Have you given serious thought to moving from the US to Canada? Are you not quite sure where to start exploring your options for immigrating to Canada, despite all the search results you've seen from SEO farms with names like VisasNowPlease or Fancy Immigration Lawyers LLC?

I have navigated this process and am here to tell you what I have learned. I have been to all of the content farms and gleaned whatever I could from the wastelands, and I have spent way too many hours on the official IRCC docs and even various subreddits.

With the combined power of a lot of money, a lot of time doing tedious, high stakes bureaucratic tasks, and a hefty dose of luck (I had no idea that my foreign exchange year in France in high school or pursuing a tech career would lead me in quite this direction), I currently have in my possession a coveted Certificate of Permanent Residence with my name on it, and one for my wife & kid for good measure. While we are still in the US, and have not therefore activated our status as Canadian Permanent Residents, all that remains is for us to show up at a port of entry with this paperwork (and lots of other paperwork...) in hand.

So, how did we do it? And how can you determine if it is a path available to you, too? Read on.

# Who am I?

First of all - I'm a US citizen with a Bachelor's degree, with many years of experience working as a software engineer. I speak English fluently and French well enough to test at a high level. I am typically comfortable and pretty skilled at navigating bureaucracy, if I do say so myself, and I still found this process extremely stressful, time consuming, and anxiety-provoking, not to mention expensive.

I will briefly discuss some options that may work for you that were not the route I took to gain permission to live and work in Canada, but most of this post will go on to focus on the Express Entry process for permanent residency, which is available to people with some kind of skilled work experience or experience working in Canada already.

In this post I will stay focused on the nuts & bolts - the logistics of the immigration process as I have experienced it, and mostly not the whys. I trust if you're reading this, you have your own whys. Or maybe you don't and you think mine are probably silly. I don't really care; come back later for a different post about that.

# The High Level Options

# US citizen? You will not qualify as a refugee, sorry.

Let's get this out of the way - regardless of where you think the US is or is headed with regards to any number of marginalized identities you may hold, if you are a US citizen, it is unlikely that any country in the world (including Canada) will accept you as a refugee. The international definition of refugee, as I understand it, requires that there is nowhere in the country you are leaving where you would be safe from specific kinds of violence and persecution. As long as there is no law or literal blockade preventing you from leaving a US red state and going to live in a US blue state, you will not be granted refugee status.

You may have heard of organizations like the Rainbow Railroad that help LGBTQIA+ refugees settle in Canada. They do not serve people from the United States (or the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or any place in the Schengen area for that matter). You may have heard of petitions to get the Canadian government to open the borders more for American trans people to immigrate. None of these efforts have yet changed anything I've said above. I'm sorry.

# Family sponsorship

Are you romantically involved with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident? If so, they could sponsor you under the family sponsorship pathway.

There are eligibility criteria like the sponsoring person being over 18, and planning to live in Canada. The sponsor will need to commit to covering your financial needs for a period of time - 3 years for spouses or partners. If you sponsor a spouse and get divorced after a year, you will still be on the hook for their financial support for the entire period.

Types of partner sponsorships: You can sponsor a person you're married to (spousal sponsorship) or someone you've been living with continuously for the last year (common-law sponsorship). You'll need to do more work to prove your relationship is real under the common-law pathway. Conjugal sponsorship is available for couples who are prevented from living together or getting married by legal or immigration reasons - if you are in the US, and your partner is in Canada or the US, you are unlikely to qualify under the rules for conjugal partnerships.

# Study in Canada

I am less familiar with this option, but I have seen people talk about this basic process: study in Canada at a higher education institution as an international student, then get a Post Graduate Work Permit to start a career after your degree is finished, then use that Canadian work experience + your degree as points on your Express Entry profile for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

# Under 35 & no dependents? Do a Working Holiday

Working Holiday visas are for people under 35 to get an open work permit in Canada. You cannot bring dependents with you; any dependents or a partner would have to apply separately for whatever status they needed. If you're from the US, you'll need to apply for a working holiday visa through a recognized organization. Working in Canada for a year or more gives you points of Canadian experience for your later CEC Express Entry profile, if you'd like to stay in Canada long-term.

# Work for a company with a Canadian branch?

There are options for inter-company transfers your company might be willing to try for you. There are likely other options here, too; I am not an expert on them.

# Start a company in Canada

I know even less about this but here's a page about the start-up visa program.

# Express Entry

This is a huge topic, and where the rest of this blog post will focus as this is the pathway that my family used to gain Canadian permanent residence. Here is the main hub for Express Entry info on the IRCC website.

You'll want to read over "How Express Entry Works".

If you have Canadian work experience in the last 3 years already (or plan to get it through options mentioned above), you'll likely be focused on the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) pathway.

If you work in tech (or a variety of other "skilled worker" jobs), you will likely be interested in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. You need to already have work experience in the field in your home country. There are many other criteria you will need to meet to be eligible.

If you work in the skilled trades (think plumbing, electricians, etc), the Federal Skilled Trades program is for you.

With Express Entry, one person is the primary applicant on the profile/application, but if you're married, info about your partner contributes to your score, too. If you get approved for Express Entry, you will be able to get Permanent Resident status in Canada for you, your partner, and your dependent children. Permanent residents can live anywhere in Canada, and can work in any job (no visa sponsorship necessary for employers to go through, and you are not required to have a job matching the employment code you used for your application).

Note that while a permanent resident can live anywhere in Canada, the federal Express Entry program is for people who are not intending to settle in Quebec from the get-go. If you intend to settle in Quebec, you will need to go through the separate Quebec-selected skilled worker program, which has its own requirements.

# Express Entry - Will it work for you?

First, take this eligibility quiz from IRCC to determine if it's possible you might qualify for one of the Express Entry programs.

If you are eligible, the next step is to determine if you have a competitive CRS score, which will be your rank in the pool of people who have expressed interest in coming to Canada. Use the official CRS score tool next to get your score.

You'll likely have to guess at some things at this stage - if you went to a respected & accredited program in the US, it's probably safe at this point to answer "yes" that you have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) that says your degree is equivalent to what you think it should be equivalent in Canada, for your own informational purposes. You will need the actual ECA before you can make and submit an actual profile to enter the pool.

You will also need to get your language abilities tested before you can make a profile - at least English for all adults on your application, even if it is your first language. If you or your partner speak French, they should also get their French abilities tested; this can be a huge help on your score. (Note that only the primary applicant gets extra points for French abilities; if you both qualify in some way and only one of you speaks French, the person who can test well in French should probably be the primary appilcant.) For right now, you can probably assume that if you & your partner are college-educated adults who grew up speaking English and living in an English-speaking country, you'll probably get full points on the English tests.

Note that really, you need a high degree of proficiency in either English or French, with a second language serving as a bonus for the primary applicant. I am writing for a primarily English-speaking USian perspective, so French was secondary for me. The primary applicant's partner gets more points for high language abilities, but won't get disqualified for not having them.

# What is the Express Entry pool?

You don't just apply for Express Entry right away - the terminology here is specific and important. First (as far as IRCC is concerned; there are steps you'll need to do to get ready to make a profile; more on that later) you create a profile, which has your information and gives you your score. On a fairly regular schedule, IRCC decides they would like to issue a round of "invitations to apply" to people with profiles in the pool. The rounds may be based on certain NOC (job description) codes or special attributes like "French language proficiency". They decide how many invites they want to issue (X), and then take the top X profiles matching the criteria. The lowest scored profile becomes the "cutoff score" for that round (aka draw)- the tiebreaker for same scores is how long profiles have been in the pool.

In addition to the interactive questionnaire, you can also look at the CRS score criteria which gives a full breakdown of what each of your answers is worth in terms of points. Note that your score is calculated a little differently based on if you are married or not. Note also your score goes down as you get older, starting when you turn 30, at a rate of 5 points a year.

# Is my score competitive?

Great question! Really, it's the most important question beyond base eligibility. If you are eligible for Express Entry based on all the criteria, you're still not guaranteed a spot. (Well, no one is guaranteed a spot, period.) A few different things affect whether your score is competitive: the NOC code for your occupation, your language abilities, and of course, your actual score.

In 2023, IRCC announced it would have specific category-based draws. These include categories for French-language proficiency, healthcare occupations, STEM occupations, and a few others. There are also general rounds of invitations, and rounds for people who've received a provincial nomination (which we'll cover soon).

Check out the table of previous rounds of invitations. Note the column for the "CRS score of lowest-ranked candidate invited to apply". If you had been in the pool on that date, and you matched the round type (tech worker? look for General or STEM occupations, or "No Program Specified"), would your score have been higher than the cutoff? If so, you would have received an invitation to apply.

Note that scores tend to be a bit lower for healthcare occupations, transport & trade occupations, and French language proficiency. This means that there are likely fewer people in the pool overall who meet these category criteria, and that if you meet those category criteria, you may have a better chance with a lower score than in the general pool.

As you go back in time through the draws, you will see that the cutoff scores got very high starting in 2020 and stayed high through mid 2022. IRCC shut down pretty intensely for covid and as a result, there was a backlog of very high ranked profiles in the pool when draws resumed. Typical score cutoffs are now (end of year 2023) a lot more similar to what they were pre-pandemic, though still a bit higher -- this may be a result of increased demand to immigrate from highly skilled (that is, highly credentialed) people around the world. It would be really nice to be able to predict if scores will come down a bit as draws continue and the covid backlog continues to be worked down. It would be nice to be able to predict a lot of things, really.

If you have a valid job offer, this will help you with points! "Valid job offer" is not just any job offer in Canada; there are particular requirements that must be met and you should definitely read those requirements very carefully, and confirm you meet them if you intend to go this route. The requirements use words like NOC TEER (occupational classification code) and LMIA (or LMIA-exempt) and I'm sorry I am not explaining any of that, good luck.

# Provincial Nomination

The Provincial Nominee Program is another way to bump up your points. If you are selected as a provincial nominee, you will get 600 more points for your CRS score, which is basically an (eventually, when a category draw comes around that you meet) automatic invitation to apply!

Each participating province has their own process with their own requirements for who they like to nominate. For some provinces, you create an Express Entry profile, and mark you are interested in that province, and they may reach out to you and invite you to apply for their PNP. Others, you will need to apply through a separate process. If you are invited to apply to a PNP, you will do some paperwork and pay that province an application fee, and once that is processed & accepted, you will get the magic 600 points on your Express Entry profile and proceed as normal.

Most (all?) PNPs expect you to settle in the province that nominated you once you actually become a PR. Some require you to have ties to the province already or a job offer in that province; others don't. I recommend this PNP filter tool to determine what PNP programs might meet your needs. For example, you may want to only see PNP programs that will consider you without ever having set foot in Canada and no job offer. You can filter by all of that, and enter your NOC code to filter even more.

Note that you are not required to apply for or accept a provincial nomination - if you are reasonably sure that your score & other factors (NOC, French abilities etc) means your profile will be drawn on the timeline you want, it might make sense to not pursue the extra processing time & expense of a PNP even if you are offered a nomination.

# Okay so how much will it cost?

# Preparing your Profile

If you decide it's worth it to make a profile for Express Entry, you will need to start spending money right away. Here are some things you will need.

  • Passport for every household member. Maybe you already have this, or maybe you need to apply for one, first. If you already have a passport, make sure it's got at least a couple years of validity left, or consider renewing before starting all this paperwork.

  • Work history letter from every employer you're going to claim points for. (See "Required documentation" section below; you don't technically need this for the profile creation stage, but it may involve a bit of legwork to get the letters you need, and you might as well ensure you're actually going to get them for all the points you'll be claiming.)

  • Education Credential Assessment for you (& spouse if you've got a spouse with education you want points for). This must come from a designated organization which all set their own costs and have their own processes/turnaround times.

    • Cost: $210CAD per assessed education (at U of Toronto CES; price compare & cross reference with the listed wait times)
    • You'll need your official transcripts -- plan to get those & possibly pay a fee to your alma mater. The assessing org will tell you how to send these (likely get the school to send them directly with no intermediary).
    • Use your highest level of education, unless you specifically want points for "two or more credentials", in which case you'll need to have each one assessed
    • I used the Comparative Education Service from the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. For U Toronto CES's ECA: be sure to get the "ECA for Immigration Programs", not the General Purposes one. See the current processing time here - it says 40 days as of 12/16/23, but could change at any time.
    • Note that ECAs for immigration do expire! U Toronto says theirs is good for 5 years, and can be renewed.
  • English tests. Yes, even if you have been speaking English your whole life, and completed higher education at an English speaking university. See approved tests: you can take either CELPIP-General or IELTS General Training.

    • Cost: My partner & I did IELTS General Training in Chicago, which cost $255 each. Is testing available in your city? If not, include travel expenses (& potentially childcare) in your cost estimate.
    • The IELTS test at least was extremely boring for my spouse & I (both heritage English speakers). Pretty much everything about this process sucks, but the IELTS test definitely sucks.
    • Your test results must be valid, aka less than 2 years old, when you both submit your profile, and apply for permanent residence. Remember the previous bullet about this test being expensive, boring, and possibly very far away from where you live? Get your timing right and make it worth your while.
    • Even for heritage English speakers, it is worth at least getting familiar with the format of the test and best practices for taking it before you show up.
  • French test. (Optional, second language is beneficial for primary applicant only)

    • I took TEF Canada; you could take TCF Canada instead.
    • I also had to travel to Chicago for this; if you're traveling, look for a city that has both the tests you need and ideally, close dates. I got lucky and was able to schedule English and French on back-to-back days. (Do not try to take them the same day! I don't even think you physically could even if your brain would be able to not be mush.)
    • Cost: My French test cost $275 at the Chicago Alliance Francaise in 2022; remember to include travel if there's not a testing location in your city.
  • Once you're invited to apply you'll have a short turnaround time to get your police certificates (see below). You could start getting these earlier, but since they expire quickly, try to time this as close to when you're going to get drawn as possible, or just wait. (Some countries have long wait times for police certificates so IRCC warns you about this; the US one was pretty fast.)

# Once you've received an invitation: More costs & lots of paperwork

Once your profile is in the pool, if and when you receive an invitation to apply, you will have 60 days to do a bunch more paperwork and actually submit your full application.

  • Application fees. When you submit your application, you will need to pay some fees. (Remember, you didn't pay anything directly to IRCC to create a profile at the previous step.) Find the current fee list here. You can wait to pay the right of permanent residence fee until your application is actually approved, or pay it up front when you apply.
    • Cost: $1365CAD for primary applicant, another $1365CAD if including a spouse or partner, and an additional $230CAD per dependent child. There may also be a separate biometric fee of $170CAD? I'm not 100% sure there.

But wait - you've got a lot of work to do before you're ready to pay that application fee. You'll need a police certificate, and medical exams from a Canada-certified physician, and also of course a boatload of digital form-filling.

  • Police certificates are needed for anyone 18 years or older in your family. See details about police certificates for EE. You'll need one for the country you currently live, and any country you/someone on your application over 18 years old lived for 6+ months in the last 10 years except for Canada.

    • For the US, you'll need the "Identity History Summary issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)", according to this page on police certificates for the US. This FBI page says (on 12/16/23) that processing time is within 48 hours for electronic fingerprints, or 15 days after they get a mailed fingerprint card.
    • Cost: $18 per person, plus any fingerprinting cost & possible postage for mailing them in.
    • There were no post offices in my city that did the electronic fingerprinting that the FBI needed, so we got fingerprint cards done at the local police department instead and mailed them in.
  • Medical exams must be done by an approved doctor.

    • When we applied, you needed an upfront medical exam in order to submit your application. The IRCC website says as of October 1, 2023, you no longer need to do medical exams before you apply, and that you should await instructions before going in for a medical exam. The main thing to remember in all of this is do exactly what IRCC says at every possible opportunity, so you should take that advice.
    • Your medical exams are only valid for 12 months, and will need to be valid at the time you become a permanent resident. This means you need to plan to actually enter Canada for the first time to activate your PR status within 1 year of your medical exams or else plan to possibly re-take the medical exams. You do not need to stay in Canada permanently after you first activate your PR status ("landing" in the jargon), but take note here! (More on timelines later).
    • Use this page to find a panel physician that can do your exam. (But don't schedule it til IRCC tells you, remember!) You can use this info to figure out what kind of travel costs you might have for the exams, in addition to the actual cost of the exam. We headed back to Chicago for this.
    • You'll need an exam for each person in your family, even if (for ex.) you are married & your spouse is not coming with you. And yes, even for children, though my toddler at least was not required to do the chest X-ray that the adults got.
    • Cost is set by the physician you see; we paid $700 for each adult to the doctor plus another $200 for each adult for the required chest X-rays. They charged us less for the kid's doctor visit at least.
  • Just plain money. If you are applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades (but not CEC), you'll need to have more than some specific amount of liquid money at the time you submit your application, and also at the time you actually become a PR (you land in Canada for the first time). The table on the linked page shows the minimum amount of money you'll need based on family size. This must be money that is yours, and available to access approximately immediately in cash - home equity doesn't count, borrowed money doesn't count, your 401k most likely doesn't count if it's actually invested. The idea is that this is the money you will need if you are looking for a job once you settle, but there is no requirement that you spend it or even transfer it to Canadian-held accounts. You just have to have it.
    Also note - you can avoid the proof of funds requirement if you are already authorized to work in Canada some other way, and you have a valid job offer. (Watch out for the special definition of "valid job offer" in IRCC jargon!)

  • Required documentation - there is a lot of other documentation you will need! Much of which will cost you in time rather than money.

    • Proof of funds caused me a lot of stress; my bank was not willing to produce a letter in the exact format that IRCC wanted (and remember - the goal here is to do exactly what IRCC wants.) Instead, I submitted the letter I was able to get from my bank, as well as 6 full months of statements, and it worked okay for me. (YMMV! IRCC can change what they consider "good enough" at any time for any reason, especially if you are sumbitting something that is not exactly what IRCC says they want.)
    • Proof of work experience letters are something you can start requesting from past or current employers while still in the EE pool; I recommend this at least for past employers. You will need a letter from each employer that you are using towards your years of experience that is giving you points. Look closely at the requirements and do not skip anything that should be in each letter. (Did an employer give you a letter that doesn't list your job duties? Ask them to redo it. The r/ImmigrationCanada subreddit is full of people who didn't and got their applications rejected.)

# Your Application: Answering All the Questions

There are a lot of forms (primarily digital, at least) to fill out for your profile and later, your application. Some info in your application will be pulled over that you had submitted earlier as part of your profile. Still - I recommend saving as much of your submitted answers as possible in your own system (Google docs, Notion, whatever) as you go, for both the profile and application stage.

At one point I was almost done with my profile, and I was on a page that confused me, so I hit "Start Over". I was promised that my info would be saved, but was I sure I'd like to start over? So I said yes. And then I was taken to a blank page where none of my information was saved in any way that was useful to me, and had to literally start over answering every single question. DO NOT TOUCH THE START OVER BUTTON. And save your answers, even just as screenshots as you go along, especially if they are things that are annoying to go look up or figure out.

You will be asked so many questions about so many things. Read them carefully, and answer honestly. You do not want to have your application thrown out for misrepresentation, which means claiming something on your application or profile that is not strictly true. Does your work experience letter say your employment started in a different month than what you list them as in the work history form? Boom, misrepresentation. Pay attention to all the details, and go over your profile/application in search of typos or mismatched dates one more time than you think you need to before you submit. And keep track of what you submitted! At one point during application processing, I was asked for "more information" and then the more information form was a bunch of stuff I was pretty sure was on the main application already. If my dates were different the second time around, would that have been misrepresentation? Nightmare fuel.

# Address History

You will need to list out the address of everywhere you (and your partner, if you've got one) have lived in the last 10 years, or since age 18.

# Personal Activities

You will fill out a section for you (& partner if you've got one) with back-to-back entries covering every date in the last 10 years, with no gaps. The main timeline should include employment, unemployment, or educational activities. (Had a 2 month gap between jobs? It will need to be listed as a period of unemployment.) You should also list any memberships or associations you've had with organizations during this timeline, though these don't count for timeline completeness.

# Travel History

You will also fill out a section for you (& partner, you know the drill) with your history of any travel outside your country of residence or country of citizenship in the last 10 years or since age 18. Do not leave anything out, even very short visits. If you are deep diving through your digital boneyards to figure out your past travel dates, do yourself a favor and save this history somewhere in your own system, outside the application portal.

# I submitted my application, now what?

Now you will wait. You will get emails sometimes that tell you have an update waiting for you in the portal. You should log in and look, every time. Sometimes, there will be no actual updates that you can identify. The visa forums refer to these as "ghost updates". Don't panic. But don't stop checking the portal when you get an email, either.

If you get a request to do some further action or provide more information, respond to it promptly. You will likely be asked to go to a certain location to give your biometrics - we at least were able to go to Omaha for this rather than another Chicago.

Your application will take some time to go through processing. You can use the processing time checker to get an idea of how long that might be, assuming your application is complete. The subreddit has a timeline megathread where people share their immigration timelines. (Hit the FAQ for a guide to the acronyms, among many other helpful FAQ questions.)

Eventually, you will get a final decision on your application. If your application is approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence, which is a document you will use at a Port of Entry to officially become a Permanent Resident. (If you're already living in Canada at this time, the process will look a little different.) If your application is rejected (perhaps for incompleteness), you might be able to enter the pool and apply again, but if you are found guilty of misrepresentation, you will not be able to try again or enter Canada at all for 5 years.


# Do I need a lawyer to apply for Express Entry?

Probably not. (If something is going terribly wrong and you want to appeal an IRCC decision later, maybe! But not to simply apply.) Some people decide to pay immigration consultants to help with their application. This is probably most useful if English is not your first language, or you struggle with being precise when it comes to paperwork and understanding very specific requirements. Whatever you decide, be sure to find someone licensed and reputable - there are sadly a lot of people out there preying on the desperation of would-be immigrants who will waste your money and time.

# What was your NOC code?

I used NOC 2173, "Software Engineers", for all my work history. You should choose the NOC that most closely corresponds to the job duties that are listed in your job history letters from your employers. Duties matter more than titles! It is very important to pick the correct NOC codes for each part of your work history.

# What if I get an invitation to apply but I've changed my mind, I'm not ready!!

You need to respond to the invitation by officially declining it. If you do not, and just let the invitation expire, you will lose your chance to be invited ever again.

# What are the residence requirements once I become a permanent resident?

To maintain your PR status, you will need to live 730 days out of every 5 years in Canada.

# Does PR status lead to citizenship?

Yes, it can! You will need to be a PR who has lived in Canada for 3 out of the last 5 years at the time you apply for citizenship. See more citizenship requirements. If you think you'll want to become a Canadian citizen one day, keep a careful record of time spent in vs out of Canada once you become a PR.

# I want to move somewhere else, can you help me?

Mmm, probably not! But maybe you will find more guidance in this mega-post on r/AmerExit.

Want to move to a different US state? This is a fun map to play with. There's even a quiz. Who doesn't love quizzes?

# How can I learn French?

That's a big question - but this French resource guide I found recently has a really big answer that is worth a visit.

# How long did this whole process take?

There are a lot of steps that take different amounts of time!

  • Passport applications can take a while.
  • Our ECAs took maybe 6-8 weeks; it seems like wait time might be less now.
  • Language tests depends on the testing center schedule - we booked ours a couple months out based around the time I needed to brush up on French and needing to get English and French test schedules to line up in Chicago. Test results took maybe a month.
  • Proof of employment letter took a couple weeks of slow back and forths over email.
  • Proof of funds took a couple weeks of back & forth with my bank.
  • Our profile was in the pool for a couple weeks before we got an invitation to apply. This can be really variable and depends entirely on your score and the draw categories. I knew that with our score, we'd be part of a draw very quickly once we were in the pool.
  • Filling out the profile took maybe on the scale of 2-3 hours; filling out the application took a lot longer though a lot of that was figuring out my travel and address history.
  • We received an Invitation to Apply at the end of May 2023, submitted the application mid July, and received COPR in September or early October.

# How long will you have before you need to move, after getting COPR?

You'll need to enter Canada & activate your PR status before your medical exams expire, or else retake them (I'm not sure on the details around this; if you're considering letting your medicals expire, do some research!) Medical exams are good for a year, and will happen sometime after your invitation to apply is received but before the final decision is made. So, that gives you something less than a year for sure before you need to go to Canada for the first time. (If your profile has been in the pool for a while, or is delayed for administrative reasons, you may have even less time.)

To maintain the status once you have it, you'll only need to have 730 days of each 5 years in Canada. That is, you can land in Canada and then go back to your home country and get your affairs in order before you'll need to truly move if you intend to make use of your PR status.

Once/if you become a citizen (a minimum of 3 years after becoming a PR & living in Canada), these limits don't matter any more, and you will be able to live in Canada or in your home country without any big to-do.

# What are some other random hidden costs?

  • Photos in the perfect size when they're ready to issue a visa- Staples will do these for $20 or so a person.
  • Courier shipping for your final document copies when they're ready to issue a visa, and return shipping. Why courier shipping and not USPS? I don't know, but if you have learned one thing from this post, it is to do exactly what IRCC says. This was annoyingly expensive for me; maybe you can get a deal. (I paid ~$50 the first time and then another ~$50 for the second round when my first one I sent was wrong.)
  • Costs of moving, of course, and everything that goes with actually moving to a new country.
    • Will you want to import one or more vehicles you own? They will need to be paid off in full at import time.

# But why are you moving to Canada?

Look, this post is already over 6,000 words long. Let's talk later.

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