American Immigration To Canada - Explained

US Immigration to Canada

Are you a US citizen looking for temporary escape to Canada? Are you considering becoming a permanent resident of Canada? A vibrant economy, beautiful landscapes and a rich history are among the great things driving Americans to Canada. There are different ways to visit, study, work or gain permanent residence in Canada. Once you obtain permanent residence in Canada, you may become a Canadian citizen and receive a Canadian passport after 3 years. You do not need to forego your US citizenship, as both Canada and US allow for dual citizenship. It’s important to find out what works for your situation and then begin the application process.

Here are some of Canada’s immigration programs available for Americans wishing to live or work in Canada.

Citizenship by Descent

Children born in the USA to a Canadian parent may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship by descent. If the Canadian parent was born in Canada then in many cases the US-born child will be eligible to apply for citizenship in Canada on this basis. Note that the second generation born outside Canada is not eligible for Canadian citizenship as of April 2009. Please contact us for further information.

US To Canada Family Sponsorship Program

Many Americans marry or enter into common-law relationships with Canadian citizens or permanent residents. With this type of family relationship, the Canadian spouse or partner can sponsor their American other half for permanent residence in Canada. The application can be made while the US spouse or partner is residing in the USA, or the American can enter Canada as a visitor then be sponsored in-land. If the sponsorship application is done in-land, the American spouse or partner can also obtain a work permit while waiting for the sponsorship application to be processed.Canadian citizens or permanent residents can also sponsor their foreign-born children, so children born in the US to a Canadian can potentially be sponsored for permanent residence. Children born to Canadian citizens in the US may also be Canadian citizens by descent, and just need to apply for recognition of their Canadian citizenship.

If you would like our office to assess whether you can qualify for family sponsorship, please fill out the Free Family Sponsorship Assessment Form.

Spousal Sponsorship Toronto

See If You Qualify For Spousal or Partner Sponsorship

Fill out our FREE Family Sponsorship Assessment form to see if you qualify to sponsor your spouse or partner to Canada.

Express Entry Program

The express entry program allows foreign-based skilled workers to obtain permanent residency without the need to first obtain a work permit or job in Canada. This program allows you to get to Canada quicker and connects you with potential employers. The program works on a points-based system where you will provide information about yourself like the skills, work experience, language ability and education. These areas will be evaluated and you need to secure about 450 points out of a possible 1200 in order to qualify. The application takes about 6 months once an invitation is issued and a permanent residence application is filed.

Canadian Experience Class Program

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is a type of application for permanent residence available to US citizens and other foreigners who have worked legally in Canada in a skilled occupation for at least one year. This type of application falls under the Express Entry program, which first requires registering a profile expressing interest in Canada. If you are considered sufficiently qualified, you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence from the Canadian immigration authorities.

Skilled Workers Class Program

If you are a skilled worker or professional currently working in the US or any other country, you may qualify to immigrate permanently to Canada through the Express Entry program. You will have to complete an Express Entry profile where you submit details about your work experience, age, education, and language ability. Your profile will be assessed, and points awarded based on the information you provided. If you score well enough, you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence through the skilled worker program.

If you would like our office to assess whether you can qualify for the Express Entry, please fill out the Free Express Entry CRS Calculator.

CRS Calculator

Free Express Entry CRS Calculator

We have years of experience assisting applicants with their permanent residence applications through the Express Entry system. See if you qualify by calculating your CRS score.

Temporary Resident Visa

U.S. citizens can enter Canada as visitors or temporary residents for up to six months at a time without having to first apply for a visa, and just using their U.S. passports.  This is a great way to explore the country and look for a job, or otherwise see what options are available.

Work Permit

One way to start living in Canada is to obtain a work permit so that you can be earning money to support yourself while gaining work experience that can potentially lead to a permanent residence application later. Work permits are typically valid for one to three years. Generally speaking, to obtain a work permit, you first need a job offer from a Canadian employer. Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) a work permit can be obtained fairly easily by many types of professional occupations such as doctors, scientists, accountants, architects, social workers, etc., as long as they have a job offer in Canada. For occupations not identified in the CUSMA professional category, the Canadian employer would first have to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they can offer a job to an American, a process which takes about three months to complete.

Study Permit

For young people who wish to enter Canada to study there is the option of obtaining a study permit. To obtain a study permit the applicant first has to obtain admittance into a Canadian school program. The validity of the study permit will be tied to the length of the school program, typically 1 to 4 years. During the time the student can work part-time, and once they graduate, can obtain an open, post-graduate work permit for the same duration as the length of their studies.

We Can Help

The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has over 20 years of experience assisting U.S. citizens to enter Canada to live, work or study. For further information please Contact Us or fill out one of the free assessment forms.