How to Move from Canada to Florida? A Comprehensive Guide

Editorial Team - HomeAbroad  by HomeAbroad Editorial Team
11 min read
Move Canada to Florida Guide

Florida has always been one of the favorite places for Canadians to relocate and restart. Canadian move to the USA, especially to Florida, to encash on job opportunities, affordable housing, benefits of not paying state income tax, and to enjoy excellent weather. Currently, of the total immigrant population residing in the U.S., 60% are Canadians, of which about 3 million live in Florida, primarily as permanent residents.

If you, too, are planning to move to Florida, rest assured that it is a great decision. However, since you are relocating to a different country, it would be wise to have your paperwork in place and a checklist to run through.

This article will discuss how skilled workers like you can move from Canada to Florida, how you may take your family along, the forms and documents required for the procedure, and the checklist of things you should consider before moving into Sunshine City. So, Let’s begin.

How to Move to Florida from Canada?

Skilled workers can move to Florida from Canada by applying for the E.B. Visa category. To apply for an E.B. visa, you will need a job offer from a US-based employer who would sponsor your Visa and agree to provide the requisite proof of eligibility. Furthermore, you should be able to demonstrate that you possess the skillset for the position, which is generally determined by the Labor Certification process based on several factors like the ability to work competently, salary, and unavailability of U.S. citizens for the position.

However, Canadians who are not skilled workers and wish to relocate to Florida can avail of various other Visa categories like E, K, V, and Tn Visas.

Once you have obtained the proper documentation, you can begin your journey as a foreign worker in Florida. But what if you wish to move your family along too? Then this is what you do.

How to Bring Your Family to Florida from Canada?

The process is slightly different if you want to bring your family along. Your family can apply for V- the Visa category and join you in Florida once they receive their Visa. The documents required include the followingude:

  • The marriage certificate.
  • Birth certificates of each family member.
  • Passports.
  • Other documents related to your employment.

Once all the required paperwork is in place, your family can proceed to the U.S. Embassy for their visa interview. After a thorough background check and verification, they can make travel arrangements and join you in Florida if their visa application is approved.

Forms Required by Canadian Citizen to Move to Florida

Canadian visitors on a short-term trip of up to 6 months to the USA can benefit from special regulations. They complete the required checks at the airport itself. However, if you are planning to relocate or stay for longer, filling out the following forms becomes mandatory to ensure smooth immigration and peaceful relocation.

ETA-750

An electronic travel authorization is the first document you must arrange before entering the United States. You will require a valid passport and credit card to apply for it online. Depending upon your purpose of visit, you can apply for a visa, or if you want to settle in Florida long term, then the green card is your best choice.

I-140

It is an Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. The employer files this application on behalf of the worker to get the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval for permanent residency.

I-485

Also known as Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, this form is used by foreign nationals who want to live and work permanently in the United States.

Once these forms are approved, your passport will get stamped, making you eligible to stay put for a longer duration of up to 10 years in the U.S. Upon completion of 10 years, you can apply for U.S. citizenship and obtain a green card for permanent residency.

Now that you know the different application requirements for getting your passport stamped let us glance through the various visa options available to Canadian citizens for appropriate immigration approval.

Types of Visas to Immigrate from Canada to Florida

Canadians who want to stay in Florida for a longer duration or wish to relocate there permanently can choose one following types of Visas, depending upon the reason for relocation.

Visas to move from Canada to Florida

E Visa

Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) are work visas. If you are a skilled worker/citizen going to the U.S. to engage in substantial business or to direct, develop and contribute to the fields of education, arts, science, or technology, you are eligible to apply for it. Advanced degree professionals also qualify for this category.

E2 Visa, A complete Guide for Treaty Investors and Employees

K Visa

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa applies to Canadian citizens who want to marry a U.S. citizen and live in the U.S. K-2 visa is for unmarried minor children of K-1 visa holders.

V Visa

Canadians who are family members or immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents of the U.S. qualify for V-1 visas. If you are a Canadian Citizen and have close family members like parents, spouses, or children who are U.S. Citizens, then you can apply for Family Sponsorship Visa.

T.N. Visa

T.N. Visa is for Canadian citizens who are qualified in certain professions and are on their way to work/live in the U.S. The job offer must meet specific criteria as defined by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Unlike the above three immigrant visas, T.N. Visa is a non-immigrant visa. It is valid for one year term and extendable to another year. To get the extension, you will have to prove that you wish to continue as a foreign resident and not intend to upgrade to permanent residence status in the United States. However, many people use this visa option to initiate the relocation process of moving to Florida from Canada.

These various visa options allow Candian Citizens to move to Florida for longer durations exceeding 6 months and are valid for up to 10 years.

International relocations require meticulous planning, preparation, and execution. Faltering at any step can result in undue stress and unnecessary surprises. To ensure a smooth transition and resettlement, it is best to have two types of checklists with you,

One of the documents you will require to cross the border.

Second, of the things, you will need to settle down in the new place.

List of Documents Required to Move from Canada to Florida

Let’s first look into the checklist of documents that you must carry with you.

1. Passport

Canadians traveling by air require a valid Canadian passport, while those commuting by sea or land must carry Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant travel document. These documents may take time to come along. Therefore, you must fill out the necessary forms as early as possible and set the ball rolling. These documents certify not only your identity but also your citizenship. Further, these documents are crucial if you wish to avail citizenship-related benefits and perks in Florida.

2. Birth Certificate

If you are planning to move from Canada to Florida and wish to avail the benefits of being a permanent resident, a birth certificate is a must. This is because a birth Certificate not only serves as Identity proof but also helps obtain other documents like a driving License and Social Security Number.

3. Proof of Employment

To receive a work permit or Visa, proof of employment is essential. A letter from your employer stating the duration you are employed with them and the reason for doing so (if stated) would serve as proof of employment.

4. Visa or Work Permits

Depending upon the category of Visa, one needs to get it issued from their home country and then submit it to the U.S. Embassy. The visa or work permit would be applied through the U.S. embassy and Consulate in Canada.

5. Financial Documents

Financial documents like Bank Statements, Tax Returns are essential for getting the Visa issued by U.S. Embassy and also serve as proof that you have enough funds to support yourself while relocating to Florida.

6. Driving Licence

If you plan to drive in Florida, a valid Canadian driving license will serve the purpose. However, f you want to apply for Florida State Driving Licence, then you will need to provide a Birth Certificate and Social Security Number

7. Social Security Number (SSN)

To get the benefits of being a resident, one must obtain a Social Security number. This can be done by filling out an application form at the U.S. Embassy in Canada and submitting necessary documents such as proof of identity, tax returns, etc.

8. Medical Records

Medical Records such as immunization records, doctor’s notes, and prescriptions are essential to moving from Canada to Florida. These would help in understanding the medical history of the person relocating.

9. Proof of Address

Proof of Address may include utility bills, rent receipts, or other valid documents verifying your current address.

10. Pet Vaccination Records

If you plan to bring your pets along, their vaccination records must be updated.

11. Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate is required if you are traveling with your legal partner. In addition, it can come in handy while applying for citizenship and for tax purposes.

12. School Records

If you are relocating to Florida with your children, then you must carry their school records of elementary and secondary education. It would help enroll them in new schools and get other documents like Social Security Numbers.

13. Nexus Card

Remember to keep your Nexus Card if you have one. A Nexus Card is necessary if you wish to travel frequently between Canada and the U.S. It helps get quick entry at the border, as you are pre-approved for immigration and customs clearance.

Moving to Florida from Canada requires proper documentation. Make sure your documents are up-to-date, valid, and in order before planning your move.

Once you have sorted the documents, it’s time to prepare for a smooth landing and a joyful stay in Florida. This part of your movement will permanently influence the kind of life you will lead in Florida. So, read through the checklist carefully and plan accordingly.

Checklist of Things Required to Settle in Florida

Supporting yourself and your family in a new country can be challenging if you are yet to draw an estimate for the cost of living.

1. Find out the Cost of Living

It is essential to know the cost of living in Florida as it can vary from city to city. In addition, knowing the expenses would help with budgeting and planning for your new life. On average, the cost of living in Florida is 4.5% higher than that in Canada.

2. Look for the Employment Options

Explore the job market in Florida and take up suitable employment opportunities. You can also apply your existing professional skills and get the right job. Look for job opportunities through job portals, recruitment agencies, and contacts. Make sure you have the required documents, such as your resume and references, ready. Have a clear idea of the type of job you are looking for. Apply for work permits or visas if necessary. Attend interviews and follow up on the applications. Finally, keep yourself updated with the local labor laws in Florida.

3. Set Up a Bank Account

Setting up a bank account is essential to store your money and easily make payments. A bank account in the U.S. will help you manage all your financial transactions without hassle. Make sure to carry valid documents such as a passport and Visa when you visit the bank to open up an account.

4. Start Building Credit

Building credit is essential if you plan to borrow money to buy a property or an automobile. To build credit, you need to have an account that reports your payment history to the U.S. credit bureaus. You can start by opening a checking and savings account and then get a secured loan or credit card with low limits.

5. Enroll Your Kids in School

Finding a school suitable for your kids is one of the primary tasks while settling in Florida. For this, you need to provide birth certificates and immunization records of all the children. Look for schools that offer quality education and are also affordable. Make sure that all the documents related to enrollment are up-to-date.

6. Find an Appropriate Home

After deciding upon the city, you wish to settle in, narrow down your search by picking an area. If you are moving with a family, you may like to consider the distance from the school/college, parks, and walkways.

You’ll need a home that meets your personal preferences along with your cultural needs, and you’ll need an expert to help you hunt the perfect home for you.
CIPS agents are what you need to find the right house in Florida and purchase it smoothly. CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) agents have expertise in helping foreigners, or Canadians in your case, to buy property in the USA.
HomeAbraod can connect you with the right CIPS agent who can help you find your perfect home in Florida. It’s absolutely free!

Find the best real estate agent with international expertise

Connect with a local US real estate agent(s) with CIPS designation

If you are considering buying a home in Florida as a Canadian, then here is a guide to educate you about the easiest way for Canadians buying a US home.
Canadians Buying Property in Florida- A Complete Guide

7. Set Up Utility Services

You will require essential utility services like water, electricity, and gas. Once you have found the perfect house for yourself, contact the local providers of these services to connect it in your name. This step is essential as it helps to provide the basic amenities that a family requires for comfortable living.

8. Apply for Social Security Number

You need to apply for social security number if you plan to work in the U.S. You will need to collect all necessary documents and submit them at the Social Security Office. Once your application is received and accepted, you will be issued a social security card with an SSN. Be sure to note down your number, as it will be required for every financial transaction.

9. Get a Driving License

To drive legally in Florida, you will need a valid driving license. You can apply for the same with the Department of Motor Vehicles after submitting the necessary documents, such as a passport, immigration status proof, and other identification proofs. It is important to have all these necessities in place before moving to Florida from Canada; this way, you can ensure that your stay in Florida is one to remember.

10. Obtaining Permanent Residence in the U.S. as a Canadian Citizen

After you’ve taken all the necessary steps to settle in, it is time to apply for Permanent Residence status, also known as a Green Card. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as family-based or employment-based immigration. The process can be long and would require you to remain patient. Having an experienced immigration attorney by your side would be a good idea. They can help you navigate through the process and make sure that your application is accepted. After you’ve obtained your Green Card, you can live and work in the U.S. for as long as you wish.

Once you have taken care of this checklist, you will be in a comfortable zone, enjoying your life in Florida.

Conclusion

It is essential to have all the necessary information in place before moving from Canada to Florida. With the proper financial planning, legal documents, and other essentials in hand, you can make your move to Florida an enjoyable and memorable experience.

HomeAbroad can help you connect with the right CIPS agents and Foreign Mortgage Lenders who can help you purchase the house that meets your need.

Find the best real estate agent and mortgage lender with international expertise.

Connect with a local international real estate agent and mortgage lender

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.Where do most Canadian live in Florida?

Canadians prefer living in Miami, Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach & Boca Raton.

Q. Is it easy for Canadian citizens to move to the USA?

It is easy for Canadian citizens to move to the USA. All you need are the right documents and a valid passport and Visa.

Q.What is the cost involved while moving from Canada to Florida?

The cost depends on various factors, such as accommodation, transportation, and other living expenses. Generally, the entire shift will cost you around $3,900 to $6,500. However, costs can vary depending on your individual needs and requirements.

Q. Can Canadian buy a house in the USA?

Yes, a Canadian citizen can buy a house in the USA. However, it would help if you considered the various legal, financial, and other requirements essential for buying a house in the USA. Hiring a CIPS agent who knows the neighborhood and has experience working with foreigners is highly recommended. Reach out to HomeAbroad to get in touch with the best CIPS agents for free.

Q.What is the process of getting a Green Card?

To apply for a Green Card, you must first file Form I-485 and supporting documents. You will also need to complete an interview with the Department of Homeland Security. Once your application is approved, you will be eligible to receive a green card and stay in the U.S. permanently.

Q.What are the requirements for applying for Social Security Number?

To apply for a Social Security number, you must submit a valid passport, immigration status proof, and other identification documents. You will also need to fill out a few forms available at the Social Security Office. Once your application is received and accepted, you will be issued a social security card with an SSN.

Q.What are the steps involved in getting a driving license in Florida?

To get a driving license in Florida, you must submit your passport, immigration status proof, and other identification documents. Once all the documentation is submitted, you can apply for the same at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Depending on your application, the process typically takes about two weeks or less.

Q.What is a Nexus Card?

The Nexus Card is a trusted traveler program that enables Canadian citizens to travel easily between the U.S. and Canada. It expedites processing through immigration checkpoints, airport security, and other border crossings. To apply for this card, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of either country.

Q. Is it easy for Candian Citizens to move to the U.S.?

Yes, it is easy for Canadian citizens to move to the U.S. All you need is to fill out the required forms and have the proper documents along with a valid passport and Visa.

Q. Can I move to Florida from Canada?

Yes, you can move to Florida from Canada. All you need is the right documents and a valid passport and Visa.

Editorial Team - HomeAbroad
About the authors:
The Editorial Team at HomeAbroad is comprised of subject matter experts who are real estate professionals, mortgage advisors, content experts and research associates.
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