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MOVING TO CANADA
Canadá / Kanada
A Guide to Relocating to Canada
Want to move to Toronto? Considering moving to Montreal? Or thinking about an international removal to Vancouver. Here’s the moving advice you’ll need for any international removal to Canada…
Everything you need to help you plan your international move to Canada.
How Easy is it to Move to Canada?
Moving to Canada is not a simple task. The country has strict immigration laws and there is a lengthy application process, whichever route you choose. There are many steps involved in getting an immigration visa approved, which can take months or, in some cases, years. Much like the USA, this is for a fixed time period too and it’s difficult to make the move to Canada permanent.
Despite the lengthy process involved, there are many answers to the question “how to move to Canada from the UK permanently?”. A visa is required to enter the country, which will authorise your presence for a specific purpose and length of time. Which type of visa, or which route you take, will depend on your personal circumstances of the move i.e. whether you are British and moving to Canada for work, family, or other reasons. Some popular programs and visa options are listed below:
- International Experience Canada Program: Canada admits around 65,000 citizens from countries around the world, 5,000 of which are from the UK.
- Federal Skilled Worker Program: If you are a professional and skilled worker, you must be deemed eligible based on work experience, language ability, education level and more.
- Permanent Residence: This option is very strict but also a more long term option for those wanting to move to Canada.
- Work Permit: Work permits can be temporary or permanent and are vital if you are moving to Canada for work. They can help your chances of being approved for permanent residency in Canada.
For the immigration process, there are a number of documents you might need to have prepared. This includes not only the lengthy visa process but also when you arrive at customs in Canada.
- Valid passport
- Copies of Passport (Of the individual moving, photo page only)
- Proof of professional qualifications, as well as work experience
- Education qualification certificates
- Proof of adequate financial resources to cover expenses during stay in Canada (if temporary)
- Application fee
For certain visas, you may also need to provide proof of employment in Canada before you can acquire authorisation.
Moving Household Goods And Personal Effects To Canada
When moving to Canada for work for a long period of time, is it natural that you will want to bring household goods and personal effects with you. These will normally be transported in a household shipment and can arrive with you or be sent at a later date.
It is also possible to import items free of duty taxes, provided that you have owned and used the goods prior to arrival in Canada. You will also need to provide documentation to accompany your items when planning an international removal to Canada, a list of which is shown below.
- Copy of Passport (Of the individual importing the goods) (photo page only)
- Proof of Residency abroad for at least 1 year (bank statements, utilities, rent receipts, income tax statement, etc. for first and last month of 12-month period) (returning citizens)
- Original Detailed moving inventory including “goods to follow” in English or French – We will complete this if you want us to undertake a full packing service for your removal
- Receipts for new items
- Personal Effects Accounting Document (Form BSF186 formerly known as form B4)
- Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB) – We will take care of this if completing the entire international removal to Canada for you.
- Immigration papers / Work Permit / Student Visa, as applicable
- Proof of residence in Canada (copy of Deed / Sales Agreement / Lease Agreement) (seasonal residents)
- Copy of Death Certificate (import of inheritance items)
- Copy of Will or Letter from the Executor of an estate (import of inheritance items)
- Obligation for Privilege from the Canadian Ministry of External Affairs (applicable only to diplomatic relocations / diplomats moving)
- Liquor Permit, if applicable
We recommend providing these as soon as possible to reduce delays with your removal to Canada. Late receipt of documentation can lead to missed shipments, additional charges and penalties at Canadian Customs. For your own protection, we will almost never ship your goods without the above in place.
Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings
If you are importing antiques and artifacts to Canada as part of your household shipment, no extra documentation is required. However, you will need proof of age if the items are over 100 years old. The items are permitted duty-free entry if the following conditions are met:
- The works of art are part of a bona fide household removal.
- The works of art are not for sale or other disposal.
Antiques and works or art imported into Canada for resale, are subject to different regulations.
Additional Removal Advice
The owner of the goods must be present for Customs clearance, or use a licensed Customs broker to handle the clearance on their behalfReturning Canadians may import household goods and personal effects duty free under the following conditions:
- The goods were owned and used by the owner of the goods for at least 6 months prior to importation.
- The owner of the goods lived abroad for a minimum of 12 months.
- If the owner of the goods lived abroad for a period greater than 5 years, the owner of the goods is exempt from the 6-month ownership rule.
- The goods must still be owned and used and the shipment does not include goods that are for resale or otherwise disposed of within 12 months of importation.
Shipments must be declared to Customs at the port of entry (POE) (airport/U.S-Canada border) when the owner of the goods arrives in Canada.Customs will then issue documents needed for Customs clearance:
- B4e personal effects accounting document
- B15 casual goods accounting document.
- The owner of the goods must present a list of items to be imported.
- It is recommended that a copy of the removal packing list / moving inventory be hand carried for presentation to Customs.
Customs may request a value on the shipment (for returning citizens). For immigrants and holders of work / students visas, the goods must be owned and used prior to importation and the shipment must not include goods that are to be sold or otherwise disposed of 12 months after importation for duty-free import. Any single item of household goods or personal effects, including automobiles, that were acquired after March 31, 1977, and are valued at more than $10,000 are subject to regular duty and taxes on the excess amount.
Seasonal residents may import household items and personal effects duty free under the following conditions:
- The shipment can include household furniture and furnishings for a seasonal residence, excluding construction, materials, electrical fixtures or other goods permanently attached to or incorporated into a seasonal residence and tools and equipment for the maintenance of a seasonal residence.
- The goods must have been owned and used prior to arrival.
- The goods cannot be sold for at least 1 year.
- The goods are for the personal use of the owner of the goods or their family and are not for any commercial, industrial or occupational purpose.
- Proof of purchase or a copy of a lease agreement is required for any person who is not a resident of Canada but owns a residential property or has leased a residence for at least 3 years for personal use. Only one shipment of this type is allowed. Diplomats can import household goods and personal effects duty and tax free.
The Canadian Government adopted ISPM-15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication 15) Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade (aka NIFM-15) to standardize the treatment of wood packing materials used for the transport of goods.ISPM -15 requires that wood packaging either be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and marked with the internationally recognized International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) mark, or in lieu of the mark, the consignment must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate specifying the treatment used.
We always recommend speaking directly to the relevant embassy for the most accurate and up to date moving advice:
Popular Destinations in Canada
Global Moving Services is vastly experienced in international removals to cities all over the globe. Their long history and detailed knowledge of different countries makes them the perfect choice for your move. Here are some of the most popular destinations we are asked to move people to in Canada:
Calgary (Alberta), Edmonton (Alberta), Vancouver (British Columbia), Surrey (British Columbia), Winnipeg (Manitoba), Saint John (New Brunswick), St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Toronto (Ontario), Ottawa (Ontario), Mississauga (Ontario), Brampton (Ontario), Hamilton (Ontario), London (Ontario), Markham (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec), Québec (Quebec), Laval (Quebec), Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), Regina (Saskatchewan). Get a quote to one of these places
Moving Your Money to Canada
If you’re moving to Canada, it’s very likely you’ll have to exchange a large amount of currency. Many people waste thousands doing this through their bank as they think there is no alternative; but we partner with Global Reach who specialise in doing just this. Global Reach will offer all Global Moving Services customers preferential rates when exchanging currency and guarantee to beat other rates you’re receiving. Ask one of our move managers about this, to find out more click here or give us a call: +44 20 7097 5335 .
We always advise taking out an insurance policy with us on every move. Although we like to think we’re the best in the industry, the odd accident can occasionally happen. For added peace of mind, make sure to speak to one of our move managers about this.
If you have already contracted us for your international removal to Canada, then you can download the insurance form and email the completed form back to your international relocation manager.
Moving Your Car Or Motorcycle to Canada
As it’s such a large country, you may wish to relocate to Canada with your own car or motorcycle. Before deciding to do so, you should consider all the factors of your move, including your new residence, if you’re moving to Canada for work where you will be commuting to, and nearby public transport connections. If you decide that it will be necessary and worthwhile to transport your own vehicle to Canada, there are many requirements that your vehicle must comply with.
You must have owned and used your vehicle for more than 6 months before it can qualify for tax and duty exemption. If you are entering Canada on a temporary basis i.e. with a work permit or student visa, duty and tax will be waived for the duration of this permit. Returning residents will benefit from tax and duty exemption applied to the first $10,000 of the vehicle’s value.
Arriving in Canada, your vehicle must be clean, free of any soil or contaminants and also not contain any household goods or personal affects. It’s a good idea to have your car steam cleaned and include proof of cleaning with the import documents for your vehicle. Upon entry to Canada, your vehicle will be inspected by the Canadian Agricultural Inspection Agency. Your car or motorcycle must comply with Canadian standards to be allowed through customs and to be registered in Canada.
Below is a list of the documents you will need to bring and requirements to meet when planning to move your vehicle to Canada:
- Original proof of ownership (can be sent with the vehicle)
- Must pass Canadian safety and pollution standards test
- Proof of insurance
- Previous registration
Relocating Your Pets to Canada
Prior to relocating your pets to Canada, you should decide carefully whether your pet will be able to acclimatise to their new home. Temperatures in Canada can drop well below zero, even in large cities, so this could make a huge and detrimental impact on your pet. Like in other nations, Canada enforces strict regulations when it comes to importing pets, so make sure to do your research and contact your travel agent before import.
These documents will be required when planning to relocate your pet to Canada:
- Veterinary health certificate – this should identify the animal by breed, age, gender, and colour.
- Vaccination record
Restricted & Dutiable/Taxable Items
When transporting items as you relocate to Canada, there are some items that are restricted, taxable, or prohibited from entry to the country. Think very carefully before moving these items to Canada. Items on this list will be taxed and/or require specific permission to import. In all cases they must be declared prior to you relocating to Canada:
- Alcohol (a detailed list including type, size, and quantity is required and an import permit must be obtained prior to importation; duties and taxes apply)
- Import permit must be obtained from the Provincial Liquor Control Board.
- Tobacco products
- Foodstuffs can cause extensive delays / additional charges (importation is discouraged)
- Meat (authorization required; importation discouraged)
- New items (a bill of sale may be required by Customs)
- Hunting trophies (restrictions apply, especially for endangered species; a CITES Certificate may be required; check with agent before shipping).
- Firearms (strict regulations apply; check with agent for details)
- Any one item valued at $10,000 or over is subject to duties and taxes.
- Pornographic materials.
Do not move any of these items to Canada:
- Live plants
- Fruits and vegetables
- Live ammunition and explosives
- Narcotics, drugs, incitements
The following additional items are prohibited in GMS Baggage/Courier Consignments:
- Aerosols (all kinds, Hairspray, Deodorant etc)
- Aftershaves / Perfumes / Fragrances
- Alcoholic Drinks or Bottles
- Ammunition of any kind
- Animals of any kind (Dead or Alive)
- Any items containing Petrol (Liquid, Gas or Fumes)
- Biological Samples
- Car Batteries
- Cash & Cards (Credit / Debit)
- Cheques (Bank)
- Christmas Crackers
- Counterfeit Currency
- Dangerous Goods
- Driving Licence
- Drugs (Including Prescription)
- Excrement / Filth
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fish (Dead or Live)
- Foodstuffs (all kinds)
- Hazardous Goods
- Human Remains (including ashes)
- Infectious Substances
- Laptop Computers, Mobile/Smart Phones or Tablets
- Lottery Tickets
- Nail Varnish / Nail Varnish Remover
- Perishable Goods (All)
- Plants / Seeds etc
- Printer Toner
- Seatbelt Tensioners and Steering Wheels
- Weapons (all kinds, including replicas)
Disclaimer: Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This information is provided as a guide only. While Global Moving Services has exercised reasonable care in publishing this information, Global Moving Services makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.