Important Information About Moving to Canada

Moving across the border to any country, including Canada, is a difficult prospect for anyone. Even if you’ve made this kind of a move before, you will be facing stricter border laws and regulations because of heightened security and threats from outside North America. Navigating these new laws and requirements can be difficult if you don’t have a knowledgeable professional there to help. Thankfully, Moving Angels is here to help you make the right decision when it comes to relocating across the northern border; our movers, coupled with the helpful information included below can help take the trouble out of your US/Canada move.

What You Need to Know

Making your move to Canada will require some preparation up front. First, you will need a reason for your stay. Most of the time, this is some form of employment and your new employer will give you a letter that you will have to present at customs in order to be cleared for entry into the country. In order for your household goods to be delivered, you will need to meet your mover at the customs location closest to your new home. When you meet with your mover here, you will need to present the following in order to have your things approved for delivery.

  • A valid passport for each person in the family, including children.
  • A work or student visa for at least one of the adult members of the family.
  • Marriage certificates for married couples.
  • The employment letter mentioned above.
  • An inventory of all goods on the moving truck, as detailed as possible, along with a declared value.

Once the customs official reviews your information and sees that everything is in order, your goods will be approved for delivery to your new home. While this information isn’t required until you meet with the customs officials, some movers will require a copy of your passport and work visa so that they are able to get through the border checkpoints without trouble or delay. Keep this in mind as you search for the perfect Canada movers.

Transporting and Importing Certain Goods

There are a number of special things that you may want to take with you during your international move, but some of these things may be restricted or limited by Canadian laws. Here are a few special situations you should be aware of when moving to Canada, so that you can be prepared along the way.

  • Alcohol and Tobacco – While alcohol cannot be transported by the movers you hire, generally speaking, there are other options when it comes to transporting your liquor collection to your new home in Canada. Contact the Liquor Control Board in the area where you will be moving to for more information. Most of the time, you can expect to get clearance to ship these items into the country by declaring them and by paying duty fees and taxes before they are shipped. For your shipment of wine or liquor to be approved and released to you in Canada, you’ll have to show proof that you paid these fees.
  • Motor Vehicles – First off, all motor vehicles transported into Canada must meet the laws concerning emissions in the country. If a vehicle is over fifteen years old, there are special provisions that will allow you to bring it into the country. For all vehicles, you will need to contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles in Canada. Provide them with information about your vehicle to see if it is eligible to be imported. There are fees and a number of documents they will need to process the request. Visit their website at for specific information related to your vehicle.
  • Firearms – Unlike the United States, the gun laws in Canada are quite restrictive. In order to bring your firearms with you, you will need to ensure they are eligible to be imported and will not break any laws in your new home country. Automatic, semi-automatic, combat shot, assault, explosives, or carbines are highly restricted within the Canadian borders. In order to legally own your guns in the country, you will have to get a Possession and acquisition license and declare them at the border or at customs when you arrive in the country. Be sure to have legal ownership documentation and never try to hide some of your weapons. If they are not declared, they can be taken and the owners can face criminal charges. Contact the Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000 for more information.

Be sure to ask your international relocation specialist about any other goods that you should not pack for the move. A number of hazardous materials are not permitted on the moving truck. Knowing what to avoid packing can help you ensure that all of your things get to your new home in a timely manner, unharmed.

Taxes and Duty Fees

Many people don’t think about having to pay fees in order to cross the border, but these fees are there and must be paid before you can become a new resident. If these fees are charged based on your shipment of household goods, you must pay customs before the movers are allowed to deliver your goods. If they are forced to keep your goods on the truck, you may find yourself owing fees to both customs and the movers, so be prepared when you meet in the customs center near your new home. Generally, payments can be made via cash, checks, or a Visa or Mastercard credit card.