It can be a little frustrating that, geographically, the only thing that separates the United States and Canada is an invisible border – but in order to cross that border for a move, there’s so much that needs to be done. Don’t let it stress you out too much, though. If you really want (or need) to move to the United States from Canada, it’s completely doable. The most helpful piece of advice is to make a checklist, and as long as all those things are checked off before the big move, you should be in good shape. Here are some things that should be on your list:
Find a Reputable Moving Company
Certain moving companies can easily move you across the border; it’s simply a matter of shopping around. Just start by doing some Google searching and compiling a list of the companies that are qualified to do so, and then narrow down your selection by searching for reviews on these companies. Compare cost and quality to figure out what fits into your budget. Not only can you trust a professional company with your belongings, but they’ll also be able to give you great advice on packing and traveling, so you don’t want to hire just anybody. Schedule an in-home estimate before you move so you can get the most accurate idea of the cost, and don’t stop at just one company – getting prices from a minimum of three moving companies will ensure you get a good deal. Also, try to stick to name brand moving companies. By working with a reputable leader in the field, you can avoid scams and hidden costs.
Fill Out a Customs Form
In order to gain clearance into the United States, you’ll need to fill out a US Customs Form 3299 to import your belongings. Be as detailed as possible when filling out this form. Remember to use your full name (the name that’s on your legal identification) as well as the full names of any family members that are coming along. Photocopy your ID – it’s not always necessary, but it will be convenient to have – and be sure to give the movers a copy of your visa. A good moving company can help with this process.
Register your Vehicle
As long as the automobiles you wish to bring pass inspection per U.S. standards, this isn’t a difficult process. The easiest route is to get a clearance letter from the manufacturer of your vehicle as pre-approval, then give the details of your vehicle (like the VIN, make, model, year) to the moving representative. Also, provide them with the ‘to’ and ‘from’ addresses in case they need to get in touch with you.
Some possessions are going to require a little more work when moving from Canada to the USA, such as pets and firearms. For pets, you’ll need to prove that they’ve been properly vaccinated with certified documents from your veterinarian. For firearms, as well as other potentially contraband substances, you’ll need to acquire a permit for import.
Once you have a good moving representative on your side to help you through the process, you’ll realize that your move is not necessarily a difficult one. With all of your clearances and paperwork handled, it’s simply a matter of packing everything and ensuring that you don’t leave anything on the other side of the border!
Alex White is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about travel and home improvement.