A Friend of a Friend

We’re being hosted in Ottawa by a friend of a friend, Bill, who could not possibly have been more hospitable. We have an office, a bedroom and a bathroom to ourselves, and enthusiastic support for our efforts.

Most repat candidates will have closer family connections in the province they are moving to.

Such family as I have in Canada is in Quebec, and so wouldn’t be able to provide a temporary address in Ontario. Bill is entirely amenable to receiving mail on our behalf.

It’s easier nowadays to get in touch with old classmates from high school, and some of those have proven friendly. These are not necessarily the people I would have imagined connecting with; some have been very kind and friendly. As Anglo-Montrealers, of course many of us have ended up in Ontario. So if you hail from English Montreal, especially if your partner is not fluent in French, I strongly recommend following up on whatever threads you might be able to pick up.

The Puzzle

M writes:

Here are the constraints as I understand them

IMMIGRATION

Immigration Canada won’t talk to you until you’ve submitted an application, but it’s not clear how to proceed. In particular, should I move back to Canada and then import Irene, or should we apply from America?

The former appears more expensive, but administratively easier. In the latter case I have to prove a bona fide intent to move back to Canada, and I’m not sure how to do this.

This uncertainty ripples through the other decisions.

I’m relying on CIBC (my family’s bank) to recommend a lawyer, else I’m just going to pick one based on Google recommendations.

CUSTOMS

It appears I need a manifest of items to follow, as though I had a shipping crate arriving from Thailand, rather than two places on the same continent, one of which I am leaving and one of which I am moving into. I don’t know what the duties are on the various items.

I don’t know how to modify and import the Prius.

HOUSING AND CREDIT

Because my family has a pre-existing relationship with CIBC, the way is paved a bit. But it appears that a US credit rating does not transfer to Canada. So it’s not clear how to obtain a rental. Or in general how to re-establish credit.

There are a lot of apartments for rent quite inexpensively but they tend to be tiny. And it’s hard to look because we aren’t sure when exactly we will be taking the plunge. Should I get a tiny studio in a marginal neighborhood to establish residency? Or would that just backfire?

HEALTH INSURANCE

Apparently there is a need to live 3 months in Ontario for OHIP coverage to start. Presumably each of us will need catastrophic coverage from a private insurer in the mean time. How do we convince OHIP to start the clock ticking? How do we get private coverage in the interim?

At what instant does my residence in the US terminate? At what instant does my residence in Canada start? Are they simultaneous? Same questions for Irene. These may affect insurance among other things.

BUSINESS IN THE USA

Can we keep continuity on the LLC? It might be easier to bill US clients (or perhaps accept Patreon donations which I guess is legally the same). How does that affect taxes? If not, do we have to add shutting down the LLC as among the bureaucratic marathon? If that has to happen, when does the clock start ticking?

UPDATE:

We’ve finally made contact with an attorney. Hopefully we’ll get a contract set up before we leave the country next week.

Lots of rental options in Ottawa for less than we pay in Austin. So that part is going well. We just don’t know whether to sign a lease and move right away…