Planning to Move to Canada? Here’s What It Will Cost

moving to canada

The 2016 presidential election has people in both parties feeling nervous.

This year’s contest is one of the most divisive we’ve seen in recent years, and voters are unsure about what to do when it’s over. Republicans and Democrats alike boast about moving to Canada if the opposing candidate wins.

But moving across the border is more difficult than many people think. Figuring out how to move to Canada — and how to pay for it — often doesn’t enter the conversation.

If you think the idea of living in the United States under a certain candidate’s leadership is unbearable, here’s what it will take to move north.

How much does it cost to move to Canada?

Before you even think about the cost of living in Canada, you have to factor the cost of moving itself. From packing up your belongings to registering your car, there are many expenses associated with going to another country.

Becoming a permanent resident

If you plan on becoming a permanent resident of Canada, there are some hefty fees to consider. Each applicant must pay a fee of C$490, which is equal to about $365 in US currency. The cost of citizenship is another C$75, per person.

For just you to become a permanent resident and citizen, you’ll have to pay over C$440 just in fees.

Shipping and packing

When moving to Canada, you’ll have to ship your belongings and either rent a truck or hire a moving service to deliver them to your new home.

According to the American Moving & Storage Association, a move to another state within the US costs $5,630 on average. A move to another country would cost even more.

Bringing a vehicle

Depending on exactly where you want to live, the cost of registering your vehicle and getting a driver’s license can vary, but you can generally expect to pay about C$105 for a driver’s license.

A vehicle permit costs C$20, and a new license plate is C$45. If you’re planning on bringing a car with you to Canada, you’re looking at a total cost over C$200.

When you’re moving to Canada, keep in mind that your automobile insurance costs will likely go up, too. Depending on where you are in the country, your premiums might skyrocket.

For example, Ontario is notorious for its high rates. The average Ontario resident pays over C$1,900 a year to insure their vehicle.

Conversion rate

On a good note, the US dollar is stronger than Canada’s currency. As of November, $1 in the US is equal to $1.34 in Canadian dollars.

If you emptied out your savings and had $30,000 in American cash, you would head north with the Canadian equivalent of $40,194. That positive rate could give you greater buying power when you move.

Finding a home

If you’re planning to buy a home, prepare to fork over a lot more money than you would need to buy a home in the United States. The average Canadian home costs C$440,000, while the average American home is just $188,900.

However, if you’re looking to rent, you may be able to get a deal. The cost to rent in Canada is over 27 percent less than it is the United States.


If you thought American taxes were high, Canada is likely to come as a shock.

The average American pays an income tax rate of 10 percent. The average Canadian pays a staggering 42 percent, more than they spend on food, shelter, and clothing combined. Moving to Canada will likely cost you a significant amount in taxes.

Average salaries

The median Canadian salary for households is about C$78,870 (approximately $59,000 in US dollars). By comparison, the median American household makes about $53,657.

While the salaries are similar, remember that Canadians tend to lose more of their income to taxes than Americans.

Moving to Canada

Whether you’re a die-hard Clinton fan or you’re riding the Trump train, this election may have you on pins and needles. While seeing the opposing party win may be hard to swallow, moving across the border is not the most financially savvy solution.

Canada certainly has its perks, but moving north to escape the new president is an expensive decision. The next time you bitterly swear to exit the country, do the math to see just how much money you’d need to make the switch.

Instead of boldly leaving the country for Canada, ride it out and keep contributing to your savings and investment accounts. While you may not like the individual’s politics, staying in the United States is far better for your bank account and your financial future.

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