Over the years, the relationship between the United States and Canada has been far more than just a shared border. These two share mutual values in sectors like law enforcement, environmental protection, free trade, and security. They also conduct a great deal of bilateral trade that is championed by NAFTA. This is how much of a relationship they both are.
Did you know that, on average, almost 380,000 people go across the Canadian-American border for travel, business, and family purposes? Plus, the immigration of Canadians to America has been continual till today. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Immigration from Canada accounts for a small and shrinking share of total migration to the United States. It also reported that presently there are about 800,000 Canadians in the United States of America. And the immigration dynamics of Canadians moving to America have changed several times over the years and for various reasons, such as in 1994 when the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took place. And this agreement facilitated access to new temporary work visas for everyday Canadians to work and live in the US.
The Migration Policy Institute OF America also reports that as of 2019, the Majority of the Immigrants from Canada are students, trained professionals, people moving for a family as well as elderly people choosing to relocate to warmer climes than Canada. And although Immigrating to Canada from the US has also become a popular topic of discussion or inquiry by Americans in recent times too, Contrary to popular opinion, it is much easier to immigrate to Canada from the US than to immigrate to the US from Canada. Because generally, US immigration is employment-based which means the easiest and fastest way to enter the USA is via a work permit. After which, an applicant may apply to change the status of his/her permanent residence. And unless a person is sponsored by a close relative, rarely do people immigrate to the US directly. They must enter first on a work permit (which means a person must have an employer first).
In this article, we will be giving a simple step-by-step guide on how people intending to migrate from Canada to the US may go about it easily.
Process Involved In Immigrating From Canada To The US
Although close neighbors, the United States and Canada have very different immigration systems with clear requirements for those who wish to move north or south of the border.
The process of moving from Canada to America is divided into various categories based on factors such as whether you are a permanent resident of Canada for one or a Canadian Citizen.
- Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizens generally do not require a visa to enter the United States directly from Canada to visit or study. However, all Canadians entering the U.S. through the air route are required by law to carry their passports, and those attempting to enter by land or sea must possess a travel compliant document.
But in some instances, Canadians are required to have a visa. Such instances include situations where the traveler is an intending immigrant, fiancé/fiancée to a US citizen, or an investor, and in such instances, they are required to apply and qualify for a visa before attempting to enter the US.
Visitors from Canada are given a stay to live in the U.S. for as long as six months from their time of entry into the US. Requests to extend or adjust a stay must be made before expiry to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
- Permanent Residents of Canada
If you are a permanent resident of Canada wishing to enter the United States, it is advised that you apply for a non-immigrant visa from the American authorities and obtain one before you attempt to enter the US.
According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs in the US, any legal citizen of a foreign country or state seeking to enter the United States must first apply for and obtain a valid U.S. visa, which is attached to such an individual’s passport.
Some international Migrants, if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel indicated by the government of the USA, may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa.
There are two major types of visas for those intending to visit the United States.
1. The Immigrant Visa: These are usually issued to the spouses of US Citizens, Fiance(e) of an Us citizen, Certain Family Members of a US citizen, and also Members of Diverse groups, among others.
2. The Non-Immigrant Visa: These are types of visas usually issued to individuals or groups that are not meant to stay permanently in the US.
- Visitor Visa
Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
Possessing a U.S. visa grants you access to request permission to enter the US from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors attached to any point of entry one chooses, whether Land, Sea, or Air. While having a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States, it does indicate that a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy abroad has interviewed and determined that such an individual is eligible to attempt entry for whatever reasons stated. DHS/CBP inspectors, guardians of the nation’s borders, are responsible for the admission of travelers to the United States for a specified status and period. The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of all matters relating to immigration while you are present in the United States.
Types of American Visitor/Tourism Visas
3. Transit C
4. Transit C-1, D, and C-1/D
Basic Requirements You Must Meet To Obtain And Be Eligible For An American Visitor’s Visa
• A valid travel document (like a passport which must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States)
• No immigration-related convictions or criminal history
• Proof of good health
• Proof of temporary residence and intended duration of your stay
• Proof of funds
• Adequate Insurance Coverage
• Evidence that you will return to your home country
• Letters supporting your reason for visiting the US