Moving to Canada

There are plenty of sites offering information on how to apply for a Canadian Immigration Visa and many more offering services (paid of course) to help you do it. One of the major issues I had during the immigration process was the actual move itself and what happens when you arrive. I have received plenty of emails through my information website,, asking for additional help and advice about what forms are required, what to expect at the Canadian customs and what to do when they first arrive in Canada.

I won’t pretend this article will answer all questions for everybody, but I’ll be giving as much background as I can with more, detailed information backing it up from the website in the text or by links to the appropriate authority home depot health check. I’ll start with one of the biggest headaches – the house sale (if you own) and packing up for the move.

Packing Up

When it comes to moving house there are several theories as when to put the house up for sale. Basically, we were told to wait until called for medicals as at least then you are over half way through the process. We were lucky in that we had somewhere to go, so we put the house on the market as we just wanted to have it sold and out of our hair! Even then, as “Our Story” shows, we had trouble. If you own your house you need to asses the local housing market and though its always a gamble, plan your house sale and know at what stage in the immigration process you will put it up for sale.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, but once the visa is issued, you only have 12 months from the date of your MEDICALS to physically land in Canada. One big worry I had was that we wouldn’t be able to sell the house quickly which in turn would delay our landing. If you miss the 12 month deadline, you will probably have to redo the medicals at a fair cost and then resubmit form there. Or you could land in Canada with your house unsold back in your native country with all the problems that entails. With many people’s houses being their main source of settling funds, you’ll need to have that money in the bank as soon as you can after landing.

If there is anyway you can find temporary accommodation then to have the house sold is one less headache you need when you are moving countries. You may pay rent for a while but at least you know what is in the bank when you arrive in Canada and this allows you to budget properly for your new life.

If you have Kids make sure you keep them involved. One big mistake we made was thinking that our 3 year old didn’t need to know at an early stage of the proceedings – we were amazed when a very sad and angry boy told us what the “For Sale” sign meant in the front garden as we had forgotten to tell him before it went up! All kids will be unsettled and I think the older the child, the harder the move may be for them – especially if they are in their teens.

Only YOU know what you will take with you so it may be easy or it may be a serious project to plan what to take sell or throw out! Put kids into the equation and it starts to become complicated.

We used the whole exercise to get rid of all our old or unwanted things and start again. It comes down to economics if it costs more to insure, store and ship something than its worth. The decision on whether to insure or not is a personal choice and depends upon the value of the items you are shipping and don’t forget to take into account any excess fees you have to pay in the event of damage or losses. You will need to build a list of all the items you are bringing into Canada and give their values in Canadian dollars.

This is probably easiest to take it from the inventory drawn up by the packing company – give as accurate assessment of value as you can but don’t spend weeks on it. If you have a box of kids toys for example – put your best guess at the value on the list as follows:


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