Moving to USNewsMar 20, 2024

Moving to Texas From Canada: A Full Guide

Around half a million people moved to Texas in 2023 and for good reasons. The state is increasingly becoming known as the manufacturing capital of the US and is attracting high-level operations—from computer and electronic goods to motor vehicles and everything in between. It’s the number two state for overall foreign investment, and is the 3rd US state in terms of foreign investment in real estate

This rise in industry and popularity with foreign investors has led to the creation of tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, which all play a pivotal role in Texas’ popularity with immigrants from around the world, including those from Canada.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about moving to Texas from Canada. We’ll explain how to move to Texas from Canada and discuss the main reasons why you should do it. We’ll also discuss the main types of visas you’ll need to move to this US state. 

Let’s start!

Moving to Texas From Canada: Is It Worth It?

Every year, a lot of Canadians are choosing to move to the US due to better economic conditions, more job opportunities, or simply to study. And, one of the most popular US states for Canadian nationals is the state of Texas. 

Here are the main reasons to move from Canada to Texas:

More Job Opportunities and Higher GDP 

The GDP of the state of Texas is higher than Canada’s GDP. The annual GDP of Texas is just around 1,78 trillion dollars, while Canada’s sits at about 1,73 trillion. This difference in GDP is also reflected in the number of job opportunities. We’ll give you a hint: the number is bigger in Texas.  

One of the main reasons for moving to Texas from Canada is the sheer number of opportunities Texas’ job market has to offer. In Texas, a single US state, there were 902,000 job openings in Q4 of 2023. On the other hand, the numbers for Q3 of 2023 show that there were only 737,530 job openings in Canada. This difference of around 150,000 more jobs in favor of Texas might not seem that significant to some until you take a look at the average annual salary of these two places and compare them. So, let’s do just that.

Higher Average Salary 

The average yearly salary in Canada is close to $44,850. In Texas, the average salary is just around $53,531 per year. This means that, with an average-paying job in Texas, you can make almost $10,000 more per year than if you worked in Canada.

Some would argue that having more money doesn’t necessarily translate into a higher quality of life. So, will moving to Texas from Canada have any impact on that? To answer this question, let’s compare the cost of living in Texas and Canada.

Cost of Living in Texas vs Canada

Basic necessities like milk, eggs, sugar, and flour cost pretty much the same in Canada as they do in Texas. The cost of food is also similar, with only a slight difference in the prices of certain products, which rarely exceed 1 dollar (the price difference is usually plus-minus 10 cents). 

Now, the big difference in cost and what significantly sets apart the cost of living in Texas vs. Canada is the price of gas—it’s over 40% cheaper in Texas. The cost of 1 liter (around a quarter of a gallon) in Canada is $1,31. On the other hand, 1 liter of gas in Texas costs $0,77. 

The other notable difference affecting the cost of living is the monthly rent. On average, it is higher in Texas, but not by much. For example, a single-bedroom apartment in a downtown area of Canada will cost around $1,066 per month, while a similar condo in Texas will cost $1,300 a month.  

But what if you are moving to Texas from Canada with the intention of buying a property in the US, not renting it? In that case, you might be interested in learning more about the US real estate prices and how they compare to those in Canada.  

Texas offers lower prices on real estate and has better economy

Lower Real Estate Prices

According to Zillow, the average home price in Texas (at the time of writing this article) is just around $298,624. On the other hand, buying an average home in Canada means spending nearly half a million dollars, or about $487,540. This means that the average home price is almost $200,000 lower in Texas than in Canada

Apart from that, it’s also important to note that it’s much easier to finance a home in the States due to the highly developed financial system and the sheer availability and number of different US mortgage loans for Canadians. By having enough money to cover the down payment, Canadians moving to Texas can easily purchase a property. 

The most popular types of house loans for Canadians include:

The lower real estate prices in Texas make it easier to buy a home to live in. However, this also 

means that there is a much lower barrier to entry for buying rental property in the US. And, remember the higher rent prices from the previous heading? If you’re moving to Texas and looking to buy investment property, the higher rent prices, in that case, become a good thing. 

Higher rent and lower real estate prices simply mean that the ROI on rental properties will be much higher in Texas, than in Canada. You can reasonably expect around 10% return on investment per year, with the right property. And, the best part is that Texas is a landlord-friendly state, which means you won’t have to worry about tenants not paying rent or causing other problems.  

Are you Canadian looking to buy property in Texas? NRI can help! Contact us or book a free call to learn more.

Warm Climate

Another great reason for moving to Texas is the state’s great weather, especially when compared to Canada. 

For example, the average yearly temperature in Canada is around -4 Celsius (or around 24,8 Fahrenheit). On the other hand, the average yearly temperature in Texas is around +20 Celsius (or around 68,2 Fahrenheit), which is a rather big difference. 

If warm weather is not enough to get you to consider moving to Texas from Canada, maybe something else will. Maybe something like lower tax rates?

Lower Taxes

Everything’s bigger in Texas, except for taxes

There are no income taxes in this state, which means if you are a Canadian moving to Texas, you’ll only have to pay federal income taxes. 

In contrast to that, in Canada, depending on the exact province, you can expect to pay between 5-15% for the provincial income tax (similar to state taxes) based on the tax bracket you’re in. And you’ll also have to pay Canadian federal income taxes which can range from 15% to 33%.   

Moving to Texas: Most Popular Places For Canadians

As of most recent estimates, there are around 35,000 Canadians living and working in the State of Texas. Some of the popular places in Texas with the highest percentage of Canadians are:

  1. Shiro with 16,6% of population being Canadian 
  2. Gardendale with 6,94% of population being Canadian
  3. Rule with 5,39% of population being Canadian
  4. Sandy Point with 3,35% of population being Canadian
  5. Maypearl with 3,11% of population being Canadian
  6. Sun Valley with 2,67% of population being Canadian
  7. Orchard with 2,42% of population being Canadian
  8. Welch with 2,38% of population being Canadian
  9. El Lago with 2,30% of population being Canadian
  10. Ector with 1,74% of population being Canadian

How to Move to Texas From Canada: Main Steps to Consider

Here are some important steps to consider if you’re a Canadian moving to Texas:

Prepare the Necessary Documents  

As a Canadian, you don’t need a visa to visit the US and can legally stay in any state for up to 6 months with just your passport. It’s important to note that every time you leave the US, that 6-month timer is reset. And you should also be aware that if you stay in the US long enough (even as a visitor), you will be treated as US resident for tax purposes and will be required to pay US taxes, depending on your Substantial Presence Test score.   

But, if you are moving to Texas from Canada, you will need to apply for a visa and prepare certain documentation, including:

  • A valid passport and copy
  • A birth certificate; Marriage certificate (for those moving to Texas with their spouse) 
  • Certain medical records
  • Two passport-style photographs
  • Police clearance certificate (from every country you’ve lived in the past year)
  • Specific financial documents (e.g., bank records, tax returns or pay stubs)
  • Various other documentation, depending on the specific type of visa

Once you prepare the required documents, you’ll need to fill out a visa application form. Which one you’ll have to complete will depend on the exact type of visa you’re looking to apply for. 

you will need a visa for moving to texas from canada

Choose the Type of US Visa to Apply For

Moving to Texas from Canada has been made relatively easy due to the high number of visas available to Canadian citizens. The US visas available to Canadians can be categorized into three main groups:

  • Student Visa
  • Work Visa
  • Family Visa

Moving to Texas From Canada: Student Visas

Student visas are probably the easiest ones to get if you’re a Canadian moving to Texas. Still, they are not a permanent solution because they’re only valid if you’re studying in Texas. The most common types of student visas available to Canadians are:

  • F-1 Visa — A visa for students looking to attend an academic program in the US. To qualify for this type of visa you need to be enrolled in a US college or university and must fill out the Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status). Also, you must show that you have enough money to pay for the tuition and living expenses. In some cases, an F-1 Visa will allow you to work in certain fields on or off college campus.
  • J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa — A visa for Canadians who are a part of the educational exchange programs in the US. Apart from students, this type of visa is available to scholars, professors, and other types of educational exchange visitors. To get a J-1 Visa, you have to be sponsored by a valid US institution and fill out Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status).

Moving to Texas From Canada: Work Visas

If you’re a Canadian moving to Texas, you’ll be happy to know that there are many US work visas available to you. Some of them are:

  • TN-1 Visa — Applying for the TN nonimmigrant visa is the easiest way for Canadians to start working in Texas. This type of work visa covers around 63 professional categories and has the lowest eligibility requirements, due to it being a part of the USMCA international agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada. 
  • H-1B Visa — This visa is a good option for those Canadians who work in specialty occupations that require a higher form of education. To apply for H-1B visas as a Canadian, you need to have a job offer from a US employer in an occupation covered by the visa’s requirements. There’s also the H-1B Visa lottery, which Canadians can apply for. 
  • L-1 Visa — This visa is for intracompany transfers of executive employees working in multinational companies to an office, affiliate, subsidiary, or parent company located in Texas.
  • E-1 and E-2 Visas — Also called the Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor Visas, the E-1 and E-2 US work visas are reserved for those Canadians who are involved in substantial international trade or investment between these two countries.
  • O-1 Visa — This type of visa is available to those Canadians who show extraordinary ability or achievement in their field of choice (e.g. science, art, education, athletics, etc.) 
  • B-1 Visa — While not technically a work visa, the B-1 does allow Candains to enter the US and participate in short-term business activities (e.g. meetings, consultations, negotiations, and similar). 

Moving to Texas From Canada: Family Visa

If you’re Canadian moving to Texas and have family members who are permanent US residents, you might be eligible for the following types of family visas:

  • Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas or IR Visas — These visas are available to Canadians who are immediate relieves of US citizens. Includes spouses, children under 21 and parents of US citizens. 
  • Family Preference Immigrant Visas — Includes different types of visas for more distant family relatives. Types of F visas available to Canadians are: F1, F2A, F2B, F3 and F4.
  • K Visas — Popularly known as fiancé visas , they allow Canadians to move to Texas to marry a US citizen. These visas can also serve as an entry point to getting a work visa. 

Find a Place to Stay

After applying for a US Visa, your next move should be to find a place to stay in Texas. Cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin are extremely popular, with all foreign immigrants, including Canadians, moving to Texas. However, they are also the most expensive places in the state regarding rent and house prices. For example, the average studio apartment in Austin will cost around $1,750 per month, and the average house price is around $533,700. 

However, because it is easy to get a mortgage loan in the US as a Canadian, you might be better off just buying a house instead of renting. With the right mortgage lender and enough money to cover the down payment, you should be able to pay less money per month on repaying the loan than you would otherwise spend on rent. This is true for Austin and many other places in Texas.

Want to buy a house in Texas as a Canadian? Need help with finding the best mortgage deal? Look no further than NRI! Book a free consultation or contact us to find out more.

When searching for the right place to stay in Texas, you should take into account the following:

  • Home prices — Texas is rather big, and house prices can vary greatly. You can find homes for under 300K but also luxury properties worth millions of dollars.)
  • Job Opportunities — Bigger cities like Austin, Dallas, or Houston, offer more work opportunities. But they are also a bit more expensive when compared to other parts of Texas.
  • Safety and crime rates in the neighborhood — On average, Texas is pretty safe, compared to some other US states. But, if you’re moving to Texas with your family, and particularly if you have small children, be sure to check the crime statistics for the place you’re considering.
  • Transportation and schools — How well is the place connected with other parts of Texas? What are the schools like in the area? (especially important for Canadians who are moving to Texas with kids)

Actually Moving to Texas From Canada

After you’ve prepared the documents, got yourself a visa, and figured out your living situation, it’s time for the most stressful and time-consuming part of this entire process — the act of moving to Texas. Based on how much stuff you’ll be bringing, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to hire a moving company. And, if you hire movers, make sure to have enough spare cash to cover the costs. Depending on various factors (like where in Canada you are moving from), movers can cost you anywhere from $1,200 to $10,000. 

The Final Step of Moving to Texas: After the Move

Now, you would think that once you’re done unpacking your stuff at your new Texas residence, that would be it, and your move to this great state would be done. Unfortunately, it’s not. Here are some essential things that you should do after moving to Texas as a Canadian:

  • Get a Social Security Number or SSN — If your work visa allows for it, you should definitely try to get an SSN. You will need this number to pay your taxes and to gain access to different government benefits and financial services. However, if you can’t get an SSN, you should get an ITIN, which will, amongst other things, allow you to pay taxes in the US.
  • Open a US Bank Account — To build a US credit score, work, and get paid in Texas, you’ll want to open a US bank account. Doing that will make your new life in Texas much easier, as you won’t need to rely on international banking services.
  • Figure out US taxes — Moving to Texas and living there means that you will have to pay taxes like any US citizen. You will be taxed on both your foreign and US source income. Because paying taxes in the US and Texas is very different from Canada, we advise you to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to help you with US taxes. You’ll need to file an individual tax form 1040 or 1040NR, amongst other things, and it can get really complicated really fast.

Need Help Buying a House in Texas? Contact NRI

NRI is a full-cycle agency that helps Canadians buy real estate in Texas. We help Canadian nationals in every step of purchasing a property in this great state: 

From connecting you with our network of real estate agents with international experience to finding the best mortgage lenders and ensuring all tax returns are filed according to US laws.   

If you’re moving from Canada to Texas and need help finding a place to live or are looking to purchase an investment property, NRI is here for you. Book a free call or contact us to learn more.

Luka
Founder & CEO
Luka Malkovich is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in international real estate investing. As the CEO of Nonresident Investor, Luka’s mission is to educate foreign nationals about the US real estate market and help them secure funding and buy property in America. That’s why he’s using his expertise to turn the NRI blog into a knowledge hub for anyone interested in learning about US real estate. This article was written by a professional content writer in conjunction with Luka Malkovich. Luka has thoroughly reviewed this article and has given his final approval before publishing.

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