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U.S. Immigration Guide for Canadian Citizens and Residents

F-1 Student Visa General Information: The United States welcomes foreign students to American language schools, high schools, universities and other institutions of higher education. Thousands of learning institutions are approved by the USCIS to accept foreign students as full time students. It is possible to change schools and universities while being on an F-1 Visa without leaving the country.

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  • Easy to Understand Instructions
  • Apply Online or by Mail
  • Pricing and Fee Information Included
  • Checklist of Required Documents
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What’s included

  • Overview of the U.S. Immigration System
  • U.S. immigration options for Canadians
  • Canadian citizens traveling to the U.S. without a visa
  • Traveling to the U.S. as a landed immigrant in Canada
  • Information on how long a Canadian citizen or resident can stay in the U.S.
  • How to apply for border crossing cards (Nexus and FAST)
  • Application Waivers, Exceptions and Special Cases
  • Visa, Green Card and citizenship eligibility information for Canadians
  • Applying for United States permanent residence (Green Card)
  • Canadians applying for U.S. citizenship
  • List of required documents
  • Information on filing fees
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • List of USCIS offices nationwide
  • Directory of U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Canada
  • Information on how to download the required immigration forms

Download Immigrating to the US for Canadian Citizens and Residents Guide for more information

Border crossing for Canadians: There are several ways for Canadian citizens to cross the border to the Unites States; with or without first obtaining a visa. Canadians who are only visiting the U.S. are generally permitted to stay for as long as 6 months without a visa. There are several border-crossing programs to facilitate fast and convenient border crossing for Canadian Citizens and landed immigrants. “Snowbird” Visa: A Snowbird visa is not an official term. It is an expression related to Canadians who divide their time between the U.S. and Canada. It is not uncommon for Canadians to spend the winter months in the warmer regions of the U.S., and then go home to enjoy Canada in the summer. Green Card: There are several ways that Canadian citizens or permanent residents could obtain a green card to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. Most Canadians who obtain permanent resident status in the U.S. do it as a close relative to a U.S. citizen. A close relative would generally be a spouse or child. Another common way to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. is through employment.

Some temporary visitors, students and workers on non-immigrant visas are also allowed and sometimes required to obtain a Social Security number. The Social Security card is a very important document in the United States. Not only does it entitle individuals to certain benefits once retired, but employers, banks, schools and the USCIS all use the social security card as a form of identification. Social Security is a complex system that is linked to many other government and private databases and services.

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