Moving to the US

I’m moving to the US, and as part of that I’m wrapping up a host of legal things. I have some of this documented for my own benefit, and some friends are talking about similar things, so I decided to just write it all down.

Disclaimer first: I am not a lawyer, do not take this as legal advice, your mileage may vary, I’m talking about my position, not yours, etc etc


As a Canadian citizen, I’ll be entering the US on a TN visa. TN is granted at the border, or you can mail in the I-129 form.

I renewed my passport early (more than 12 months before it would normally expire), citing the 3 year period of the TN visa as the reason in the passport application.

My company is handling the TN visa application, I’ll know more once the paperwork goes through.

Taxes in Canada

The CRA has an excellent section on emigrating from Canada.

If you want to be entirely through, the CRA has a form to determine what you should file as – emigrant/deemed resident. I don’t meet any of the deemed resident requirements, so I’ll be considered an emigrant.

I will be filing Form T-1161 along with my tax return for 2017, because becoming an emigrant means that my property undergoes a deemed disposition. Essentially, the CRA will consider all my property to be sold and repurchased at market value, so any capital gains can be taxed.

Note: One of my friends brought up that Canadian deemed residency includes a “183 day rule”, which says that you’re a resident of Canada if you’ve been in Canada for 183 days or more in a calendar year. He was concerned because it could mean that you file as a tax resident of both Canada and the US if you start your job late enough.

In my (see disclaimer) reading of it, it only matters if you’re either entering Canada, or visiting Canada. Since you’re leaving Canada, you’re going to be taxed on all your income prior to leaving Canada, and any income from Canada after you leave. Essentially, the 183 day rule doesn’t apply in this case.

If you want to be perfectly clear on your tax status, ask the CRA what they think of your situation by filing Form NR73.

Taxes in the US

I’m probably going to pay someone to do my taxes, at least for the first year when I move. I believe I would be considered a Dual Status Resident Alien.

The IRS does not like TFSAs (or RESPs, but recent grads are unlikely to have those). I’ve moved everything that I had in a TFSA into a RRSP, which the IRS likes a lot better.

Keeping my Canadian accounts means that additional forms (I know of Form 8938 and the FBAR form with the US Treasury) and will need to be filed for future tax years, which is always fun.

As a side note, California taxes Canadian RRSPs, so it’s a good thing I’m going to Seattle.

  1. #1 by Zach on June 25, 2017 - 7:31 pm

    Good luck on your move. I’m having to explore the mayhem of the IRS & CRA in the other direction soon. Relocating from the US to Hamilton, ON.

  2. #2 by Richard Richardsons on February 22, 2019 - 4:54 pm

    I really hope you enjoy your time inside the United States of America. I really enjoy it here, being a citizen of South Korea living in Kansas. Enjoy your time here!

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