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Canada to USA Resources
Canada to USA Summary
There are no money transfer restrictions if you are sending money from Canada to the USA., whether to purchase a property, fund university education, or pay for imports. Canada and the USA have a very close economic and political social relationship as neighbors and main trading partners.
Banking & Money for Canadians in the US
If you move to the US, it is likely you will need to open a US bank account. US citizens or resident aliens may open bank accounts online in most cases. To do so, you must provide your US address, driver’s license or other state-issued ID, and your Social Security Number (SSN). We recommend you apply to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible for a SSN, which is required in order to be locally employed and collect Social Security benefits and other government services.
None of Canada’s main commercial banks, such as RBC and CIBC, have a major branch network in the US. The private banking arms of groups such as RBC are global, but it may be preferable to open an account with one of the major American banks. US banks, by contrast, have a larger present in Canada.
Taxation for Canadians in the US
As in Canada, US taxes are calculated on the calendar year. This will simplify the process of paying a partial year of taxes in either country. Nonetheless, we recommend seeking expert advice on how your move will affect tax payments, particularly if you plan to make a large purchase such as a home in the US.
For tax purposes, the US IRS allows Canadians to stay in the US for only 182 days a year, while the limit set by the Homeland Security, Immigration and Naturalization Act is 180 days. Canadians who remain in the US for more than 180 days in any rolling 12-month period risk being deemed unlawfully present and face a three-year travel ban. Stay longer than 182 days and you could be taxed by the IRS on your worldwide income. But this 182 day limit is more complicated than that. The IRS a more complicated way of calculating residency called the “substantial presence” test, which adds the number of days you were in the US in the current year, to one-third of the number of days you were there the previous year, and to one-sixth of your US days in the year before that. If this exceeds 183 days, then you could be considered a US resident for tax purposes.
Visas and immigration for Canadians for the US
Canadian citizens only require a valid passport to enter the US and may visit the country for up to six months per year without a visa. Visas are required in certain cases for visits exceeding six months, including foreign citizen fiancé(e)s (K-1 Visa), a US citizen's foreign spouse awaiting completion of immigration processes (K-3 Visa), and spouses of lawful permanent residents (V-1 Visa). Approval is also required for non-immigrants traveling to the US for short-term work assignments, including employees of foreign governments (A Visa) and international organisations (G Visa). Requirements vary, and we recommend consulting current guidelines at your nearest US Consulate.
If you plan to emigrate to the US for work, you will need to obtain a work visa. Canadians are eligible for several different types of visas depending on your experience, citizenship status and professional projects. Professionals with certain skill sets may be eligible to obtain a three-year TN visa under the NAFTA agreement. Canadian students do not require a visa to study in the US and need only obtain an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility from their university.
Canadians Buying Property in the US
The US is popular destination for Canadians - typically retirees - buying a holiday home to escape the harsh winters, with Florida, Arizona, California, Hawaii and Texas are the most popular states for Canada’s so-called “snowbirds”. Beyond the issue of sending fund to pay for a purchase, there will be many issues to consider, such as bearing in mind that it will be considerably easier to obtain a mortgage with a Canadian rather than US bank. Given the complexity of the US tax code, the tax implications of owning such an asset can be significant. If selling a property to a US citizen, the purchaser is ordinarily required to and remit 10% of the gross sale proceeds to the IRS on sales over US$300,000. However, thanks to the US-Canada tax treaty, Canadians are exempt from US estates tax up to US$5.3m (US$10.7m for a married couple), so beneficiaries will not have to pay estate tax on assets below this level.
Canadians Studying in the US
Canada is the fifth largest source of foreign students in the US, with 51,423 student visa holder registered in 2008-12. Together, they have spent some US$1.1trn in tuition fees and $522.2 bn in living costs according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Canadian citizens do not need visas to study in the US, but do need to be registered by an accredited institution with the US Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Importing from Canada to the USA
With trade in nearly all goods and services duty free since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico came into force in 1994, trade between the two countries has surged. The US is Canada’s largest source of imports, with total imports of goods and services reaching US$354bn in 2012, and goods reaching US$265bn in 2013, accounting for 52% of the total. The top categories of goods imported from the US in 2013 were vehicles (US$51.7bn), machinery (US$45.3bn), electrical machinery (US$26.8bn), fuel, oil and natural gas (US$24.7bn), agricultural products (US$21,3bn), and plastics (US$13bn). Imports of services from the US came to US$61.2bn in 2012. With trade procedures and logistics so developed, getting expert advice on importing from the US into Canada is very easy.
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