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Moving Your Belongings From Canada to the USA? Here’s What You Need to Know

Each year, countless numbers of Canadians and their families decide to make the permanent move to the United States. This can be both an exciting and stressful time. It marks a new chapter of life and a new beginning in a different country with all new experiences to be had. However, the move across the border can quickly become a difficult one if you are not prepared with the proper documentation.

Whether you are moving to the United States to further pursue your career or to be with a loved one, there are a number of forms and processes that need to be completed before crossing the border and making the U.S. your home. For these types of cross-border moves, hiring a reputable cross-border moving company to help facilitate the move may be your best option.

Here is what is typically required in order to move your belongings into the United States:

  • Your valid Canadian passport;
  • An approved work/immigration visa allowing you to reside in the United States;
  • Completed 3299 form. You can find this blank form here;
  • A full truck inventory list;
  • If importing vehicles, you must complete form HS7 for each vehicle. Further instructions and that form can be found here;  and
  • A valid I-94 record (CBP will create this document for you when you cross the border. If they do you give you a paper copy, you can access it electronically after your entry here).

Please note that additional forms and documents may be required given your specific circumstances. This serves only as a guideline for documents that are required for a typical move, but CBP officers may also ask for additional documents at the time of your move.

CBP recommends arriving at the border before your moving truck so that all completed paperwork and immigration information can be provided beforehand. By doing so, all necessary paperwork can be processed ahead of time and a simple inspection will take place once the truck arrives.

There are also often U.S. Duty Fees that apply to certain items crossing into the United States. Household goods and personal items are permitted to enter the country as long as you have owned these items for at least one year. Proof of ownership may be required for certain items. If you are purchasing items for your new home in the U.S. before your move, consider the fact that you may be required to pay duty on any of these items at the border crossing. Any large purchases such as appliances and household furniture will be subject to duty fees if purchased in Canada and imported into the U.S.

For those who may be transporting large amounts of antique goods, it’s recommended that you obtain a written appraisal before crossing the border. Any items less than 100 years old can be considered taxable and it is up to the discretion of the border office whether or not they will charge duty on your goods. Additionally, if you are transporting a liquor collection across the border, you may be required to pay tax on this alcohol.

Bringing pets into the United States also takes careful planning. For more information on bringing your furry friends into the United States, please read our blog here

If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today!