What to do before moving to Canada?

Apple / Eng
SelfDeport

Apple Eng

PRE
Google
SelfDeportmore
Apr 18, 2018 61 Comments

Brief story first, the questions begin after the Canada flag emoji so scroll down.

Indian citizen, don’t see the point being on a temporary status the rest of my life, being one misfortune or employment screwup away from losing status, and being an un-free person in a generally free country for the rest of my life. I’ve lived here in the US since age 16, and did my undergrad in CS at a (very) top university. It’s been a great 11 years. Spending my late teens and 20s here was good, but continuing to stay here on this status is not.

Until people actually vote with their feet and leave, Congress will not feel the need to change the system (having more employment-based green cards available, having a more equitable system of distributing them, and also cutting abuse).

I have a job offer in Vancouver, and have received Permanent Residence in Canada through the Express Entry program (the job offer gave me plenty of points). I went to Canada last month to get the formalities done, and intend to move there in September. By comparison, I will likely be old and dependent (or probably dead) by the time I get Permanent Residence in the US - and I certainly don’t want to travel abroad for visa stamping every 3 years for the next 60 years. I’m looking forward to my freedom in Canada.

🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

My plan currently is:

- Close all savings and investment accounts.
- Hold on to a checking account, with ~$10K in it.
- Hold on to a US credit card (Chase Sapphire Reserve).
- Leave my 401(k) as-is.
- What to do about LendingClub? It’s not liquid, so I can’t withdraw easily.
- Do I need to notify the IRS, the USCIS, or anyone else?

I do not own property, and my car lease is up this year so I’ll just pay up the remaining 2-3 months.

I will likely then visit here next year (I’ll need a B1/B2 visa for that, sigh) in order to close things out for good.

Does this checklist sound reasonable?

And finally, I will go on an awesome NY-to-SF road trip before I self-deport. I’ll gladly take suggestions for that!

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TOP 61 Comments
  • Microsoft UMbR31
    Many congratulations and good luck on the new journey!
    Apr 18, 2018 10
    • Singapore?
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      Yahoo, why would you go to Singapore?

      It's hard to get permanent resident status, which means you can't startup or switch jobs whenever you want. Added Singapore constraints like extremely expensive cars and homes.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Extremely expensive cars is one good thing I like about Singapore.. Public Transport is so awesome there.

      Very low taxes
      Closer to home
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Microsoft UMbR31
      What is the pay like? If it's not double or close to double the India pay, why not just move to India instead?
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Pay is definitely much better and you don't have to deal with Indian bulshit of corruption, poor infrastructure and pollution
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Pandora SadP
    Buy a jacket. Money won’t matter if you’re cold dead.
    Apr 18, 2018 3
    • Pandora SadP
      But also congratulations. It’s a great place!
      Apr 18, 2018
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Hah! I’m actually taking a pay cut moving from SF to Vancouver. The price of freedom, as it were.
      Apr 18, 2018
    • Deutsche Bank Gongoo
      How much pay cut ? Are you going to another big company ?
      Apr 21, 2018
  • Amazon / Mgmt BakBown
    Get a Nexus card since you’re a Canadian PR now. Makes border crossing easy.
    Apr 18, 2018 1
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

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      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Woah! This is awesome, thank you! Had no idea Canada PR’s could get it.
      Apr 18, 2018
  • Microsoft / Eng Kiysfi
    Are you joining Apple in Vancouver?
    Apr 18, 2018 3
    • Amazon / Eng jshv’znsba
      Apple has an office in Vancouver?
      Apr 18, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Kiysfi
      Yup! Eng ;)
      Apr 18, 2018
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      I had no idea Apple has an office there - my guess is that it started as an acquisition.

      But the answer to your question is no. My manager is all too aware of the “kafala system” and using it to his advantage and my detriment, so I would rather leave this company and join elsewhere.
      Apr 18, 2018
  • LinkedIn HUtR50
    Congrats op.
    Do you plan to come back to US when your green card PD becomes current? If not then you might want to close all your accounts in US except retirement and one bank account.
    Apr 19, 2018 4
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Hahaha technically my PD will be retained I believe, because it’s been more than 180 days 😛

      However, I’ll likely be dead or retired by then, so, for practical purposes it’s unlikely.

      If they change the system, I might consider coming back.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Kiysfi
      You can get passport in 5 years and move back but don’t ditch the country that is giving you shelter now ;)
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

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      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      I won’t move back on TN or another temporary status like that. I’ll only move back on a GC (or if a GC is imminent).
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Kiysfi
      Haha okay. I am dual Canadian - American citizen. My Canadian mom crossed the border (illegally) and settled in US
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Amazon WWYT08
    You won’t be able to keep non-retirement accounts open. It has to do with Canadian laws, not USA. I’ll PM you with more info.
    Apr 19, 2018 4
    • Amazon WWYT08
      Get a really good CPA to minimize your departure tax and taxes capital gains in your investments.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Amazon ok then
      But you can transfer the assets to a Canadian broker without selling them. No problem.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      What is Departure Tax? Is this a US thing or a Canada thing?
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Amazon ok then
      US thing but if you are not a PR or citizen I think it doesn't apply to you.

      An accountant will confirm that.
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Amazon Dominoz
    Just curious -why are you closing your investment accounts ?You could continue to invest here .
    Also how long did it take from application to confirmation of permanent residence under express entry?
    Apr 18, 2018 4
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Some brokers can only take non US citizen clients if they live in the US. I suppose I could just maintain a forwarding address here and continue to use Robinhood, but it feels shady.

      I submitted the documents last October, and received my Canadian PR last month (March), at a Canadian point of entry. So just over 5 months.
      Apr 18, 2018
    • Pandora SadP
      Maybe true for Robinhood but most banks/brokers will happily take your money. As long as you have a SSN or Tax Id number, it should be good. Tax wise more complex maybe though.
      Apr 18, 2018
    • Amazon ok then
      It's easy to move investments to a Canadian broker, you can still buy US stocks, and the Canadian broker will issue Canadian tax documents. You really don't want to have to file taxes by hand without the right docs. The 1099 you will get from your US broker will not be helpful.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

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      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      ^ exactly.
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Upgrade / Mgmt
    UpgFounder

    Upgrade Mgmt

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    AppDirect
    UpgFoundermore
    Once they see influx of indians, they will go crazy like Usa. So wait and watch.
    Jun 22, 2018 1
    • Apple / Eng Marijuana
      Nah. Canada will ban the “body shop” model, but not make people wait 150 years :) America’s system of managing immigration by per-country backlogs is severely misguided.
      Jun 23, 2018
  • Amazon ok then
    You might want to keep a US card without an annual fee instead of CSR since it might not get any use.

    It's also useful to keep a US bank account to pay the US card and deal with any US expenses.

    Look for a no fee account that will not have an issue with you being out of the country. Ally I think is ok. Your big bank that was waiving fees because of your payroll deposit will start screwing to with a huge monthly fee. Seems like a waste of 10k when there are free accounts with higher interest rates. You likely need to open such accounts while still in the US.

    You don't have to close investment accounts but you will want to move them. You can transfer assets in kind without a sale from a US to a Canadian broker. An accountant will let you only if there's a tax advantage or if they will get taxed anyway.

    Also get an Amex while you are still here. You can the use "global transfer" to get a Canadian Amex while though not widely accepted will help you kick start your Canadian credit history.
    Apr 19, 2018 3
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      The $10K in the checking account was intended to pay for expenses, with some cushion. The minimum balance is $1500 (Chase), so I think I’m good for now. While your suggestion makes sense objectively, I don’t want to open another new account while I’m trying to deal with closing all the accounts 😫.

      As for credit cards - This is very helpful. I will apply for Amex Plat or Gold, get their sign-on bonus here, then convert it to a Canadian version after I move. I will keep one other fee-free card open, and close all other cards. So then, after the conversion, I’d only have one US card left 🤟
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Amazon ok then
      Check what your bank is going to do when you leave the country. Some will force you to close the account, others don't care.

      For example Ally doesn't care but Discover bank would close.

      The reason I suggested opening a new no fee one is that while you can open it as a resident and then keep it as a non resident, you CAN'T open it as a non resident. While 1500 minimum may look ok to you now in ten or fifteen years it might annoy you.

      So any accounts you want to have, get them open before you go.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      I certainly don’t expect to keep it 10 or 15 years. It would be 1 or 2 years at most.
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng 00000001
    Op, which offer do you have? Mind sharing details and how you applied and interview process? I can PM you if you are willing to share
    Apr 18, 2018 1
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Sure, please PM me. I found the job by searching LinkedIn and sending InMails to recruiters. I purchased LinkedIn Premium to help out with that. I had two phone interviews, then an onsite in Canada.

      You don’t need a job offer for express entry. It just gives you more points.
      Apr 18, 2018
  • Amazon NoStranger
    /r/personalfinance on reddit could be of some help for you
    Apr 18, 2018 0
  • Veritas fXXW14
    Get a tax lawyer or accountant to give you advice.
    Apr 18, 2018 0
  • Microsoft qwerky
    I stopped reading when you posted (very) top university. Why is it that Indians think that is so important to mention that?
    Apr 19, 2018 3
    • Microsoft qwerky
      How is US stupid from this?
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Microsoft qwerky
      I tend to think those who use their degree to justify themselves are the ones that are not actually skilled in what they do.

      When I was in undergrad, this dude was typing up his resume on his laptop sitting in front of me. In his awards section, he put something along the lines of "grade 4 science project was awarded top 10 and was put on library display for half a year".
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Apple / Eng Marijuana
      I’ve worked at Google and Apple. Not trying to justify anything based on my Stanford degree alone.
      Jun 23, 2018
  • Amazon ok then
    Is lending club in an IRA?
    Apr 19, 2018 2
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Nope.
      Apr 19, 2018
    • Amazon ok then
      Well. I don't think Canada can force you to sell it. Lending Club will probably prevent you from reinvesting. The taxes will be kinda of ugly, but really, what can anyone do? So long as you do declare the income and pay your tax I can't see is anything worse than a nasty looking tax return for a few years until the notes all sell on folio or pay off.

      Probably try and sell what you can before you go just because you'll likely lose access once lending club finds out you are in Canada.
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Visa / Eng Lallón
    Congrats OP. I’m going to make my Express Entry profile this weekend. Any tips on Canadian job hunting beyond LinkedIn?
    Apr 19, 2018 1
    • Pandora SadP
      Don’t schedule interviews during Hockey Night in Canada.
      Apr 19, 2018
  • Apple / Eng JteveSobs
    You will soon understand why iWork is so fucking terrible
    Apr 19, 2018 1
    • Apple / Eng
      SelfDeport

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Google
      SelfDeportmore
      OP
      Can I have some more context here?
      Apr 19, 2018
  • New / Eng NakAmot0
    Wow! Awesome , congratulations!
    Apr 19, 2018 0
  • Amazon ok then
    If you are planning on moving a large amount of money from USD to CAD Google "Norbert's Gambit" for a way to do that super cheap.

    If you are moving only smaller amounts of money open an account with TransferWise.
    Apr 19, 2018 0
  • Infosys
    notindian

    Infosys

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    Boeing
    notindianmore
    Liquidating LendingClub notes is a pain. You can sell the vast majority of them through the foliofn note trading platform, but for whatever reason some of mine wouldn't sell even after being greatly discounted. So I'm stuck waiting 3-5 years for them to be paid up.
    Apr 19, 2018 0
  • New Macme2
    Whats "Kafala System"?

    Vancouver real estate is similar or more than SF Bay.. There is no mortgage tax deduction.

    Weather is better in winter than other parts like Toronto.
    Apr 19, 2018 0