Moving to the USA from Canada


Grand Canyon Road, Arizona, US

Last Updated: 29 Aug 2023

Thinking of moving to the USA from Canada? Discover the best tips to bridge the gap between your plans and reality, and learn how MTFX can help you save with quick, easy money transfers.

The United States holds tremendous appeal for numerous Canadians for a variety of compelling reasons. As one of the globe's most attractive immigration hubs, it consistently captures the attention of those seeking new opportunities. For Canadians moving to the USA, the leap is made easier by its proximity as a southern neighbor, divided by the longest international border.

Not surprisingly, the United States has been the top destination¹ for Canadians in recent years, with approximately 800,000² Canadians living there. Whether you're moving from Canada to the United States to work, study, retire, or get married, this guide will walk you through the practical considerations.

Is it worth moving to the USA from Canada?

If you're considering relocating to the USA, you're likely already aware of its attractiveness. In a nutshell, here's why joining the Canadian diaspora in the United States can be such a great move:

Great weather: The United States is home to many 'northerners' who prefer the warmer southern climate and wish to avoid Canada's brutal winters.

Exciting job opportunities: The United States is a land of opportunities, offering more employment options, better salaries, tax benefits, and greater economic freedoms. This helps offset the potentially higher cost of living in the U.S.

Vibrant lifestyle: Many Canadians move to the United States in pursuit of personal freedom to live as they wish. The American lifestyle is diverse, catering to various tastes, and fitting in is easier due to the absence of a language barrier.

The American dream: Chasing the American dream means owning property, starting a business, having a stable job, and enjoying a good life. It's based on the belief that anyone, including foreigners, can achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and innovation, regardless of status or birthplace.

How much does moving to the USA cost?

There’s a string of costs associated with moving to the USA from Canada. Some upfront costs include visa fees, international money transfer fees, flights, and accommodation. In addition, the cost of living in the United States⁴ varies from state to state and includes food, transportation, entertainment, and insurance.

It’s estimated to be roughly $5,800 per month for a family of four and $3,500 for a single person. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on the size of your family and the area or type of home you’re interested in living in. It’s a good idea to create a personalized budget with specific expenses that reflect your financial needs.

Keep in mind that healthcare is more expensive⁵ in the U.S. than in Canada, so it’s important to budget accordingly. Moving to the USA from Canada may require thousands of dollars, but you can save more by avoiding unnecessary costs. For example, with MTFX, you can send money from Canada to the USA and enjoy competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees that are better than those offered by banks and other providers.

What are the best U.S. states to move to as a Canadian?

The United States has 50 states, the District of Columbia, five major territories, and several minor islands, so choosing the best place to live can be challenging. Still, some popular states may pique your interest. 

Florida: If you’re a snowbird, you’ll love Florida and its location in the sunbelt. Popular areas in Florida include Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The Sunshine State is home to beautiful beaches, a diverse population, and a thriving economy.

California: California is another famous coastline state in the Sun Belt, with favorite destinations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. It has incredible weather, a beautiful coastline, and a multicultural vibe.

Washington DC: Washington, D.C., as the capital of the United States, naturally draws the attention of numerous Canadians who are intrigued by its vibrant atmosphere. Renowned for its national landmarks, monuments, and world-class museums, the city offers a compelling experience.

New York: New York City has been dubbed a concrete jungle filled with great restaurants, business opportunities, and fantastic art and culture. It’s also the location of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Additional considerations when moving to the USA as a Canadian

In addition to visa requirements and moving costs, there are several things to consider to ensure all your i’s are dotted, and t’s are crossed before moving to the USA.

Buying a home

If you plan to buy property in the USA, it’s best to work with local agents to find a prime location that suits you. The most popular types of homes include single-family homes, multi-family homes, detached homes, townhomes, and condominiums (condos). Ideally, your new home should have easy access to essential amenities like educational facilities, public transportation, shops, and restaurants.

The tax implications

Fortunately, Canada has a tax treaty with the U.S. to prevent Canadian taxation on income earned in the U.S. That said, taxation laws vary from state to state, and the tax considerations for Canadian expats can be complicated. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a qualified cross-border tax advisor and familiarize yourself with U.S. tax laws, which may differ based on residency status.

Acclimating to the new culture

At first glance, Canada and the U.S. are about as similar as any two countries can get. For example, the common language (English) and proximity create a shared blend of culture, vocabulary, lifestyle habits, and entertainment. However, you may still experience culture shock due to subtle differences coming from the melting pot of American culture and customs. Hence, it’s a good idea to research and prepare in advance to ensure a smooth cultural adaptation.

Finding the right money transfer specialist

Moving from Canada to America often involves moving your money across the border into a U.S. bank account. So, you need to find a convenient money transfer service that offers competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees. Whether you’re buying a property, paying your mortgage, or making an investment, you save on stress, money, and time with a specialist foreign exchange service that lets you send money to the USA quickly and easily.

How to move to the U.S. from Canada?

Here are some of the steps involved when moving from Canada to America:

  1. Do your research (immigration procedures, culture, job opportunities, etc.).
  2. Gather all the required documents.
  3. Apply for a visa according to U.S. immigration laws.
  4. Find suitable accommodation.
  5. Send money from Canada to America.
  6. Book your flights.
  7. Arrive in the USA.
  8. Settle into your new home. 
Moving from Canada to the USA


Transferring funds to the USA? MTFX has you covered!

MTFX helps you move your money quickly and easily as you relocate from Canada to the U.S. You get personalized support from foreign exchange specialists, plus access to competitive rates and low, transparent fees.

This service comes with a secure, 24/7 online account that allows you to send large sums of money into your US-based account to finance your new chapter in life.

Open an account today to enjoy convenient and cost-effective international money transfers from Canada to the USA before, during, and after your move.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I move to the USA from Canada?

Yes, you can work, study, and live in the USA as a Canadian, but you must first apply and be approved for the appropriate visa.

How can I move to the USA from Canada permanently?

You can become a green card holder or permanent resident through family sponsorship, marriage, business investment, or employment.

How can I become a U.S. citizen if I live in Canada?

The first step is to obtain a green card or permanent residency. You’ll be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after residing in America for a certain period.

How do I send money to the USA from Canada when relocating?

MTFX has all the tools you need to convert CAD to U.S. dollars and transfer money to the United States for a smooth move. Your 24/7 online account allows you to skip the bank and send money anytime, anywhere, at great rates and low transfer fees.

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