Moving is a big decision, especially if you are moving to a new country. Whether it be because of work, to be closer to family, you are retiring, or you are just looking for a change, what better place to start looking than Florida?
Before you make the move, here are 10 steps that need to be taken beforehand to ensure a smooth transition.
1. Applying For A Green Card
Eligibility to apply will vary depending on your situation. There are different scenarios that will affect how you fill out the applications like if you are sponsored by a family member, if you are marrying someone with American citizenship, or your work is sending you. Obtaining a Green Card will allow you to live and work within the U.S., but they will require renewal, which again, depends on your scenario. Some could expire in two years, and some ten.
2. Applying For A Social Security Number
This should be done as soon as possible, since it can take a while for it to be processed. This number will be your new identity and be the way you get paid, be able to file for taxes, go to the doctor, etc.
3. Start Building American Credit
Unfortunately, your Canadian credit cannot be transferred over to America, even if you have an impeccable score. Therefore, you will have to apply for American credit cards. It will be tricky when obtaining a mortgage or trying to find somewhere to rent because you do not have credit built up, so start building credit history as soon as you can. Research should go into which bank will work best for you, and if you have found a place to live, see which branches are nearby for your convenience.
Moving all your stuff can be expensive, but it is worth the money to ensure it gets there properly. If you are moving things yourself across the border, customs can be tricky. It is best to call the U.S. Customs Office to determine what paperwork will need to be required and what items are not allowed to enter the country.
5. Getting A U.S. Driver’s License
Unfortunately again, your license cannot be transferred over either and you will need to apply, and pass, all the tests involved with obtaining an American driver’s license. Go to the local DMV right away. Booking road tests can take a while, sometimes needing to be booked months in advance.
6. Importing Your Car
You will need to show proof of purchase of your vehicle, how old it is, if it is suitable to drive, among having to meet other standards. You have up to a year to import your vehicle, but it can also be done at the border if you are driving across, with the proper paperwork (title and registration). You may have to find a new insurance company too if the Canadian company you are under does not offer U.S. coverage.
7. Say Goodbye To Your Health Card
There are a few different ways you can be covered, whether that be from your job (or your spouse’s job), or if you are under 26 years of age you will be under your parents’ insurance plan. There are also options for Medicare or Medicaid. Not having a health insurance plan can be very costly, so it is important to look into this right away. Any prescriptions you may currently have could change too since the U.S. will not have the same brand names, products, or prices.
Find the right agent for your next property
8. Use A REALTOR®
Because moving is stressful enough, having a real estate agent to help you through the process will make the move much easier. Research local real estate agents in the area you are moving too. They are familiar with everything that you are still being introduced too. And since you have already dealt with a lot of paperwork during the move, no worries! They will handle it for you!
9. Get Used To The Weather
Although they do not endure harsh winters like we do here in Canada, Florida can have harsh hurricane weather. Their rainy season (anywhere from May to October) can be quite heavy too, so there are still precautions to be made in the hot, sunny state.
10. Enjoy Your New Home
At last, all that hard work paid off. You now live in Florida, one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in the world! Each city has its perks, which should be researched beforehand, but whatever you choose, enjoy your new home and the nice weather all year round.
Connect with our Florida agents here:
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Serving Area: Florida
"We work morning, afternoon and night for our clients. Time is of the essence when buying or selling your home."
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Serving Area: Florida
"My motto is: relationships first! My clients are top priority, seven days a week! I always respond to any text, email or phone call as quickly as possible."
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"Having surrounded myself with the most reliable of professionals, I can confidently refer you to the right mortgage specialists, insurance agents, contractors, inspectors and any other specialist needed to ensure a smooth and seamless transaction."