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USA Or Canada ????

USA Or Canada ????

Old Jul 23rd 2006, 1:31 pm
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Smile USA Or Canada ????

Hi All,

I've been dropping into this website now for about the last year or so, because my better half and I were originally looking at immigrating to Canada. We did a bit of a tour round Quebec and Ontario a while back and really loved all the places we'd visited. A good mate of mine recently married a Canadian girl and he's now made the move across the Atlantic and is happily living in Ontario. I keep in touch with him and he's so glad that he's left the UK for a 'better life' in Canada.

However, my girlfriend and I also been to the States quite a few times. We've done the usual Orlando thing (several times) and a year or so back we returned to the states and did a bit of a whistle stop tour of California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. I have to say that we've had a whale of time everytime we've visited the states.

We've set our hearts on immigrating to either Canada or the US because we get such a buzz when you visit either of these two countries. I've been to various European countries and it just hasn't been the same. Don't get me wrong, Europe is a great place and I do enjoy visiting European countries but I just ain't the same as visiting the US or Canada. I haven't once said on a European holiday "I could live here"....

As we all know immigration to another country is a massive life change and it has to be right before you take the plunge. As much as I would like to move to Canada, my other half feels that the winters would be too much (as we're more summer people). I know that Canada does offer baking summers and they are all geared up to deal with the massive amounts of snow (unlike the UK which kinda grinds to a halt when we experience 4 inches of snow )

There's also the Canadian application times, I think the application processing times are currently sitting at about 3 years !!!! Can anyone advise what the US processing times are currently at please ?

Is there anyone in the forum that has experienced a similar quandary to myself ? What swung it for you to immigrate to the US ? How did you decide that the US was more suited to you ? Was it just a case of listing the pros and cons of each ?

I work in the Telecoms industry and my other half works in a Accountancy. Does anyone know what the job market in the US is like in these industries ? Apparently the Telecoms capital of Canada is Ottawa, does the US has an equivalent ?

I've also heard that the tax man takes more than his fair share in Canada, is this a fair comment and is it the same in the US ? How do US employees view immigrants from the UK ? Is there a need for overseas employees in the US ?

Sorry that this is a bit of a brain dump but I thought this would be a good place to start drawing on other peoples experiences and gather people's thoughts on making the ever important decision. I know that some people may be saying that if you love a country then go for it (no matter how dark and cold the winters are ), but it isn't just me hoping to move abroad, it has to be a joint decision between my girlfriend and I. Hopefully people reading this will be able to help us make an informed decision. As much as we'd like to visit the US and Canada to gain the experience ourselves, I'm afraid the bank balance or our annual leave allowance just won't allow it

Cheers All.

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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Hi Glassy and welcome to the forum. You've asked a lot of questions and I can see that you're considering every aspect which is wise. However, firstly it's most important to determine whether or not you are actually eligible for a visa, as without this all your planning will be in vain. Without fulfilling certain criteria it's actually very hard to get a US visa (not so sure about Canada) so I recommend reading the following guide to determine whether or not you might think it will be possible: Pulaski's Guide - How to Live and Work in the USA

As for Canada, I haven't a clue but I'm sure someone on their forum will be able to help you.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Hi, and welcome.

As written above, the first step is to see what your visa options are--that may make the decision for you.

We didn't consider Canada at all as my husband (then b/f) didn't have the option of moving there, or at least we didn't think that he could as a USC, and we moved to the US for family reasons/cost of living.

Here is some info on tax for the US. Overall it is really not much different to the UK (you'll see the debates here-some say it's less some say it's not)--it is lower overall for us, but that's not the case for everyone. Our salaries also went up, but again that's not the case for everyone. Federal tax is lower, but they you will pay state and local taxes (also medicare tax). You will pay property tax (similar to council tax) if you own a place, but not if you rent. State/local/property depend on where you live.

There is not a universal health care system so you will pay for that on our own (or elect to go without). It's a much debated topic here so you can read all about it...premiums can be $200ish or run much higher-depends on your employer.

Housing can be much, much lower or it can be higher. Depends where you live. We went from London to the midwest so we save a fortune. Same with new cars--much cheaper, and you will need 1 or 2 unless you live in a city with good transport. For us, instead of paying London travel cards we have a new car-the cost is the same.

Gym memberships are much lower. We paid £100 in London and about $30 here.

The US job market really depends on the area in which you live-state and city. Accountancy is booming in some areas, but it depends what type of accounting and what qualifications she has/needs.

People were very welcoming to us-no complaints there, but we moved near to family so had an instant network.

Tax info
1) fed tax (~15%)

(source: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040tt.pdf?portlet=3 )

2) State tax ( 4-6.85%)

(source: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/ind_inc.html )

3) Social security (6.2%)

(source: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10003.html )

http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/10/pf/t...ndex.htm#table

Good luck!

Last edited by jen_andreson; Jul 23rd 2006 at 2:29 pm.
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Not sure if this will help, but FWIW, I'm an American who originally came to this site because I was considering emigrating to Canada. (There are not exactly a plethora of sources dedicated to Yanks moving north, hence my intrusion here...)

On the whole, I believe that I will probably not opt for Canada. Largely, the issue is financial, as it is likely that I would earn less, have fewer professional opportunities and pay more taxes in Canada than I would in the US. Product costs are often higher, too, with many prices set as if the Canadian dollar was valued at $0.65-0.70 (and that's not including the GST and PST...)

I might be able to look past those things if the trade-offs were similar to those in Europe, i.e. long vacation/holiday times. But Canadian holiday policies are fairly similar to those to the US, with just two weeks per year and workplace demands similar to what you'd find in the US. In other words, all of the negatives of the US, but with not quite as many of the positives.

If the financial/career concerns aren't as relevant to you as they are to me, then I would tend to choose based upon your specific location preferences rather than by the country, per se. For example, I would certainly choose Toronto over Indianapolis or St. Louis, but would prefer San Francisco to Winnipeg or Saskatoon. Both countries have their share of interesting and dull places, and despite the hype in the European media, crime in the US is generally not a problem if you avoid either membership in your local gang or living in a ghetto.

I'd also say it's fair to generalize that Americans, on the whole, tend to be more politically conservative and religious than is the case in Canada. That is not consistent, by any means, but if the political aspects matter to you, then choose your US locations carefully, as some are decidedly more liberal than are others.

You may have some issues in both countries of getting professional credentials and such to get the recognition that they deserve. Your educational backgrounds may have leave them scratching their heads, whilst your credentials (certainly whatever accountancy credentials that your wife would need) may not be valid.

One area in which Canada and the US are distinctly different is in healthcare, as Canada provides near-universal coverage while the US relies on private insurance. If you are in good health or have an employer to provide your coverage (generally the case in professional positions), then US health care will be fine. But if you become seriously ill as a self-employed person (or God forbid you are uninsured), then this can pose some serious problems. If your health is shaky, I would have serious doubts about emigrating to the States, particularly if you intend to be self-employed.

And of course, all of this presupposes that you can get the necessary work visas, etc. The Canadian paperwork seemed fairly daunting to me, but I would guess that it is tougher dealing with the US bureaucracy than the Canadian one. Do bear in mind that if you wish to relocate to Quebec that it has its own immigration office, and that French language ability will add points to your application.

Best of luck to you.
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

I'd stick with Canada, as you have given us no reason to believe that you'd qualify for any type of visa to enter the US other than a tourist visa.
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 3:09 pm
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Post Re: USA Or Canada ????

Just thought I'd add that if you choose to plan a family in the future, maternity pay and leave is much lower in the US than in the UK.....and unless you get a job with a progressive company then paternity leave is pretty much unheard of; it's purely at the discretion of the employer.

Also after a baby returns home from the hospital, there won't be any house calls from midwives or health visitors....
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Welcome to BE!

Rockgurl's link to the legal routes to immigration to the US pretty much sum things up. For you and your girlfriend, your options are very limited since you are not married. If I'm not mistaken, the only obvious route would be the H-1BB but you'd have to each get one unless one of you is prepared to live in the US and not be able to work.


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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Apart from if your able to get to the US...a lot will depend on what type of work your in and where you fancy to move to such as living in the hot humidity, cold winters, changing seasons or not, mountains etc, it's a huge country so hard to get advice unless people know what your looking at.

Though unless your getting top end medical insurance, and it's not easy to get, Canada will probably be a lot more safer regarding health issues, though a lot depends on which province from as far as I understand it...also canadian PR is a lot more flexible, you can move around and abroad and not lose it straight away, which you would more than likely do in the US, not to mention it could take years to get a greencard and be very costly.
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Originally Posted by NC Penguin

Rockgurl's link to the legal routes to immigration to the US pretty much sum things up. For you and your girlfriend, your options are very limited since you are not married. If I'm not mistaken, the only obvious route would be the H-1BB but you'd have to each get one unless one of you is prepared to live in the US and not be able to work.

in most of those cases, the other half could get a B1/2 visa to move over, wouldn't be allowed to work though...best option is the L1A/B because the L2 does allow getting an EAD to work, even though kids can't I don't think.

H1B is out till next year anyway, unless in the uni field.
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Thank you all for your responses, we've certainly got some thinking to do. If I decided to take the US route, does anyone know if a Degree (BSc in Computer Science) would be recognised in the States ?

I seem to remember filling out an on-line Eligibility form on the Canada CIC website. This advised (pretty much straight away) if I would indeed be eligible to apply for immigration into Canada. Is there a similar link on the US Immigration website ?

Its really hard to say whereabouts in the US we'd would like to move to. As we've only visited a handful of the states we don't really have a great idea on what places to look at and which ones are to be avoided. On our last trip to Florida, we got talking to a guy from Leeds who owned and ran a bar in Florida and he said he'd take Florida everytime. I suppose in an effort to try and narrow down possible states than I suppose I'm looking at Florida, California, Atlanta or maybe even Vegas (I'd have to brush up on my Blackjack though ) Mind you, isn't Boston supposed to be a fantastic part of the world ? As our work is predominantly office based we couldn't live out in the wilderness.

Thanks Again.

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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Originally Posted by Glassy
I seem to remember filling out an on-line Eligibility form on the Canada CIC website. This advised (pretty much straight away) if I would indeed be eligible to apply for immigration into Canada. Is there a similar link on the US Immigration website ?
If you'd clicked on the link in the second post, you would have seen if you could actual enter the US legally to stay/work, based on your situation. Just because you have a degree and want to move isn't enough I'm sorry to say.
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Old Jul 23rd 2006, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Originally Posted by Glassy
Hi All,

I've been dropping into this website now for about the last year or so, because my better half and I were originally looking at immigrating to Canada. We did a bit of a tour round Quebec and Ontario a while back and really loved all the places we'd visited. A good mate of mine recently married a Canadian girl and he's now made the move across the Atlantic and is happily living in Ontario. I keep in touch with him and he's so glad that he's left the UK for a 'better life' in Canada.

However, my girlfriend and I also been to the States quite a few times. We've done the usual Orlando thing (several times) and a year or so back we returned to the states and did a bit of a whistle stop tour of California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. I have to say that we've had a whale of time everytime we've visited the states.

We've set our hearts on immigrating to either Canada or the US because we get such a buzz when you visit either of these two countries. I've been to various European countries and it just hasn't been the same. Don't get me wrong, Europe is a great place and I do enjoy visiting European countries but I just ain't the same as visiting the US or Canada. I haven't once said on a European holiday "I could live here"....

As we all know immigration to another country is a massive life change and it has to be right before you take the plunge. As much as I would like to move to Canada, my other half feels that the winters would be too much (as we're more summer people). I know that Canada does offer baking summers and they are all geared up to deal with the massive amounts of snow (unlike the UK which kinda grinds to a halt when we experience 4 inches of snow )

There's also the Canadian application times, I think the application processing times are currently sitting at about 3 years !!!! Can anyone advise what the US processing times are currently at please ?

Is there anyone in the forum that has experienced a similar quandary to myself ? What swung it for you to immigrate to the US ? How did you decide that the US was more suited to you ? Was it just a case of listing the pros and cons of each ?

I work in the Telecoms industry and my other half works in a Accountancy. Does anyone know what the job market in the US is like in these industries ? Apparently the Telecoms capital of Canada is Ottawa, does the US has an equivalent ?

I've also heard that the tax man takes more than his fair share in Canada, is this a fair comment and is it the same in the US ? How do US employees view immigrants from the UK ? Is there a need for overseas employees in the US ?

Sorry that this is a bit of a brain dump but I thought this would be a good place to start drawing on other peoples experiences and gather people's thoughts on making the ever important decision. I know that some people may be saying that if you love a country then go for it (no matter how dark and cold the winters are ), but it isn't just me hoping to move abroad, it has to be a joint decision between my girlfriend and I. Hopefully people reading this will be able to help us make an informed decision. As much as we'd like to visit the US and Canada to gain the experience ourselves, I'm afraid the bank balance or our annual leave allowance just won't allow it

Cheers All.

Glassy
There are basically seven ways that you can get a visa to live and
work in the US:

1) Marriage to a US citizen, or engagement for marriage which must
take place.

2) You have skills that are in short supply in the US such as
scientific or medical training. The job must be the sort that
usually needs a degree, and you must have a relevant one or
at least 12 years of degree-level relevant experience.

3) You have an employer who is willing to transfer you. The
employer has to make a good case for you. You typically have
to be a manager unless you fall under category (2) above.

4) You may get a Green card in the diversity lottery (people born
in Britain are usually not eligible; they may be if their
spouse or parents were born in eligible countries).

5) You own or buy business (but you cannot get to Permanent
Resident Status this way - that is, no green card). The
business must have a minimum value of around $100k (the more
the better) bearing in mind you will need somewhere to live,
and with any startup business you will need at least 2 years
living money as back up. So a figure of $250k would be clsoer
to a realistic minimum.

6) You are an "investor" i.e. you have at least US $1m in assets
to bring with you. Your background will be heavilly investigated.

7) You have a close relative (mother, father, brother, sister and
no further) who is a US citizen and will sponsor you. This takes
anywhere from 2 to 12 years.
GOOD LUCK!!!!!
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Old Jul 24th 2006, 12:29 am
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Originally Posted by Glassy
Thank you all for your responses, we've certainly got some thinking to do. If I decided to take the US route, does anyone know if a Degree (BSc in Computer Science) would be recognised in the States ?
degree is good...but it's common as muck, so unless you have a stack of experience, or very niche skills, you'll struggle to find someone that'll bother sponsor you for a visa because they ain't cheap, and they take a long time to sort out.

As for Boston, yeah, it's nice, but driving is a mare, it's fairly corrupt, just look at the tunnel botch up killing that bird...oh, and the state is tax crazy, least food isn't taxed, but unlike in maine where you could get a dozen ears of corn for $1, it's more like $6.50 around here.

It's a fab city though, and superb public transport...humid wet pit at the moment though, and winters are rather harsh, but tbh, the cold ain't bad, 0F doesn't feel much different to -40F, your snot freezes instantly and you don't have any feeling in your face...oh, and definitely don't go for a slash on the side of the road, it ain't pretty
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Old Jul 24th 2006, 2:39 am
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Hi there,

Well, we've been in a very similar position to you. Going back a few years ago after much a deliberation, my family and I decided we wanted to emigrate across the pond, either to Canada or USA. We visited both Countries so knew alot of places. Once we'd decided we wanted to emigrate, we decided to travel back to our favorite places in both countries BUT without the rose coloured glasses on and analyse each place as much as we could.

Well to cut a long story short we went to Canada first and went to Ontario. We then went to Florida. When we arrived back from both of these places, we had definately made a decision that USA was for us. There was just too many negatives regarding Canada, that the USA came up tops by far.

Well, we then started to look into emigrating to the USA and the only option for us (apart from the Diversity Green Card Lottery, of which we had applied for 3 years running), was for us to buy a business. We looked into this and got in contact with a reputable Business Broker in Orlando, who gave us some very viable information. This was the course that we were going to take.

THEN, 3 weeks later a letter came through our door informing us that we had won the Green Card through the Diversity Lottery and 4 months later we had the Embassy Interview and we were on our way to America 3 months later after we'd sold everything including our home.

If we had not have been so lucky to win the green card, we would have definitely have gone into the E2 business visa route. BUT I must warn you, now that I live here, I realise and experience it on a daily basis. There are alot of sharks out there, so if you looked into this route, please be careful to get a reputable Business Broker (I can recommend one, who is very good and now I actually work with her, believe it or not). It's such a small world!!!

Well, I hoped I've helped you somewhat, giving you our experience and I wish you lots of luck with whatever you decide.

I can promise you one thing though, you won't regret it! We don't and hardly anybody that we know now who are British do!

Good Luck.

Michelle


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Last edited by NC Penguin; Jul 24th 2006 at 3:33 am.
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Old Jul 24th 2006, 3:16 am
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Default Re: USA Or Canada ????

Originally Posted by michmel

I can promise you one thing though, you won't regret it! We don't and hardly anybody that we know now who are British do!
that's quite amusing, because quite a lot do for various reasons and then get stuck where ever they end up...especially hard if anyone has a family, which generally makes the E2 visa a bit of a crap one to get...and the diversity lottery, most Brits can rule that out....but the thing about sharks in florida, very true, plenty of scams for all kind of businesses registered in florida, don't know why, but slightly worrying.

and I really have to ask because I am curious, but what is the appeal of florida for people? it's hot, humid and wet, filled with horrid weather disasters, stupidly high cost of running AC etc, filled with snow birds in winter...and chavs in the summer, there's really no appeal to the state whatsoever for me with those thoughts...but there has to be something about it, because so many go there, and so many chose florida as the state they want to immigrate to.
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