Moving Back to Canada: Latest News
April 4, 2017
Do you own real estate in Canada?
In years past, living abroad while owning real estate in Canada was pretty simple. As long as you didn't physically live in it yourself (except as a recreation property), all was good. Now, however, the rules are tightening up. If you sell, you must pay tax. If you rent, you must pay tax on the income. All reasonable requirements, to be sure, but more care must now be taken to ensure you are complying with all the rules.
March 3, 2017
"Cracking down on international tax evasion and avoidance"
This is from a huge banner headline on the Canada Revenue Agency web site. When I see such headlines I understand the concern these messages raise in Expat Canadians everywhere. Not to worry: The first sentence after this headline can help you feel more secure: "Canada has one of the highest voluntary compliance rates in the world - most Canadians file and pay their taxes on time." Yes we do. Is it wise to understand and plan the financial and tax implications of moving back to Canada? Yes. Fear? No.Read the full story on the CRA web site
Special Report - November 2016
For Canadians living in the U.S.: Considerations for you as America enters a new political Reality
This is a time of change and a time of concern in the United States as the country enters a new political Reality in 2017. Here are some considerations for Canadians currently living, working, and traveling in the United States. These considerations are based on the experience of helping hundreds of Canadians and their families move back to Canada, many of whom are mid-journey as you read this.
Please share your ideas, considerations, and concerns regarding the situation in the U.S. and your plans for the future. I will include them in this web site so other Canadians can benefit from them. Thank you on behalf of the thousands of Canadians who visit this web site every month!
August 21, 2016
"Ottawa's new air-travel rule catches dual citizens by surprise"
If you are a dual-citizen, Canadian + another country, you will need a valid Canadian passport to fly back into Canada soon...
July 4, 2016
"Welcome to the new Toronto: the most fascinatingly boring city in the world"
This is a very insightful read and well-worth the time for anyone moving back to Canada and to Toronto in particular.
June 17, 2016
"Canada to begin collecting exit passport data"It had to happen eventually, no? Most Canadians abroad have experienced being tracked on entry AND exit from countries they live in or visit. Canada has been an exception. You are only tracked on entry, not exit. But that is about to change...
The full story
May 18, 2016
"Expat depression and repatriation"
In this blog posting on her site "The Expat Partner's Survival Guide", Clara Wiggins touches on some very important concerns. Being prepared for your move back to Canada psychologically is really important!
Check out our "Why move back to Canada?" section for more insights and real stories from returning Canadians!
April 15, 2016
"Bank of Canada says economy is growing more than it previously thought"
(Globalnews.ca, April 13, 2016)
One of the puzzling things you hear is the mixed news about the economy in Canada. On one hand, if you have followed Canadian financial news over the last year, apparently Canada is in dire straits. But if you visit Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, and other bright spots in Canada, you can see and feel the real growth, energy, and positivity. Good stuff is happening! Why the difference between what is in the news and what you can see for yourself?
I, Paul Kurucz, the author of this article and this web site, can offer one possible perspective on this puzzling difference:
We are using old, outdated metrics to measure Canada's economic growth.
Computer models built by economists, investment analysts, bankers, and others are using variables such as oil prices to determine the *overall* health of the economy and in doing so, drive currency changes and news that this negative.
Possible new metrics abound!
This is the 21st century. The biggest success stories in the stock markets are tech companies - idea factories and services - not old physical industries like oil. So here are some possible metrics to consider, and how Canada is doing with them:
Immigration - Positive. Bright people moving to Canada and making good things happen.
Education - Positive. Not just for Canadians, but huge numbers of international students bring billions of "clean" dollars to Canada. And the best and brightest? Many stay after they graduate and build Canada even more.
Tourism - Positive.
Housing - Positive. Yes, there is concern about over-heated real estate markets, but higher prices drive development, which drives jobs, which drives spending, which drives more jobs and government tax revenues, which drives...you get the idea.
Tech - Positive. I visited Toronto recently and was astonished by the vibrancy of the tech industry there and in surrounding areas such as Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Ottawa, and others. Wow! And Vancouver and Victoria are booming tech communities, too, quietly buliding economic depth in these "export" industries.
Film industry - Positive. Studios can't get space and people right now in Vancouver, there is so much business as Netflix, Amazon, and other studies race to build their in-house content inventory.
Leadership - Positive. Across Canada, at all levels of government and in many businesses, leadership is fresher, more positive, educated, and determined to make a difference. The "rose-coloured glasses" effect? Certainly a danger, but it is hard to ignore that things work really well in Canada - more so than any time in Canadian history - which is why so many people want to move here!
"Yes, but what about the federal government deficit?"
Deficits are a problem...in the long term. But who is the government of Canada borrowing from during this short to medium term transition in our economy? And where is the money being spent?
Great questions! Firstly, the world is awash in savings and particulary in Canada, retirement savings. So the money can largely be borrowed from ourselves. And where is it being spent? While not all government spending is on economic investment, much is. Infrastructure, for example. Another foundation of our economy.
All good news? No, but not as dark and bad as it is made out to be, perhaps.
In the end, It is all relative
I communicate with clients from around the world. In the end, Canada is relatively well off based almost every measurable metric. That is why we are the one place everyone wants to emigrate to! And in teaching international MBA students studying in Canada, I see and hear first-hand from them what it is like elsewhere and that they want to stay here after they graduate. The stories some of them share are humbling and a reminder of how lucky we are to be in Canada!
February 23, 2016
Why is Vancouver real estate so expensive? Mercer just ranked Vancouver for 2016 as #5 in the world for "quality of living" - the top city in North America!
The top American city on the list? San Francisco: #28.
The world is voting with their feet, and bringing their North American real estate desires to Vancouver.
Photo credit: Coal Harbor Sunset, Flickr User: tdlucas5000
December 10, 2015
Guaranteed: The Most *Boring* News of 2015!
(But still important for returning Canadians!) The
long standing and well-known "B4" form, which is the list
you use to detail what you are bringing into Canada when you return, has a
new name! It is now a "BSF186" form. Now you know. May your
end of 2015 be more peaceful and joyful because of this news. ;-)
May 15, 2015
This site is in the news!
Leaving the U.S. to retire back to Canada? Some thoughts from Paul Kurucz in this New York Times article! .... read more.
April 10, 2015
Canada moving sideways economically. A good time to return home, or not?
What are the impacts on you, Dear Canadian Expatriate, on the major shifts happening in Canada right now, from a 25% drop in the Canadian dollar to jobs vanishing overnight in Alberta? A few considerations:
These are just three aspects of the Canadian economy going sideways right now. There are many others. Where the puzzle pieces land in the near future are anyone's guess. But for sure, we live in interesting times and an extra thoughtful approach to moving back to Canada makes sense right now.
December 22, 2014:
"Canada launches pilot program for spouses waiting for permanent residency"
"The federal government will start issuing open work permits to help the spouses of Canadians already living in the country but waiting for permanent residency, under a one-year pilot program launched today..."
Great news for many Canadian expats who marry abroad and wish to bring their spouses to Canada!
Full story on CBC's web site
August 15, 2014:
The CANAda Fund
Canadians Abroad Needing Assistance
A new fund, established August 2014
August 14, 2014:
The top 3 questions Canadian expats want answered:
Have more questions?
Professional Support Services also available.
June 6, 2014:
Come back to a new car in Canada?!
Establishing credit in Canada so you can buy a new car is a common concern - one I have heard many times. After a long time abroad, you feel like you are a "nobody" here to the financial system.
You don't have to feel that way anymore!
Check out our new "buying a new car in Canada when you return" resource to learn more...
April 22, 2014:
Photo: Creative Commons licenced: Flickr user Beatrice Murch, "Border Crossing", accessed April 22, 2014
If you are a part-time expat, moving between the U.S. and Canada, note that changes are afoot in tracking your border crossings. This will apply to not just "Snowbirds", but people who work and live on both sides fo the border and travel alot. While there are lots of potential visa options that can work for you, many people just move back and forth at will as tourists, trusting that their days on both sides of the border aren't really being counted. Apparently, now they will be:
January 13, 2014:
Last November I posted a request for feedback on why a wave of people were suddenly moving back to Canada from Australia. The responses in the last couple of months can be summed up in one word:
Apparently, things are changing in Australia. These changes have been indicated to me as including the cost of living (prices in general), the economy, culture changes, government services, attitudes toward change itself, and more. The biggest single irritant has been the increase in prices. In the 10 years I have been running this service and web site, I have never heard such bitterness from Canadians anywhere. Even during the recent Greek and Italian economic crises, and the waves of emails I received from Canadians from there, I never heard from a single bitter and angry person.
Here are a few direct quotes indicating some of the challenges being faced in Australia (non-bitter facts):
- "Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live, and the costs of things like utilities and consumer goods have always been comparatively more expensive. This has implications for retirement. The cost of living in Victoria, BC is considerably better in comparison. On top of that I can buy a nice home outright from the sale of my house in Sydney. Heating your home in Australia is expensive as well - albeit the winters are mild and much shorter. The only thing I would honestly miss would be the cultural life in Sydney (music and the arts) which is very stimulating."
- "Just read the Australia news on Bloomberg.com and you'll know right away why people are returning from there. The resource sector (commodities) is taking a beating. Just look how the price of gold has dropped. "
- "Although Canada pay higher tax, all other sources that I have read indicate that the cost of living in Australia is much, much higher than in Canada."
Please comment on the changes taking place in Australia.
November 5, 2013: OK, what's up Australia?
I am getting a relative flood of contacts from people in Australia wanting to move back to Canada. What's up, folks? Please share your thoughts on the seeming momentum back to Canada from Australia! What is causing it?
September 22, 2013: Happy Fall Equinox!
September 9, 2013: Moving Back to Canada Planner now available for immediate download!
A comprehensive companion planner and checklist for moving
back to Canada now available for immediate download. In easily editable
Microsoft Word format so you can customize it to meet your planning needs.
Purchase and Download now:
(PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Amex)
June 1, 2013: Top reasons for large wave of returning Canadians this year
In April of this year I posted a request for your feedback on why there is such a large wave of Canadians returning home this spring and summer.
Here are the top 5 reasons*, with some quotes:
1. The desire to be closer to loved ones. Either aging parents, children, or family in general:
2. Economic chaos in another part of the
3. For retirement in Canada after living abroad.
4. Health care and the generally supportive Canadian culture and social support system.
5. To create a new life in Canada. This is generally the choice by younger returning Canadians, those born abroad, and/or those who marry a non-Canadian and want to start a life together in Canada. Canada is a place where many come to fulfill their hopes and dreams.
* Note that these results are simply anecdotal and not from a scientifically prepared study. As well, the implied ranking is only from communications I have received through this web site.
Please add your story! Contact me.
April 2, 2013: Large new wave of returning Canadians this year
A large new wave of Canadians are returning home this spring
and summer. Not clear is why the sudden rush
to come back to Canada?
Here are some of the previous waves:
July 2008 - July 2009: A huge wave after the financial crash in the U.S.
Mid 2011 - mid 2012: Another wave, this time people who had stuck out the U.S. rough times until they were fed up waiting for a recovery. And as the U.S. crash impacted the rest of the world, large numbers of Canadians returned from further abroad. Finally, the European crisis caused a group of Canadians who were suffering financial distress in Europe to decide to return to Canada.
2013: A sudden new wave of returnees, as indicated by
large numbers of people contacting me and visiting this web site.
Why are you returning? Please let me know!
Feb13, 2013: "Re-Entry Reality" Podcast
A free podcast you can listen to right now! "Sabrina Ziegler is an intercultural trainer who just returned to Vancouver, Canada after living in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany for the last eight years...."
Live event: March 12, 2013
September 1, 2012: Moving Back to Canada now on Facebook!
Join the conversation, meet others moving back to Canada, get help, and share your story! Check out the Moving Back to Canada Facebook page:
Moving Back To Canada - Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MovingBackToCanada)
The Facebook page for Moving Back to Canada is a companion to this web site and can help you connect with others returning to Canada. Perhaps you will meet new friends moving to the same city in Canada as you are!
August 7, 2012: 500 email responses to questions asked through this web site!
After going through the questions I have received from people who contact me through this web site, I came to a rather surprising conclusion: In the last 9 years, I have personally responded by email to over 500 people!
I was wondering why I seemed to be able to help 95% of recent queries - it was because I researched and answered so many questions!
I do this work on a volunteer basis - this is one of the ways I enjoy helping people. I have spent thousands of hours of my own time in research, emailing, building, and maintaining this web site...and it was worth it, because so many people have sent follow-up thank you emails, donated, and more recently, engaged my new advising service.
How long will it take me to get to 1000 email responses?
My guess is 5 years...
July 17, 2012: "The Average Canadian is now Richer Than the Average American"
Apparently this is a historic event as it is the first time in history that average Canadian family net worth has exceeded that of American families. There are two articles worth exploring on this bit of news:
Time (U.S.): "The Average Canadian is Now Richer than the Average American" (July 17, 2012)
Globe and Mail (Canada): "Canadians are Richer than they Think" (June 30, 2012)
Implications: Two important variables: The strong Canadian dollar and average real estate values, which have not dropped, when their American counterparts have. Does this mean Canada has a stronger economy than the U.S.? Maybe, on a per-capita basis, but remember that Canada's economy is 1/10th the size of the American economy! So this may not be such a fair comparison...
April 12, 2012: A big myth debunked: Wealthy Canadians actually pay less tax than wealthy Americans. Really!
There is a common myth that prevails among Canadians: Wealthy Americans have low taxes compared to wealthy Canadians and as a result, Americans are richer than we are.
Well, this myth is simply not true, particularly if you are in the upper middle class and higher income brackets in Canada.
I grew up with this story, I have heard it all my adult life, and I hear it from Canadians moving back to Canada.
A comparison of taxes for someone making $400,000 per year:
If you are concerned about significant tax differences between Canada and United States impacting you, think again: Canada does not have an onerous tax system compared to the United States.
This is way too simple a comparison. There are lots of other variables that need to be taken into account. Overall taxes and financially driven lifestyle variables change by state and province.
If you have incentive to minimize your tax burden, do your math with the help of tax professionals, if required: Compare the taxes and costs of living in the particular American state and city you live in (or want to live in) with the specific province and city in Canada you live in (or want to live in). This will give you an accurate picture of what you are facing in terms of tax differences on not only your income, but your lifestyle (spending).
February 15, 2012: NEW! Advising and Consulting Service available!
"A smooth and easy return to Canada!"
After requests for more professional support and personal attention to your returning to Canada situation, I am now offering an Advising and Consulting Service...
February 6, 2012: A global migration to Canada happening?
Is there a mass global migration happening? I am getting increasing numbers of contacts from people not just moving back to Canada, but seeking out Canada for the first time - trying to immigrate to Canada. Why might this be happening? Please let me know any thoughts you might have!
November 24, 2011: UK or Australian returnees?
Are you returning to Canada from the UK or Australia? If yes, please let me know. I am building a dedicated area of the site for each of your places in order to address concerns specific to your experience. Please share any stories, insights, questions, and/or tips and I will include them in the content, with credit and thanks to you! Those that follow you back to Canada REALLY appreciate the practical and human nature of what you have to share!
November 18, 2011: Laws and rules changing - with potential impacts on returning Canadians.
Of particular note right now are lots of changes taking place legally. For example, Prime Minister Harper and President Obama have announced a new border security agreement will be released in December 2011. This will undoubtedly affect returning Canadians.
On a regulation note, Ontario just tightened up their driver's license
"reciprocity", affecting those people returning from the U.S.
or other countries. While a straight exchange used to be possible, now
there are new requirements, such as having a letter from some U.S. states
on official letterhead showing proof of driving history, producing a driver's
insurance extract, etc. While these rules are undoubtedly well-intentioned
and will hopefully ensure that new drivers in Canada are safe drivers,
they do add another layer of complexity to those Canadians moving back
October 4, 2011: Update: "What's going on in the USA?"
About 6 weeks ago I posted a request to Canadians living in USA. I asked that you let me know your reasons for moving back to Canada so that I could understand the sudden surge in visitors to this web site and be able to offer the latest tips and insights for others. Generous messages came in often daily from across America and across a spectrum of personal life situations. A huge thank you to you for your generous sharing of your experiences, fears, and hopes!
A summary of what you shared:
A big thank you to all of you who responded and shared your reasons and stories! I hope this summary is of value to others considering moving back to Canada.
September 8, 2011: "Americans going to Canada to find work"
In recent history there has never been such a reversal: Americans coming to Canada to find work. It has always been the other way around.
July 26, 2011: "What's going on in the USA?"
Visits to this site from people moving back to Canada from the USA have skyrocketed in the last couple of months. July 25th saw the largest number of visitors in one day to this site.
If you live in the USA and are considering moving back, or are already returning to Canada, would you please send me a quick note as to why? I will post summary responses here for others.
Also, check out the new "Moving back to Canada from USA" resource page!
July 25, 2011: "Universities in Canada?"
Yesterday I replied to a note from a Canadian expat who was interested
in my thoughts on Canadian university options for his daughter.
Now, I am not saying Canada is not a wonderful, safe, and prosperous country - right now. But it does not take a genius to see that this will be China's century. And Brazil's. And India's. If you have a child who will reach their career peak in 20-30 years, might it make sense to prepare them now for where the best opportunities will be?
Full disclosure: I teach international marketing at a University in Canada, so I am both privy to some good data to back up my assertions and at the same time biased because of what I do. The university I teach at knows this stuff: They offer a combination UK MSc in International Business (delivered in Canada) with a Canadian MBA. Students? Mostly from China, India, South America, the Middle East, ...
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