Moving to Canada from the USA can be a life-changing experience for the better, but it can also be exhausting and confusing. Whether you’re moving to Canada from the USA as a US citizen or a citizen of a third country, the answers provided on this page should help to simplify some of the most common concerns.
Can I drive in Canada with a license issued by a US state?
Provided you can show sufficient driving experience, it should be straightforward to exchange your state-issued driving licence for a license issued by the Canadian province you are moving to. The exact requirements differ between the provinces. Click on the relevant link below for details:
Before exchanging your license, you will be able to drive in Canada on your US license for a certain period. Again, this is determined by the provinces, which typically allow you to drive for 90 to 180 days on your US license.
Will I be covered by the public healthcare system in Canada?
Healthcare in Canada is delivered through a publicly-funded system, administered by the provinces. With public health insurance, you don’t have to pay for most healthcare services. Whether or not you are covered by the healthcare system in Canada depends on two factors: your status in Canada, and your destination province.
If you are a visitor to Canada, you will not be covered.
If you are an international student on a study permit, you may be covered by the provincial plan, though most provinces require international students to take out private insurance. In many cases, health insurance is provided through the institution (college or university) you are attending, which may have a relationship with a specific provider.
If you are moving to Canada from the USA on a work permit, whether or not you may be covered by the provincial plan depends on the type of work permit. Click on the relevant link below for details:
When you arrive in Canada as a foreign worker, you may have to wait up to three months to be approved for public healthcare after applying. Therefore, it is advised that you apply as early as possible and take out a private insurance policy to cover the waiting period.
Note that workers in Canada under the SWAP Working Holiday program or the International Experience Canada (IEC) program must take out a private insurance policy before their work permit may be activated. You can view and compare insurance options here.
Canadian permanent residents, like Canadian citizens, are covered by the public health insurance in their province of residence. New permanent residents are advised to have private medical insurance to cover the waiting period (typically three months, though this may differ by province) before being approved for public health insurance.