2 Months Before Moving
Making travel arrangements to Canada
19. Make Travel Arrangements
To save money on your travel arrangements:
- Invest time in researching the best deals, as fares change frequently
- Book flights as early as possible
- Avoid school holidays and peak travel periods.
20. Book Temporary Accommodation and a Rental Car
If you plan on searching for your home once you arrive in Canada, book temporary accommodation for when you first arrive. Depending on where you plan to live, you may also want to book a rental car.
Where possible, book temporary accommodation that is within walking distance to your work, or public transport. This way, all members of your family will have access to transportation.
21. If Children are Accompanying You, Make Schooling Arrangements
At your child’s current school in America:
- Give notice regarding your departure dates
- Request copies of your child’s school reports or university transcripts and ensure they are readily available—it’s a good idea to take copies on the plane with you
- If you plan on having your child return to the school, confirm and meet any necessary return requirements.
For your child’s education in Canada, you’ll need to:
- Understand how the Australian education system operates
- Investigate the type of school you wish your children to attend
- Shortlist specific schools
- Arrange tours of shortlisted schools for when you first arrive in Canada.
To assist you in finding the most appropriate school for your children, visit:
For further information visit What is the Education and Schooling System Like in Canada? in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide.
22. Confirm Vehicle Transportation
Most vehicles sold in countries other than the United States cannot be imported into Canada. If you are considering importing a vehicle into Canada that you bought in America, you need to carefully review all importation requirements, and keep in mind that it is a criminal offense to import a vehicle into Canada that does not meet the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
To avoid unnecessary headaches and expenses speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving expert for all your vehicle transportation requirements.
For further information visit How to Import Vehicles into Canada in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide and our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
23. Confirm Pet Transportation
Confirming Pet Transportation To Canada
You can take most pets to Canada, so long as they are free from infectious diseases that are transmittable to humans and are not deemed harmful to the environment.
Airlines may have separate and additional requirements for the transportation of pets. Be sure to check with your airline to determine what requirements, if any, they may have.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency stipulates that all animals and animal products entering Canada must have documentation. This documentation is known as a ‘pet passport’. Apply for your pet passport using this form.
To ensure a stress-free relocation to Canada for your pet, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving professional about all your pet transportation requirements.
For more information visit How to Import Pets into Canada in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide and our Canada Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
Ensure all your pet’s vaccinations and health-checks are up-to-date and obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records or a signed letter from your veterinarian.
24. Confirm Weapons Importation Requirements
Firearms purchased outside Canada are subject to complicated clearance procedures and are very difficult to import. As such, they can delay customs clearances and result in additional charges. If you intend to take weapons with you, it is best to confirm all importation requirements as early as possible.
For more information visit How to Import Weapons into Canada in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide and our Canada Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
25. Confirm Alcohol Importation Requirements
You may import wines and other alcoholic beverages into Canada as part of your household goods shipment, pursuant to the laws of the province or territory in which you plan to reside.
For more information visit How to Import Alcohol into Canada in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide and our Canada Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
26. Confirm Plant Importation Requirements
Regulations around importing plants into Canada are quite strict to prevent damage caused by plant pests. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates the import of plants and plant products under several different acts, including the Plant Protection Act and Regulations and the relevant sections of the Seeds Act and Regulations.
For more information visit How to Import Plants into Canada in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide and our Canada Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
27. Investigate Employment Options
If you’ve already secured a new role (or are moving to Canada for a specific employment opportunity), now is the time to investigate employment options for your partner (if needed). Or, if you haven’t secured a role, to investigate employment options for yourself.
For more information visit How to Find Employment in Canada and What is Working in Canada Like? in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide.
28. Investigate Local Customs and Cultural Differences
If you’re an an American moving to Canada, you should investigate local Canadian customs and common cultural differences to help you assimilate more easily into Canadian culture on arrival.
For more information on some of the common cultural differences visit our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide:
29. Declutter Your Home
A cluttered house will make moving to Canada unnecessarily stressful; packing will take longer, and the cost of your move and storage will be more expensive (as fees are based on the volume of items). If you’re not selling or renting out your home (in which case you will have already completed this step), now is the time to declutter your home, determining which items you will:
- Keep and ship to Canada
- Keep and place in secure long-term storage in America
- Sell or donate to charity
- Throw away.
30. Start Packing
How can I move to Canada with minimal stress? Engage experienced, professional international packers, like the team at UniGroup Worldwide. Not only will it reduce, if not eliminate, the most stressful part of moving, it will help ensure your belongings are packed safely for their long journey to Canada.
If you’re not using a professional packing service, make sure you start packing as early as possible:
- Create an inventory of all items to be packed, paying careful attention to precious, special and fragile items
- Invest in superior quality protective wrapping and packing materials:
- Professionally designed and constructed double-corrugated moving boxes
- Packing material, like bubble wrap and packing paper (like ‘butcher’s paper’, not newspaper)
- Incidentals like tape, markers and zip-lock bags.
- Reinforce boxes by securely taping the top, bottom and sides
- Start by packing items rarely used (like books and CDs, and things stored in garages, basements or your roof space)
- Always pack individual boxes properly:
- Keep each box to a maximum of 20kg (45lb) to make moving the box easy and to avoid boxes breaking under excess weight
- Evenly distribute weight, with heavy items placed at the bottom of boxes and lighter items at the top
- Pack to the top of the box and fill empty space with bedding, clothing, bubble wrap or paper to prevent movement, breakages, and boxes collapsing.
- Clearly label every moving box, including the contents of the box (not just the room in which it belongs). For example: ‘Kitchen: Plates and Mugs’; not just ‘Kitchen’.
For more information visit our Ultimate How to Pack for Moving Tips & Guide.
31. Complete Your Customs Declaration Forms as You Pack
Complete your customs declaration forms as you pack. This will help ensure the forms are completed as accurately as possible. The information you’ll need includes:
- A list of the items in your shipment
- The value of each item
- Whether each item was purchased within the last year.
The forms you’ll need to complete include:
For more information visit our Canada Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
32. Organize Your Finances
- Find out whether your current bank has branches in Canada and if it can handle your future needs
- If you’re moving overseas for work, but you’re employed by the same company, confirm whether your salary needs to be paid into your existing bank account or into your new Canadian account
- If you plan on using your existing debit and credit cards in Canada, confirm whether they will work and what the fees are likely to be
- Organize some Canadian dollars so that you have local currency on hand when you first arrive
- Consider opening a new local bank account near your new home
- Make sure you have copies of bank statements and other documentation that proves you have a good credit rating. This will make applying for new credit cards and loans easier
- Ensure all your tax returns are up-to-date.
For more information visit What is a Credit Rating? in our Ultimate How to Move to Canada from America Guide.