Each year thousands of Americans move to Canada for work, personal and educational reasons. According to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 247,437 immigrants became permanent residents of Canada in 2008 of which 11,216 were from the United States. Canada welcomes immigrants as long as certain requirements and procedures are followed.
Application to Move to Canada
Moving to Canada from the United States begins with filling out an application with the federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You must state why you want to move to Canada. Unless you are a refugee, there are a six categories from which to choose, including Skilled Worker Class Immigration, Business Class Immigration, Provincial Nomination, Family Class Immigration, Quebec-selected immigration, and International Adoption. For information and qualifications on each category and to download an application, visit the official site of the Citizenship and Immigration of Canada at cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp. After you submit your application, allow 20 weeks for processing.
You must pass a medical examination to determine if you are healthy and will not cause any excessive burdens or demands on Canada's health system. Instructions on where and how to take the medical exam will be sent after you have submitted your application for permission to move to Canada. Once you have passed the medical exam and have been approved through the application process, you are ready to move to Canada. Upon arrival, you must have a valid passport, visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence with you. You will also need to have a list of personal items you are bringing into the country and proof of funds that are sufficient enough for your living expenses.
In order to remain as a permanent resident, you must reside in Canada for at least two years out of every five year-period. After meeting these residency requirements, you may apply for Canadian citizenship. In order to become a Canadian citizen, you will not only need to meet the residency requirements but also pass a citizenship test and attend a swearing-in ceremony in which you will take an oath of citizenship.