Moving from Canada to the U.S.
Go U-Pack for Cross-Border Moving
If you’re looking for an easy way to move from Canada, consider U-Pack. It’s a “you pack, we drive” service that makes cross-border moves simple. All you have to do is pack and load the equipment, and we drive it across the border — leaving you to travel to your new home in the States however you want.
U-Pack will clear the shipment on your behalf with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as long as we have the proper paperwork including your I-94 entry record (find out below if this applies to your move). Once we cross the border, we’ll deliver the equipment to your new home (or to nearby service center if you choose a terminal move). It’s a quick, convenient way to get your belongings into the United States.
You can find additional information on U-Pack cross-border moving, including which Canadian provinces we service, how much it costs and more in this U.S./Canada moving resource.
Documents Required to Move Household Goods into the U.S.
Before the move can take place, you must complete the necessary paperwork. Give a copy of each document to the driver at pickup (or to a service center employee if you load onsite) to ensure your belongings aren’t held at customs.
The documents you need will depend on whether you’re a returning U.S. citizen or a newcomer. Here’s what you’ll need to move with U-Pack:
- Copy of your passport or visa. Returning U.S. residents need to provide a black and white copy of their passport photo page to show proof of citizenship. Non-U.S. citizens need to provide a copy of their visa to confirm that they’ve been approved to move themselves and their household goods into the country. If you won’t get a visa before arriving in the U.S., email email@example.com for help.
- U.S. Customs Form 3299. Both U.S. citizens and Non-U.S. citizens must complete this Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles form.
- Copy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection I-94. Send a copy of your I-94 Form or entry record to the origin service center or firstname.lastname@example.org (not required for U.S. citizens).
- An itemized list of what you’re moving. You’ll be required to provide an itemized list of all the household goods you’re moving with their approximate used value in USD$.
Important Things to Note about Moving from Canada with U-Pack
To complete a successful cross-border move with U-Pack, make sure that:
- The name on your Bill of Lading and U-Pack Move Plan match the name on all documentation
- You’ve paid the customs administration fee of $32.00 required for all moves from Canada
- You’re NOT moving any of the following with U-Pack:
- Vehicles. This includes anything with a VIN number (boats, trucks, cars, ATVs, jet skis, motorcycles, etc.). If you need to ship a vehicle, contact Mr. Car Shipper® at 877-528-9627. If you're driving to Canada, check out this guide on crossing the border by car..
- Items from our Do Not Ship list. This includes commercial goods, illegal, poisonous, flammable, corrosive and perishable items.
- Pets. If you’re bringing a dog, cat, bird, turtle or other pet into the U.S., be sure to read these tips on moving pets to the USA.
Applying for Temporary and Permanent U.S. Residency
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen moving to the States, be sure you have the proper proof of residency status before moving day. Otherwise, you could be held at the border and not permitted entrance. The type of authorization you need depends on your reason for moving to the U.S. and how long you plan to stay. A description of each option below can help you determine which to apply for.
Temporary workers visa
This type of visa allows people to enter the U.S. for temporary employment. Before you can apply, your employer must file a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129 on your behalf, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve it. Read more about the process of applying for a temporary workers visa.
Immigrant visa for permanent stay
An immigrant visa allows you to move to the U.S. permanently and gives you the ability to get healthcare, a Social Security number and earn retirement. Obtaining an immigrant visa requires sponsorship by your family or employer. The process involves someone submitting a petition, it getting approved, using an agent, filing an application and passing an interview.
Green cards also offer permanent status (like immigrant visas), but there are some differences. A visa holder has to work in a certain industry, whereas a green card holder can work in any occupation. Green card holders can travel freely in and out of the U.S., and they can apply for citizenship. They also get many legal rights including insurance, Social Security, retirement and can own property. The steps to apply can vary but typically involve completing an application, passing a biometric screening and an interview and someone sponsoring you.
The path to citizenship starts by being a green card holder for five years (or if you’re to married a U.S. citizen, the wait is three years), and then completing the 10 step naturalization process. This process includes an application, interview, an exam and taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
For questions about moving household goods from Canada to the USA with U-Pack, call 800-413-4799. For questions specific to U.S. Customs, call 1-877-227-5511 within the U.S., or 202-325-8000 outside the United States. You can also email the CBP.