When compared to Canada, the USA certainly provides more attractive job opportunities, not only in terms of money that can be made here, but also when it comes to developing your skills and achieving your full potential in your line of work. Whether your current employers are transferring you to Michigan, or you found a new, more appealing job here, the USA, in general, is a perfect place to advance your career. However, moving is never easy, especially if you’re moving to another country. With that in mind, we’ve prepared this guide on moving from Canada to Michigan for work. Here’s what you should know.
Things to do before moving from Canada to Michigan
If you are moving from Canada to Michigan for work-related reasons, you will need to have an employer who will sponsor your relocation before you can begin your Michigan property search. There are two forms that your employer will need to fill (ETA-750, which is submitted to the Department of Labor, and I-140, which is sent to the INS), along with a third form that you will need to fill personally, at the INS – form I-845. Once this form is submitted, the INS employees will need to take your fingerprints.
There are two other forms that you will need to fill and submit (also at the INS) – the Advanced Patrol Document and the Employment Authorization Document. You or your employer should do this as soon as possible, as sometimes the waiting time before these forms are approved (especially the EAD) can be rather long.
Once all of these forms are approved, you can collect your Green Card, and prepare for moving from Canada to Michigan. If you’ll be transporting the contents of your entire household, including any large objects you may have, your relocation will be made much easier with the help of reliable professional movers. The professionals can pack and transport your furniture, your pool table, your piano, or even your vehicle. Depending on the size and the number of your belongings, organizing the shipping of your items can be very tricky.
It’s also worth noting that, if you decide to switch employers before you have received a Green Card, the entire process will need to start anew. Either way, the Green Card will be valid for 10 years; after that time you can either renew your Green Card or you can apply for American citizenship.
Things to do after moving from Canada to Michigan
With a Green Card in your possession, you are now ready to move to Michigan. Still, there’s a whole lot of bureaucracy ahead of you.
SSN and opening a bank account
Applying for a social security number (SSN) as soon as possible is a must, as without it you pretty much don’t exist in the USA.
The next thing to do is to open a bank account, which you will use for depositing your money and paying the bills. You are required to have a Michigan mailing address and SSN before you can open a bank account. At first, you will most likely be staying at a rented apartment, but later on, you can get a mortgage loan and buy a house.
Getting an American credit card
Unfortunately, whenever you use a Canadian credit card in Michigan, you will be charged with a fee (usually 2.5 percent). This means that you will be wasting a lot of money before you get an American credit card, so do this as soon as possible.
Still, your credit card troubles after moving from Canada to Michigan most likely won’t end there, as it is tricky to build credit in this country if you don’t already have any credit history here. What you can do in this situation is get a prepaid credit card with a $1000 limit, and leave a $1000 dollar deposit. Once you have built up enough credit (most likely after some three to six months), you can get the deposit back.
Another thing that you should do as soon as possible (yes, you won’t have too much spare time at first) is to get health insurance. And while you’re at it, you can bundle your health insurance with your life, personal umbrella liability, contents, and car insurance policies.
On the other hand, if your employer will take care of your insurance, you should make sure that you’re up to date with any differences in terms of your Canadian and American insurance policies. For example, it may be a good idea to buy an extra umbrella policy if your car insurance liability is significantly lower than it was in Canada.
If you’re using any prescription medication, you should know that, sometimes, you won’t be able to find the same medication after moving from Canada to Michigan, or the same medication will be sold under a different name. Before moving, do some research or consult with your pharmacist or your doctor. They’ll be able to instruct you on any potential alternatives.
Next, it’s time to visit the DMV (if you’re a driver, that is). First, you need to pass the written driving test, and then you can arrange a behind-the-wheels test. When visiting the DMV, you’ll need your passport, Green Card, SSN, your driver’s license from Canada, and some kind of proof that you’re staying in the USA (a utility bill, for example).
As you can see, moving from Canada to Michigan isn’t easy, regardless of the reason for your relocation. Traveling, shipping your belongings, and moving into your new home constitute only the beginning of your relocation adventure. There will be a ton of things to do after you’ve landed on American soil, but after a little while, you will be able to finally settle down and start leading a normal life. After that happens and you get used to your new workplace, contact us and start looking for a home that you can really call your own!
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