Canada Expat Forum

Hoping to relocate from USA to CAnada

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jacks50p
6/23/2017 13:57 EST

Hi everyone, British women married and living in USA with American husband.

After searching and searching in the USA (we live in Virginia) and never settling, it occurred to us that a great compromise would be to move to Canada, he's from Michigan and I'm from England !!!!!!!!

After a lot of research it is apparent that it is not easy, but we are prepared to do what ever it takes because we really believe this is where we see our future.

My husband is 62 he is a Master Ford Automotive Tech/Mechanic and feels he has a good few years left in him as he loves what he does and he is quite fit and healthy. It seems he would be able to apply via Express Entry as a Skilled Trades person, Level B. However, he would need a firm job offer and the employer would need to get a LMIA...A Labour Market Impact Assessment before he can even apply for a work permit.

Does ANYONE know anything that might help us....we just need a bit of a confidence booster at the moment because it does not look promising, I was sooooooo excited a week ago and now I feel like I have had all the stuffing knocked out of me.

Thanks everyone

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OutOfHereUSA
6/24/2017 00:22 EST

Look into you being a Brit entering Canada easier, then sponsor your husband.
NOT sure if that will work

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regnatarajan
6/27/2017 01:29 EST

As a Canadian spending most of his time in Colombia, I wish you luck. It's very hard to move to Canada to be honest. The regulations are onerous and burdensome. That said, if you are able to navigate them, it's worth it. I'm back in Canada for a few months because I don't want to be taxed as a Colombian and I can tell you, this is a great country to live in. At least in summer. Before you waste a lot of time on the application, I'd suggest you ask yourself the following:

Are you prepared for the winters?

Are you financially able to deal with the overpriced real estate market?

Are you aware of the fact that our tax rates are generally higher than in the US?

Are you socially well suited to the extremely liberal political environment? Our right wing political parties are left of the US democrats.

Are you comfortable with the fact that there's less freedom of speech in Canada? If you think gays are sick and blacks are inferior, you're really not allowed to say those things in public here.

Are you ok with the fact that there are really no gun rights here?

For me, none of those things are problematic. For others, especially Americans, they can be.

I really do wish you the best if you undertake this. I think you'll find Canada to be the most welcoming place in the world for immigrants if you do.

Best,
Reg

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OutOfHereUSA
6/27/2017 04:05 EST

REG
I was born in Florida of Canadian and US parents , so I am a dually. Never lived in Canada, but have visited BC and Toronto.

Your honesty is amazing about Canada, thank you for that.
The political climate in Canada is one of the best things about Canada.
The US is out of control. Any sane person has a hard time living here for many valid reasons, then if you throw TRUMP into the mix it makes it a non starter.
I could live in either place if it wasnt for the out of sight real estate prices and brutal winters in Toronto. I'm not wealthy enough to have a place in Florida and up there for summers.

My choice is to go back to Europe and Portugal where I have visited many times.
I am lucky to have 3 easy places to go, most Americans don't.

My suggestion for other Americans who can't deal with the US is to look for the blueist state you can find, get away from all red states. The west coast is a good choice.
Another less known option is Point ROBERTS, WA., is physically part of Canada ... check it out. Real estate is not so bad.

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regnatarajan
6/27/2017 04:20 EST

I'm with you on Trump. I think most people in Canada are. He scares the hell out of us. Actually, he even scares the hell out of most Americans I know.

I love the US and agree in principle with your idea of finding the best state you can to weather out the storm. I have to admit, though, some of the issues in the US span all the states. It really seems the nation is splitting into two groups, call them conservative/liberal or Trump/Clinton or whatever. The label doesn't matter. The problem is that there appear to be irreconcilable differences between the two and I really see no signs of any reconciliation. It is a nation more divided than any nation I have ever seen. I hope it resolves itself peacefully and without economic upheaval but I am not prepared to bet the years I have left on that.

I'm typing this not far from Point Roberts, WA. The problem there is finding things to do. If you're prepared for an hour plus drive to Vancouver, Tsawwassen or Surrey for just about everything, it's an interesting option. Prices are certainly right compared to the Canadian side.

Portugal sounds amazing. I just watched some surfing off Nazare on Youtube and I found myself longing to visit it myself.

Nice encountering you here, OutOfHereUSA.

Best,
Reg

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OutOfHereUSA
6/27/2017 04:43 EST

REG
You're right, there are right wing lunatics in Oregon and Wash state, mostly east of the coast.
The divide is NOT fixable in my opinion. You can't fix STUPID. I'm 65 and not interested in fixing it either, I vote with my feet.

Europe is my first choice but would go back to the south of Brasil. You'd be shocked how European it is. Lots of German and Italian towns where they speak their home language on the street, pretty fantastic.
Southern coast south of RIO all the way down to Argentina is very nice too. Get snow way down south and in the southern mountains.

Been in the north the last few years part time and it sucks for a lot of reasons.

Real estate and many things like cars are cheap in Portugal, even Europe. Cars are 2x+ expensive in Brasil. I used to be into Alfa Romeos in FL and Brasil.
Many used models in PT from EU$2000-4000. Even a Mercedes Class A for EU$3000.
Do you know OLX dot com website ? Great for real estate and cars. OLX.PT, or OLX.com.br

You have a perm place in Columbia for 6 months ? Was in Cartagena back in 80's but don't remember much. Lot different now I hear.
Nice to chat with you too

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regnatarajan
6/27/2017 14:30 EST

Voting with your feet is the way to go. I am only 51 and I have a few years left of working so Canada will be a part of my life for many more years. Probably forever. I love it here so that's not a negative to me.

I have no intention of limiting myself to Canada, though. My woman is Colombian and works in a small town near Bogotá. I live with her there for as much time as I can each year and we're trying to set things up so we can live together all year. Taxes play a big part in that for me as if you're there for more than 183 days in a year, you are a Colombian for tax purposes which would be a hardship for me.

One of the options we are considering is Europe. We may spend 4 months in Canada, 4 months in Colombia and 4 months in Europe. That will be a very expensive life, though, and I must approach the idea very cautiously. It is already very expensive to maintain a household in Canada and one in Colombia.

I can't stand driving in South America. I prefer to walk and take Uber wherever possible. I don't mind driving in Canada but it's totally different here.

I've heard of the European clusters in Brasil and they sound very charming. For me, language is a consideration and Spain is appealing that way. I speak English, bad French and improving Spanish. Introducing Portuguese would be difficult for me at this age.

I absolutely love Cartagena. It is bloody hot there, though. We were there two months ago and I took a lot of photos. I'll link them here if you are interested, but I'll take no offense if you're not.

Best,
Reg

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CarliC
7/4/2017 19:52 EST

My advice is to cast a wide net and be open to checking out a lot of provinces. I live in New Brunswick (NB), one of the 3 small Maritime provinces (close to Maine). It is generally easy for immigrants to get work permits and relocate here. Everyone I know who has tried to sponsor an older parent from abroad has been successful.

I'm sorry I have no information about your husband's field or job prospects, but the Express Entry qualification and his experience should help! I wish you lots of luck!

My only warning is: Do NOT come to Canada if you have any significant debts. The Canadian dollar is much weaker than the U.S. dollar and this makes it brutal to pay off debts in the U.S. from here.

I find Canada to be clean and safe. People in authority (e.g. Royal Canadian Mounted Police-RCMP) are still well respected. Just 2 weeks ago, a lady from mainland Chinese told everyone in church about how kind and helpful the RCMP were after she was involved in a minor car accident. "Canada makes me feel safe", she kept saying.

Canada is also peaceful. Since the Korean War, Canadian troops are more likely to go into "peace-keeping" UN duties than war. Canadian troops were sent to Afghanistan for "war against terror", but they never went to Iraq.

As for politics, across the political spectrum, elected officials are expected to be prudent with tax dollars. Long, expensive political campaigns are not tolerated here; usually a political campaign only runs a few weeks.

Again, cast a wide net. This is a big country and somewhere there should be a spot just right for you both!

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OutOfHereUSA
8/13/2017 23:32 EST

CarliC
I had not even considered the east coast because I know very little about it except for Gander.
The winter must be brutal and long ? I'm a mariner so maybe I'd like Halifax a lot.
Mostly considering Toronto because it's such an interesting city full of adventure. Don't really like BC much, just don't click there.
Am a CAD and US citizen who has never lived in Canada, only visited many times.
Hoping I can actually have a cheap place here in FL to run to for the winter.
Any ideas on jobs in Canada where I could take off for 4-5 months a year and return ?

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2lynne24
8/24/2017 13:49 EST

Do you know how much tax you will pay on everything you buy? Everything is more expensive in Canada. The original, long time residents are wonderful and kind people for the most part. There are those who cheat you, but they are very few. However, do not expect to get rich there or to be able to save anything.

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regnatarajan
8/27/2017 18:50 EST

That's interesting that you don't click in BC. I have encountered a lot of people over the years who say the same thing, and I say that as a long-time resident of BC. Would you care to go into more detail? I'm interested about what it is about our province that leaves so many people out.

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regnatarajan
8/27/2017 18:51 EST

I should've specified, that last post was to OutOfHereUSA.

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OutOfHereUSA
8/27/2017 21:22 EST

Hi Reg - well I've travelled all over Asia while working on container ships ; Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, China - AND enjoyed all of it visiting. Nice people. Have nothing against Asians.
Vancouver makes me feel like I am in HongKong !
I don't think I have a thing in common with young Asians in their 20's. Wonder who I'd associate with, make friends with, work with. I'm in my 60's.
To get away from the downtown area of VC defeats the purpose of living near a big city. Suburbs are over an hour away.
Toronto is different, you can live within a 30 minute trip from downtown. People are widely varied ethnically, which I love. Great to be on the bus listening to Italian then hearing Russian on the street. I feel more comfortable around Europeans eastern to western.
Being a maritime guy I am sure I'd like the eastern coast of Canada BUT the weather there would make Toronto feel like spring in the winter. NOT a brutal cold weather lover.
IF I am lucky enough, (working on it), we can have a place in Florida for 4 months a year and live in Toronto when it's not so cold.
If I was single it would be a lot easier. IF my wife had a better understanding of the importance of having a Canadian citizenship in these days, and how wonderful Canada is, it would be easier.
Plans take us to BC and Toronto in about a year. Maybe that will help see what a PLUS that is.

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regnatarajan
8/27/2017 21:49 EST

I get that totally, even though I am not white. I was actually born in Asia although I look more Indian than Chinese, but I totally understand that there's little left in Vancouver for you. Or for me, really. Downtown has become a playpen for rich Asians, exactly as you said. There are many whites there as well, but they are less well off and often spend their days complaining about how this is no longer home to them. I am not poor but when a 1 bedroom apartment can easily cost a million dollars, there's no place left for people of normal means like me.

Tsawwassen and White Rock are still quite white and both have older populations. You'd fit right in there, although it would be a suburban life as you said. Both are an hour from downtown Vancouver. I prefer Surrey, myself, which has a large immigrant population mixed between Indians, Asians and others, along with about 50% whites. It's a much younger city than Vancouver as it's the only area in the lower mainland young people can afford to live. It's also a 35 min Skytrain ride to Waterfront Station (right downtown).

I know Toronto well as my mother and sister live there. I'm there a lot. I like it, but it is a driving city. You can't easily survive there without driving everywhere. I like places where I can walk for most things. It's healthier, especially as I age. Winters may be better than some other Canadian towns but don't kid yourself, it's bloody cold there. On the plus side, they have a huge underground infrastructure (subways through the region and walkways downtown) so you can often avoid going outdoors. Like you, I'm not a fan of freezing winters so Toronto is not on my list of candidate cities to call home.

I can't agree more about the value of Canadian citizenship. There is no passport on earth I'd rather carry.

Anyway, I wish you the best. If you post next year when you're in BC/Toronto and if I happen to be there, I'll buy you and your wife a coffee.

Cheers,
Reg

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OutOfHereUSA
8/28/2017 21:00 EST

REG - I sent you a private message, did you get it ?

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regnatarajan
8/28/2017 21:34 EST

I got one yesterday and responded. Is that the one? If you sent one today I didn't get it.

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Elexpatriado
9/13/2017 13:55 EST

Very simple..take a taxi to the border and just walk over. Even have the RCMP as valet service

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Elexpatriado
9/13/2017 14:02 EST

Most jobs I see fpor foreigners ona temporary basis are are workng at ski resorts, restaurants , and possibly construction at tourist resorts..stuff Canadians dont want to do.

And usually always people under 35. If you are over 35, forget it they wont hire you.

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Elexpatriado
9/13/2017 14:04 EST

your in your 60s and you want to go to Canada?

Canada is THE LAST place I would go to retire..

Not a Country for Old Men

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regnatarajan
9/15/2017 14:43 EST

I don't know if I agree with that last point. The climate out west is not bad. Not great but not bad. Health care is excellent. Public transport is excellent. Internet is excellent. Infrastructure in general is excellent. The population is aging so you'll have lots of company getting old with you. If you insist on living in the middle of a big city, it'll be very expensive but most aging retirees no longer seek that lifestyle. There are lots of small towns in BC that would make great retirement destinations imo.

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