I am a native Floridian and getting close to finishing up my college career. I have two semesters left till graduation. A buddy of mine works for a large Canadian company, and they have offered me a position. I’m really excited, but it means I would need to move to Toronto. While at first it seemed like an impossible proposition, I am starting to consider the opportunity. I don’t really own much, so I would not be moving a lot of stuff, although I will probably take my car with me. What should I be considering for such a move?
Moving to a new place can be difficult and stressful. Moving to another country may increase the level of difficulty and stress significantly. Therefore, it is important that you carefully plan the move, paying specific attention to details. The good news is that you have plenty of time to prepare. During preparation, consider aspects new weather conditions, living arrangements, language, cost of living, taxation, and immigration procedures.
The weather in Toronto is relatively nice between May and September. Toronto will have spring-like temperatures in May with highs in the 60s and lows in the 50s. From June to August, the highs will be in the 70s and 80s, and the lows will be in the 50s and 60s. In terms of the lows, this is winter weather for native Floridians. From December to March, the lows will be in the 20s or less. This is an extreme difference; therefore, people moving to Canada need to adjust to the new weather. Snow is not much of a problem in Toronto, but it may take some time to get comfortable with the cold weather.
Immigration is a different matter. We would recommend advice from an immigration lawyer who will study the details of your case. Canada has some programs available for professionals and other types of workers with job offers that allow U.S. Citizens to work temporarily in Canada. However, the applicant must meet a set of requirements to qualify. For example, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows Americans to enter the Canada for temporary business. Canada also has temporary work visas available to business visitors, professionals, investors, and intra-company transferees. Additionally, immigrants may apply for permanent residency. News outlets and others make Canadian immigration seem a simple process. The reality is that, as with most counties, there are intricacies that apply on a case-by-case basis.
Canada allows immigrants to bring their belongings, and this includes vehicles. However, vehicles must meet Canadian standards regardless of where the car was originally made. The Canadian Border Services Agency requires that new settlers fill out a Personal Effects Accounting Document and include the details of the belongings that will be imported.
Finally, be aware of taxation laws and language requirements. It is important to keep in mind that Canadian tax law, although similar to the United States’, may have significant differences. Compare what a similar job pays in Florida, as the state does not have a state-level income tax. Also keep in mind that Canada has two official languages, which are English and French. Although Torontonians mainly speak English, there may be circumstances that compel you to learn French. Luckily, you have some time to research and prepare. Solid preparation will provide many benefits, as you will have the ability to make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.
“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela