Moving to North America

North America is the third largest continent in the world comprising of five countries including USA and Canada. The relocation arrangements you have to make depend on the country to which you are actually moving to. It is better to know more about life in North America before you make the relocation decision so that your loved ones can live in a safe place with a better standard of living.

Organizing Your Visa

To enter and stay in country, you need to get appropriate visa that certifies that you are allowed to stay in the country for a specific time period. If you are a UK citizen, you can stay in several North American countries for up to 90 days without a visa. The actual requirements depend on the country to which you are traveling. You should however obtain necessary visa to live in one of the North American countries. You can stay in the country as an employed individual or as a self employed business man with suitable visas. Many retirement visas and plans are also available for retired UK citizens who want to retire peacefully in North America.

The best way to obtain suitable information regarding visa is to visit the embassy in your country and ask for details. You will be required to fill visa application forms, submit necessary documents and wait for your visa to be approved. You should start this visa organizing process at least 3-4 months before relocating because obtaining North American visas is time consuming.

Financial Requirements

North American countries welcome tourists warmly as tourists spend a great deal of money during their stay. If you intend to live in the country, you have to provide necessary paperwork citing that you are not a burden to the country. In other words, you have to show proof of your financial condition during the visa application process. Retirees should show savings and income proof in order to retire in North America. Entrepreneurs who plan to start a business in North America should show proof of a startup company with necessary funding to get entrepreneur visa. Most of the people who relocate to North America live and work in several countries. It is much easier to obtain a work visa if your employer is willing to sponsor you. Certain types of North American visas can only be sponsored by employers to bring in foreign work force. In some cases, you can ask one of your relatives to sponsor your stay in North America until you can find a stable job in the country of your choice.

Living Costs

While moving to North America, you have to consider the cost of living in the city of your choice to determine whether you can afford to live in the city. Relocation decision is often taken assuming that a better standard of living can be achieved along with new opportunities. Your decision to move to a new country becomes pointless when you are unable to afford the same life style in the new country. Vancouver is the costliest city in North America and it is the 37th most expensive city in the world.

Rental cost and cost of homes is one of the major factors affecting the overall cost of living. If you are interested in living in the suburbs, you can save rental cost, but you should be ready for a long commute. Living in one of the major cities will be expensive and you should also consider real estate inflation. Cost of food is another factor that must be considered before relocation. Cooking at home will save you a lot of money as many stores sell cheap groceries. Heating and electricity also add to your annual spending as many North American cities have extremely cold winters. Owning a car in the USA or any North American country for that matter is fairly simple, but the cost of gas can cause a dent in your monthly budget. Satellite and cable television can be procured at low prices if you limit the number of channels you want on your TV. Phones and internet service also cost fairly moderately in North America. Apart from the basic needs, you should also consider the cost of luxuries including eating out and weekend drinking. There are so many attractions in North America and depending on your choice, you can have a great weekend close to your home or farther away at an expensive beach resort.

Organize Your Finances

Whether you are starting out a career in North America or planning to uproot your family to North America, you should make proper financial arrangements to make the move as smooth as possible. Many banks provide relocation assistance for their customers and with internet banking option, the hassle of dealing with bank accounts is greatly reduced. While living in North America, you can manage offshore accounts legally, but you still have to pay taxes for the income earned in North America. Having a bank account in your own country is convenient for several reasons, but you also need a local bank account.

You can pay your utility bills using local North American bank account and this will save a lot of money in terms of transaction charges. Banks require you to submit copies of your passport, local address proof and tax reference to start a bank account. Employers automatically create local bank accounts for their employees to enable easy transaction of salaries. You can manage your utility bills with your salary account or create a new current account to deal with day to day expenses.

While selecting banks in North America, check for internet banking and phone banking options. This will help you to organize your finances without any trouble whatsoever. In North America, credit history of a person is referred for all financial deals and so, you should not mess with your financial records.

Change Of Address

Even though you relocate from your home country, you may still want to maintain an address in your home country. Bank statements and bills in your home country will be sent to the address in the home country. In that case, you have to provide notification about change of address to North America to the institutions. You can also pay for a mail forwarding service so that all your home country mails are sent to your new address in North America. This will ensure that you don’t miss important statements and bills even after relocation.


Moving to North America requires you to bring everything you want to the new country. However, sometimes, your possessions may be too big or too many for the new rental place or new home. In that case, you can sell goods that don’t fit in your new home to generate additional cash. Many people organize garage sales and charity donations to reduce the number of goods to be moved. If that is not an option for you, you can always hire storage service company in your city to store your goods for as long as you want.

Insurance And Health Care

North America provides excellent health care and it is up to you to use the available facilities. Your employer may provide health insurance coverage, but there are many other options available. If you own a vehicle, you need to get appropriate vehicle insurance before you can drive on the roads. There is generally a significant amount of paperwork involved and obtaining help from insurance agents can ease your burden.

Renew Your Passport and Documents

Every document you carry with you during relocation should be current. Your passport should be valid for at least six months to get visa approval. It is better to renew your passport’s validity before you apply for your visa. You also need to update other documents like driver’s license and others to ensure that you don’t waste your time hopping from one administrative office to another to renew your foreign documents in North America.

Driver’s license

Your driving skills should be in line with North American requirements to get a driver’s license. In most of the cases, UK citizens should obtain appropriate driver’s license because of the changes in road rules and vehicle compliance. You can obtain your license while importing your car or buying a new one once you settle down in the new country. You have to contact the Department of Transportation in your city to get more information.

Electrical Goods

In the US, support for electronic goods varies from 110V to 220V. There is no point in spending a great deal of money to import old electrical goods only to find that you have to purchase an adapter as well. Electrical goods are generally cheap in North America and you can even buy used ones.

Phone Home

Phone and internet service provider options are plenty in North America. You have to compare multiple providers to choose a service that best suits you. It may take a few weeks to get approval for a landline, but mobile phone providers provide instant approval. While choosing your phone plans, ensure that you choose a plan that best suits your usage.

We can help you to cut down the cost of moving to North America by offering multiple free quotes from top international moving companies that can help you with moving and relocating. Simply fill in free quotes form today!