TEMPORARILY MOVING FROM THE U.S. TO CANADA | WORK, STUDY, TRAVEL
Updated: May 6
We often receive emails from American citizens asking if they can relocate to Canada. In fact, approximately half of our clients come from the United States. Our answer to this question is yes, depending upon the immigration program you apply to and your current situation. In addition, it’s important to identify whether you want to move from the U.S. to Canada temporarily or permanently. Today, we will explain some of the options available to those who wish to come to Canada from the USA temporarily.
OPTIONS FOR U.S. CITIZENS TO IMMIGRATE TO CANADA
VISITING CANADA FROM THE U.S.
First, if you plan to visit Canada as an American citizen for less than six months, you may not need to apply for an immigration program. Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. You would simply require an American passport (in addition to other pieces of government-issued identification) to present to the Canadian Border Services officer. You do not require an eTA, a Canadian visa, or a Canadian passport.
However, there are some restrictions to those wishing to come to Canada in this way. For example, under most circumstances, you cannot work in Canada during this period.
If you wish to stay in Canada temporarily for more than 6 months, there are a few different options for temporary immigration.
TEMPORARY IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
There are three main reasons our U.S. clients choose to come to Canada: to work, to study, and to travel. There are a number of temporary immigration programs available to those who wish to come to Canada from the U.S. for these purposes.
WORK IN CANADA (WITH OR WITHOUT A WORK PERMIT)
Many of our clients choose to work temporarily in Canada. Most Americans will need to apply for an employer-specific work permit. The employer-specific work permit requires you to work for the same employer for a set period of time. Some of our clients are also eligible to apply for a NAFTA work permit.
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, most American citizens are eligible for facilitated processing when applying for a temporary Work Permit in Canada. Work Permits issued through NAFTA generally don’t require a Labour Market Impact Assessment. However, applicants must comply with all of the rules that govern Temporary Workers in Canada.
A common question we receive from our American clients is: “Where can I work in Durham Region?” While we do not offer a job-matching service at our firm, we do offer some suggestions depending on the client’s field of experience. Some popular fields of work include: software engineering, Information Technology, as well as jobs in hospitality (e.g. cooks, restaurant managers, etc.). We recommend using Canadian job search portals (click this link and scroll to “find work in Canada” for our favourites) to find employment suited to your skillset and desired location.
STUDY IN CANADA
A number of our clients also want to come to Canada to study. Durham Region is home to a number of recognized and esteemed secondary and post-secondary institutions. Some of the most popular schools we have assisted our clients in acquiring a study permit for include Trinity College School, Lakefield College School, Albert College, Trafalgar Castle School, Ontario Institute of Technology (OnTechU), Centennial College, Trent University, and Durham College.
A study permit is typically valid for the length of your study program, plus an additional 90 days. Many international students choose to extend their stay in Canada either through a visitor visa or a work permit. This 90-day period allows them time to make a decision and submit the appropriate applications.
Think you’ll want to stay in Canada? Read our article about moving to Canada from the USA permanently.
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.