Moving from Canada to the USA: Top Moving Questions Answered

Are you moving from Canada to the United States and don’t even know where to start with your questions? Are you able to open a bank account? Can you legally apply for a credit card? And does anywhere actually serve good poutine or British chocolates? King’s Transfer has scoured the web for the most frequently asked questions about relocation and answered them for you here.

Whether you are moving for labour, love, or luxury, relocating internationally can be both stressful and exciting. Even with the US being our only land neighbour and the border being just a stone’s throw from most major Canadian cities, it is still a different country and will come with a few challenges. Here are some FAQ to help take the uncertainty away (hint: you might have to import a few things).

Q: Can I open a bank account in the USA?
A: Yes, you are allowed to open a bank account without a Social Security Number (SSN), the equivalent to our SIN; however, policies vary from bank to bank. Some Canadians have said they only needed two forms of ID (a passport and driver’s license, for example). One caveat is that some features of banking might not be available to you. If you are emigrating, be sure to apply for and track your SSN. It will make your life way easier (and less expensive. Nobody wants to pay withdrawal fees).

Q: How easy is it to get a credit card as a Canadian?
A: Card fees add up quickly, but living sans credit card makes life difficult. Despite the rather liberal American credit system, getting a crad without American credit history is actually fairly difficult. If you have an Amex in Canada, it is much easier, but that’s about it. Once you have a bank account and SSN, things become easier, but still not that easy. One solution is to get a prepaid card, a system where you leave a deposit in return for a line of credit (for example, leave $500 with the company for $500 in credit), and build your credit from there.

Q: Can my dog or cat come with me?
A: Rest assured that the USA loves pets just as much as we do. Your cat or dog are allowed to emigrate with you so long as they are healthy. Dogs must be vaccinated with proper documentation. Puppies under four months old are not allowed, however. Dogs must be three months old to be vaccinated and the vaccine takes one month to take effect, so any dog younger than four months is a risk. Cats are almost always allowed without documentation. If you’re importing a different pet, consult the CDC’s website.

Q: Which foods can I NOT get in the USA?
A: Sadly, not all Canadian delicacies are widely available south of the border. You’ll struggle to find a good poutine just about anywhere and British chocolates that we love here are usually not for sale (Flakes, Maltesers, etc.). You can find Tim Hortons in the Northeast quite a bit and in the Midwest as well now, but it’s rare elsewhere. If you’ve got a real sweet tooth, you’ll be sad to hear that Kinder Surprise eggs aren’t available either!

We hope we’ve got the most important questions out of the way for you. Moving abroad can be stressful but not if you’re prepared. And certainly not if you use a long-distance moving company that specialises in moving Canadians to the USA!