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Checking Out of the US

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How many tractor trailers does it take to move a family of five to Canada? Only one-after shedding a considerable amount of weight.

With plans to re-stock on pretty much everything in the new home, we've learned from the mover, Customs online and our immigration lawyer about documents to be aware of and information to be compiled. Each situation is considered on its own with regard to how and why you're moving to Canada. Aside from passports and accompanying familial documents, the primary applicant's work permit, paperwork from the immigration lawyer and money for the Work and Study Permits, what else will we need?

Customs at the border will want two lists-one with the items arriving with us, the other with those that will follow. They also want to know the approximate value of each item. This is one of my favorite reasons for filling one or two dumpsters before leaving. They will then provide us with a temporary admission permit for the items. The mover is responsible for separately providing Customs at the border with the information on what is brought in on the truck.

A responsibility of mine was signing over Power of Attorney for the closing on our house in New York. It was highly recommended for my husband to do so as well, just in case he can't make it either. On a lighter but deeper note, I managed to address both a personal and professional desire by squeezing in one more poetry reading. Another move towards sanity. It was an opportunity to meet up once more with one of the sectors of the population that's given me the most comfort. The support and comradery is immediate upon entering the room. For a big city, it's a unique feeling, and I hope to find a similar community in Toronto.

A responsibility as a parent has been to allow the children considerable playtime with the neighbors, especially with it being summer. As much as any help from them at all in packing and sorting has been essential, it would have been wrong to deny them their need for normalcy outdoors, although my oldest is an indoor kind of kid. And trying to use fans rather than air-conditioning, the dense heat of the outdoors has been easier for them to take. I've had to take air-conditioning breaks due to respiratory risks. While we've all had Al Gore in mind, compromise has been a medical issue.

During and between home and office tasks, we've had lots of phone tango, keeping in touch on a slew of issues from the inconclusive moving date to setting up a bank account in Canada before getting there (a lender requirement). We're also in the process of establishing internet service with a different provider, as our current one doesn't reach our neighborhood. And in the middle of everything, the realtor called me with a question that had me saying, "You're asking ME?" The realty attorney's office then informed me that things were going slowly, but according to plan...barely. The possibility of a back-up buyer was quietly put on the table. And with little time left between tasks to debate the issue of what to take versus donate or discard, I've expressed the need to turn my four cents of decision-making into...ten.
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The industry that is enabling us to emigrate is not typically busy in August, but this employer happens to have its own current busy season, adding more steps to our move. It's a detail I keep returning to, but those in our family who are newest to the new home will momentarily be the first to actually live there. Incidentally, the mover is crunched in a busy season as well. Everyone who's moving to Canada goes during the first half of August. We have company...and kindred spirits.

It's the day of departure. It has also been a movable line, as it is one of the few things we have only recently been given to control. And though the summer heat has deterred me, the intent has been to leave only the basics for my husband to deal with upon his return. He simply won't have time to do more, and the closing date for the house in New York was just-gulp-tentatively set for next week. It is, indeed, good news, but please let the movers and garbage truck(s) do their jobs.

Looking back on the time and effort it's taken to get here and the opportunity that finally presented itself, we feel blessed, as my progressive oldest child thanks me for moving her to Canada.
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Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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