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Relocating from Canada to Another Country

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Canada is a great country. But due to work, family, or lifestyle changes, you may want to move out of Canada and into another country. Relocating is always a complicated task but international moves are even more complex. Canadian citizens need to know what to expect when moving to another country.

Understand that Canada is Unique

Whatever the reason is for relocating from Canada, you should understand that no other country is exactly like your home nation. Canada has some unique aspects that you will not find in other countries, even the very similar United States:
  • Universal healthcare. This aspect of the Canadian government is much envied in the United States. You won't find it there or in many other countries.
  • If you are a citizen of Canada, you will remain one no matter how long you live in another country. Many countries revoke citizenship after a certain amount of time is spent outside of their borders, but you will always be a Canadian citizen if you currently are one. This should be reassuring to you if you are a Canadian who is moving abroad.
  • Canada is generally a more accepting country than most. Foreigners, including you in your new country, are often met with more suspicion and are sometimes socially excluded in other countries.
  • Canada is not very densely populated. It is likely that the new country that you go to will not only be geographically smaller, but it could be more populated. You will have to get used to having less room in most other countries.
  • The US has a trade embargo with Cuba, so smoke your last Cuban cigar before you move if you're headed there.

Prepare for an International Move

No matter what country you are leaving, moving internationally presents a unique set of problems. There are several things you need to do before moving internationally:

  • Make sure that you really want to move to the destination country. Culture shock is real and, as mentioned earlier, not all countries are as welcoming as Canada
  • Have a passport. If you don't already have one, the application process is relatively simple in Canada but it could take some time to process. You need a passport in order to travel to other countries.
  • Apply for a visa. Visas are necessary to enter most countries. They often specify the length and conditions of your stay. For more information about the visa application process, contact the consulate of the country that you plan on moving to.
  • While you are at that consulate or website of your destination, you should research their customs regulations. You are not going to be able to ship all of your belongings to your new country and some items like certain cars or pets, will not be allowed in some countries.
  • Choose a small group of things to ship internationally. International movers charge by weight, not time, so the bigger your load, the more expensive it is to ship. You also will be without these objects for a very long time. Shipping overseas can take several months, so be prepared to be without your shipment for a substantial amount of time. Anything that you need sooner than that should be packed in your luggage and carry-on for your flight overseas. Or you could just drive it there, if you are moving to the U.S.

Finding a good international mover

Finding a trustworthy international mover is important because there is no government that oversees international affairs. This means that it is easy for illegitimate scam companies to pose as international moving companies.

Make sure that you contact several international movers and get estimates from them. Check that they have some sort of certification from an independent federation such as the FIFI Global Alliance in order to establish that they are a legitimate moving company.

You can check out a number of pre-screened international moving companies and get quotes from them right here on

Ask several questions of international movers before you commit to any one of them:
  • Are you certified by any organizations? What are they?
  • What are your insurance options?
  • Do you offer tracking services for my shipment?
  • Are you familiar with the customs regulations in my destination country and will you take care of the customs process?
  • Have you moved someone to this country before?
  • Can you give me an in-home estimate for my load?
Once you have found a good international moving company, you should be ready to move to another country. Try not to stress out too much because you can always come back to Canada.

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on August 14, 2014 - Moving Expert
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