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How can I move from Canada and live in the United States?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by iroh, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. iroh

    iroh Well-Known Member

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    I am currently living in Canada, what are the steps for becoming a US citizen? What are the options and how long does it take? Is it easy to become a US citizen if I'm born in Canada?
     
  2. intent

    intent Well-Known Member

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    Lots of different ways.

    Most common:

    Green card through a job in the US, then go on the path to citizenship (I believe it's 5 years after Green card).
    Green card through family (or start a new one with an American spouse)

    Less common:

    Help the US in a foreign war as a translator, guerrilla, etc.
    Become a professional athlete
    Win the Nobel prize or qualify as a similarly exceptional person

    ...plus other ways.

    Honestly, there is no huge advantage in the American citizenship application process if you are Canadian, which is a shame, since Canada is very welcoming to Americans who aren't even intending to become Canadian citizens. As a Canadian working in the US I have to jump through a lot of hoops but still won't be treated as anything other than an alien. I pay taxes for benefits that I am ineligible to receive.
     
  3. brown eyes

    brown eyes Well-Known Member

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    Stay in Canada.

    America is full.

    Besides, we don't have universal healthcare.
     
  4. NickM3

    NickM3 Member

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    With NAFTA I believe the TN visa is a very common way for Canadians to move to the US for work. It is a temporary 3 year work visa. http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1274.html Definitely weigh the cost/benefits of actually switching citizenships though. Canadian citizenship is one of the best if you plan on being an expat worker from a taxation and visa-free travel standpoint.
     
  5. iroh

    iroh Well-Known Member

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    What if I don't have a professional job? Can I go to the USA and work at starbucks and become a citizen?
     
  6. the shah

    the shah Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you PM Piobaire. He braved the waters of the Detroit river and came out unrecognizably well.
     
  7. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you if you tell me how I can move from the US to become a citizen of Canada.

    I want out dammit.*

    *(half joking[​IMG] )
     
  8. unjung

    unjung Well-Known Member

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  9. Pantisocrat

    Pantisocrat Well-Known Member

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    How is it possible that your name appears twice in one post?

    As far as the Canadian->US citizenship is concerned, you do realize that without USA, Canada would be like Alaska right? This explains why Americans are preferred in Canada.

    [​IMG]

    Lots of different ways.

    Most common:

    Green card through a job in the US, then go on the path to citizenship (I believe it's 5 years after Green card).
    Green card through family (or start a new one with an American spouse)

    Less common:

    Help the US in a foreign war as a translator, guerrilla, etc.
    Become a professional athlete
    Win the Nobel prize or qualify as a similarly exceptional person

    ...plus other ways.

    Honestly, there is no huge advantage in the American citizenship application process if you are Canadian, which is a shame, since Canada is very welcoming to Americans who aren't even intending to become Canadian citizens. As a Canadian working in the US I have to jump through a lot of hoops but still won't be treated as anything other than an alien. I pay taxes for benefits that I am ineligible to receive.
     
  10. dtmt

    dtmt Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you if you tell me how I can move from the US to become a citizen of Canada.

    I want out dammit.*

    *(half joking[​IMG] )


    Getting Canadian citizenship is actually pretty easy, you basically just apply. If you speak English (and hopefully some French), have a degree and seem employable, you're in.
     
  11. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    Getting Canadian citizenship is actually pretty easy, you basically just apply. If you speak English (and hopefully some French), have a degree and seem employable, you're in.

    You forgot that you need to be verifiably unemployable, are willing to consider alternative methods of being, and preference will be given if you have a costly but long term chronic disease.


    OP, the real answer to your question? Go spend $300 and talk to an immigration lawyer to review your particulars. End of story.
     
  12. Fraiche

    Fraiche Well-Known Member

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    What if I don't have a professional job? Can I go to the USA and work at starbucks and become a citizen?

    No. Your employer needs to sponsor you.

    If you want the easy route, marry some chick.
     
  13. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan Well-Known Member

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    Our immigration laws are [​IMG] Good luck. I took a course on immigration law in law school and was blown away at how many hurdles we throw up for hardworking, educated people to come here. Any amnesty for illegals should be concurrent with a drastic simplification of our existing immigration laws.
     
  14. Kajak

    Kajak Well-Known Member

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    You forgot that you need to be verifiably unemployable, are willing to consider alternative methods of being, and preference will be given if you have a costly but long term chronic disease.

    Herp Derp but also a little too true for my liking.
     
  15. intent

    intent Well-Known Member

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    How is it possible that your name appears twice in one post
    I'm special. See if you can figure it out.
    What if I don't have a professional job? Can I go to the USA and work at starbucks and become a citizen?
    No. Get a real job. Serious answer: There are many other "professional" jobs that don't require a specialized degree. Google "NAFTA TN status occupation list".
    Our immigration laws are [​IMG] Good luck. I took a course on immigration law in law school and was blown away at how many hurdles we throw up for hardworking, educated people to come here. Any amnesty for illegals should be concurrent with a drastic simplification of our existing immigration laws.
    Agreed. I'm going to apply for my TN status under the lawyer category this upcoming Monday. Here's hoping I don't run into a power-tripping border guard.
     
  16. iroh

    iroh Well-Known Member

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    what do you mean don't be a deadbeat, there are plenty of immigrants who come to the USA poor and start at the bottom and move their way up.

    So you are fine with new immigrants taking away high paying jobs from established american citizens?
     
  17. jefferyd

    jefferyd Well-Known Member

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    Rochester, NY
    Lots of different ways.

    Most common:

    Green card through a job in the US, then go on the path to citizenship (I believe it's 5 years after Green card).


    This is wrong- most people who enter for work do so on a visa, not on a green card (an employment-based EB-1 green card is hard to get).


    A TN is easiest but subject to the border guard's moods- a grouchy one can deny (re)entry at just about any time. It also does not allow dual-intent (meaning you intend to immigrate permanently) so if they think you are coming to stay they will deny you entry.

    H-1B is very popular but some years has been over-quota very quickly making it tough. The state of the economy is such that quota was not an issue last year. This visa allows dual-intent but IIRC, is good up to a maximum of six years, then you have to leave for a year before reapplying.

    I came to the U.S. on an O-1 which can be hard to get but has certain advantages over the other two, namely that there is no time limit and dual-intent is allowed.

    Your first month will be difficult without a SSN since you need it to get everything (it takes about a month to get the SSN), and you will not carry your credit history with you so credit cards, cel phones, car loans, mortgages etc. are a real hassle.
     
  18. Piobaire

    Piobaire Well-Known Member

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    So you are fine with new immigrants taking away high paying jobs from established american citizens?

    [​IMG] I did.
     
  19. intent

    intent Well-Known Member

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    This is wrong- most people who enter for work do so on a visa, not on a green card (an employment-based EB-1 green card is hard to get).
    My apologies. I thought H-1B visas were mostly for those working in huge corporate IT jobs (Indians, generally). In any case I doubt OP would be able to get one.

    I'm not so sure there is a huge benefit to being an American citizen if you are Canadian, though. Even a visitor visa allows you to be in the US for 6 months, IIRC. Unless you really want to vote or collect Social Security...

    I got my SSN as a student in about a week, but I don't know if that's the same for everyone.

    Protip: American Express will give you an American credit card based on your foreign (including Canadian) credit with them. I applied for some no-fee Canadian Amex, then immediately transferred it to an American Amex. They have a department just for global transfers.

    AT&T will waive the credit requirement if you pay them a deposit. T-Mobile will do it depending on reps (I went with them).
     
  20. lefty

    lefty Well-Known Member

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    A TN is easiest but subject to the border guard's moods- a grouchy one can deny (re)entry at just about any time. It also does not allow dual-intent (meaning you intend to immigrate permanently) so if they think you are coming to stay they will deny you entry.

    H-1B is very popular but some years has been over-quota very quickly making it tough. The state of the economy is such that quota was not an issue last year. This visa allows dual-intent but IIRC, is good up to a maximum of six years, then you have to leave for a year before reapplying.

    I came to the U.S. on an O-1 which can be hard to get but has certain advantages over the other two, namely that there is no time limit and dual-intent is allowed.

    Your first month will be difficult without a SSN since you need it to get everything (it takes about a month to get the SSN), and you will not carry your credit history with you so credit cards, cel phones, car loans, mortgages etc. are a real hassle.


    My green card was delayed and it eventually came after multiple inquires on the part of my lawyer and a lot of dollars and years. Six years I believe. I did receive an EAC and a petition of parole letter which had to shown at the border each time I entered and meant and 1-2 hour delay. It was a bloody nightmare to travel.

    TN Status was easy pre 911 - not sure anymore - but you do need a letter from a US employer. Best to go through a border where they do this often. Avoid Pearson as that's where they train immigration officers and the young guys can be a pain in the ass as they try to impress their bosses. I found the guys at Gananoque pretty cool. As Jeffrey said, get a SS # ASAP.

    Interesting that you got an O-1.

    lefty
     

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