Tag Archives: Moving to LA

Tips on Moving to the USA from Canada


I’ve just updated this post with a few extra tidbits since moving to LA! Also, the comments are a great place to find answers for visa questions and importing your car. Enjoy!


Whether you’re being transferred for work or going to college in the USA – you might find this post helpful. Having just moved to the USA from Canada (here’s WHY we moved), I’m hoping others doing the same can benefit from my experience so far and avoid a lot of hassle when getting settled into the United States.

I did everything below out of order, but here is a rough idea of what order you could consider doing everything in and some of the bumps I experienced along the way!


1) Apply for your Social Security Number – I really should have done this the day I found out my US visa was approved at the US border. It can take 2-3 weeks for your SSN to be processed and this number really is the basis for EVERYTHING. Drop anything else and apply for this as soon as you arrive.


2) Apply for your Work Visa – If your work visa has not kicked in, or you need to apply for one after you arrive (like me) I would do this as soon as you have your SSN. My Employment Authorization Document (EAD) took an additional 60-90 days to process, so the sooner you apply, the sooner you can start working. I’m also hearing that EADs are now taking upwards of 120-160 days!!! So giddy up and get on it.

I’ve spent a lot of time tracking my work visa and immigration status online. The best websites for expats I have found are Trackitt, Immihelp and this USCIS page that shows current processing times. There are lots of helpful forums of other people going through the same things on these sites.