all without straying too far from their friends and families back home.

Citizens of the United States, let's begin your clear path to Canada.

This comprehensive page covers the full range of immigration and temporary residence options that are open to U.S. citizens wishing to move to Canada. Click on any item in the menus below to go directly to the section that is most relevant to your particular needs. If you have a specific inquiry about moving to Canada from the U.S., please contact us today by completing the form at the end of this page. We will be happy to assist you in your Canadian immigration goals

Work in Canada

Much like in the U.S., Canadians enjoy a free market economy, where individuals and enterprises are rewarded for their creativity, innovation and hard work. In addition, Canadian governments, both federal and provincial, are more inclined to intervene in the economy when it is pragmatic to do so. Canada is generally not governed from an ideological standpoint; this allows individuals can reach their potential, while also ensuring that 'boom and bust' cycles are not the norm.

Obtaining a Canadian work visa (referred to as a work permit in Canada) is usually an important step towards working legally in Canada. If you do not have a job offer, our Job Search Tool is key to finding work in your field in any location across Canada. If you do have a job offer from a Canadian employer, congratulations! You and your prospective employer may have to obtain a document called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before you begin working in Canada. This document serves as proof that your employment in Canada will likely have a neutral or positive effect on the local labour market.

SWAP Working Holidays

SWAP Working Holidays (formerly Student Work Abroad Programs) facilitate international exchanges between young people from different nations. U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 to 30, inclusive, may obtain an open work permit for 12 months under this program, provided that they have been enrolled in full-time post-secondary study at some point in the past twelve months. Final year students not returning to studies are also eligible. After working in Canada for up to a year, U.S. students are permitted to repeat SWAP in Canada once they have completed another academic term in the U.S.


Under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. citizens may be eligible for facilitated processing when applying for a temporary Work Permit in Canada. Work Permits under the provisions of NAFTA do not usually require a LMIA. U.S. citizens may work in Canada under NAFTA through one of the following categories:

A NAFTA Professional must be qualified to work in one of approximately 60 targeted professions, including professions in teaching, science, medicine, finance, law, and many more.

Free Assessment

Find out your options for immigration to Canada by completing a free online assessment.

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