Are the days of broad sunshine and bright city lights in Los Angeles calling you? If so, it might be time for a move. After all, who wouldn’t want to live among some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, and at the epicentre of the entertainment industry? Moving from Vancouver to Los Angeles is an undoubtedly exciting prospect, but cross-border moves often come with their own special challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider before taking off for the sunny shores of LA.
Employment and Paperwork
Are you moving to LA for a new job? If so, congratulations! The prospect of starting a fresh career in a new country can be one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer. If you already have employment lined up, your company will need to sponsor you to ensure that you’re legally allowed to work in the US. If you don’t already have US citizenship or a valid green card, you’ll also need to get a work visa. Is your visa approved? Great! The next step is to apply for a social security number (SSN), which is also required to be employed in the US. There are a few forms to fill out to get all of these different processes started, and a lot of time involved, so it’s a good idea to apply well in advance of your planned moving day!
One of the biggest areas of culture shock when moving from Vancouver to Los Angeles isn’t necessarily the difference between a kilometre and a mile — it’s the health coverage. Unlike Canada, the US doesn’t have provincial healthcare (or provinces, for that matter), so you’ll need to find private coverage. Finding the right health insurance can be a time-consuming process, so you’ll want to invest in travel insurance to cover you for at least the first 60 days after your arrival. Choosing a doctor can also take time, so be sure to bring along a few months’ supply of any prescription medications you’re taking.
Now that you’ve got your most precious possession covered (your health), you’ll need to find insurance to cover the rest of your belongings! If you’re renting, many of the major insurance companies in the US offer inexpensive renters insurance. California is known to shake, rattle, and roll thanks to active fault lines, so make sure you go for the optional earthquake endorsement. Looking to buy property? Most mortgage companies will require you to provide proof that you’re covered by homeowners insurance. Of course, if you’re planning on bringing or buying a vehicle, that will need insurance as well. Lots of insurance companies will offer bundles or special insurance packages, so shop smart! And remember, earthquake coverage is key.
Canada and the US are right next door to each other, but there are big differences when it comes to currency and banking! You’ll want to stay on top of the exchange rate to ensure you’re getting the most from your Canadian dollars, which you can do by consulting the Bank of Canada’s handy currency converter.
There are a lot more options available when it comes to choosing a bank in the US, which can feel overwhelming. To make the process easier, it’s a good idea to establish a relationship with one of the larger Canadian banks before leaving. Due to their size, these banks will often have what’s called an “equivalent relationship” with a US bank, which can help speed up the transfer of funds and, in some cases, let you open an account before you leave Vancouver. Although it’s not required by some banks, having an SSN makes it a lot easier to open a bank account, which is why it’s a good idea to get started on that paperwork early.
Know Your Destination
When moving long distances, it’s best to get to know all of the ins and outs of your new abode. If you’re moving into an apartment building, you’ll often have to coordinate with the building manager to ensure you have access to the elevator. Your street and building may also have restrictions about where the moving truck can park, and specific routes through the common spaces for moving larger items.
Moving to a new country can be difficult and exciting all at the same time. At Trans Canada Movers, we specialize in cross-border moves, and can help you cross off all the items on that lengthy checklist for moving from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Get in touch today for a quote! Your latest adventure may be closer than you think.