Get the most bang for your bucks by using a currency exchange provider to send money home

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  • Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadians can gain a temporary visa to work over the border in the USA, improving skills and job prospects
  • However, the future of these visas hangs in the balance as President Trump threatens to rip up the NAFTA; the very foundation on which these temporary visas exist

Canadians can apply for a visa to work in USA temporarily for up to a maximum of three years. Being accepted onto the scheme means that you will be granted a visa as a non-immigrant “carrying out work practises”. The NAFTA goes as far as to list the professions that qualify. There are well over 100 detailed, ranging from legal professionals, medical professionals, surveyors, scientists, social workers, technical publications writers and urban planners. In order to qualify your profession needs to be one of those on the list.

As a Canadian, in order to be successful as well as proving that your profession is on the list you also need:

  • proof of job offer in USA and that it requires a NAFTA professional

  • proof of academics (where required)

After three years, an extension can be applied for, which your employer will need to submit.

If you move over to USA on one of these temporary visas, you should consider how much it is going to cost you, to transfer money between the two countries. You may need to send many transfers in three years, and sending money abroad can be very expensive if you rely on the banking system. In order to make sure you get the most bang for your bucks, take a look at partnering with a currency exchange specialist. Typically their rates are much lower than the banks offer up for exchange, so your dollars will go further. With typical rates between 0.5% to 1.5% above the interbank rate. Also, they charge low, or zero fees as opposed to Canadian banks who will charge $4.99 minimum per transfer. Another helpful feature when you use a currency exchange broker, you can set up regular payments, so if you have specific bills or a mortgage to pay back home, you can set up a regular payment schedule to make these transfers. Some of these currency exchange brokers are able to accept very small transfer payments, even as low $1, so you can use them to send small cash gifts to your family too. Have a look at our comparison tool which contains details of the most cost-effective money transfer companies when sending money to Canada.

The opportunity to learn better ways to work and improve your skills before returning home to deploy them, could be a real benefit to your career. With careful selection of a currency exchange provider, you can make your temporary stay in USA financially worthwhile too. Take a look at our money transfers routes to see how much money you could save.


Rachel Doyle
Rachel Doyle
Senior Content Specialist
Rachel has over 10 years’ communications and writing experience, having started her career in financial services where she spent nine years working in various roles. She started out in fund… Read more

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