Leaving Canada and Moving on

Information on what to do when it's time to leave Canada; including notifying schools and residency officials, closing bank accounts, ending contracts for utilities and insurance, exporting cars and moving pets...

Whatever the reasons for leaving Canada and moving elsewhere, there are a number of tasks to be completed before departure.

Anyone who registered with their Embassy on arrival must advise them that they are moving on. They should also let the Embassy know of their next destination.

Points to be considered include:

Education

Give schools a reasonable amount of notice of a child's departure. There may be outstanding bills for school fees, transport or meals to be settled.

On registration at a new school in the new country a parent may be asked for a certificate stating the latest grade passed by the child. This should be requested from the school when giving notice of departure. Canadian schools will provide the latest results and a summary of the child's progress and up-to-date test results. Leave a forwarding address for any correspondence.

Housing Issues

Rented properties

The termination period of a rental contract can vary depending on the clauses in the agreement between the landlord and the tenant.

Finding a new tenant for the landlord may result in the acceptance of a reduced notice period or a sub-letting arrangement if necessary.

The original inventory report (Condition Inspection Report) is reviewed together by the exiting tenant and owner. All damages excluding normal wear-and-tear are agreed.

The landlord/agent has up to 15 days to reimburse the security deposit or must apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch if any money is needed for repairs to the property. If a pet deposit has been paid as well (if a pet has been allowed), this must also be reimbursed within 15 days.

A property sale can take some time. Property agents can deal with visits and agree on the terms of the sale based on the agreement.

A property Capital Gains Tax applies to non-resident sellers at the normal Canadian tax rate of 50 percent of the gain. A non-resident is required to pay an estimate of the tax before the sale, an amount equal to 25 percent of the gain.

Insurance

For rented properties, cancel insurance as soon as the property agreement comes to an end.

If leaving Canada before a property is sold, the insurance should not be cancelled. Check the terms and conditions of the policy to ensure they are no limitations of insurance depending on whether it is occupied or empty. In any case, property insurance can be modified to reflect the content value.

Cancellation can occur at completion date when the property is sold. To cancel the insurance, send a registered letter to the insurance company. The insured person may qualify for a partial refund.

Home Security and Alarms

If a contract has been taken out with a home security company, contact them to inform them of the move.

Utilities

Utility companies will need to be informed of the new address even if only moving to a different area of Canada. Utility bills will need to be settled and meters read. If meters are situated inside the property, access will be required.

Healthcare and Social Security

Anyone who has received dental or medical treatment while in Canada should ask for their records to be forwarded to their new practitioner and, if possible, retain a copy.

If private health insurance cover is in force, contact the company to cancel the contract or to inform them of the new address if the policy can be carried over to another country.

Notify the Medical Services Plan if permanently moving away from Canada.

Organisations should be contacted to cancel any benefits such as child allowance.

Business and Tax Issues

Banking

It is not recommended to close a bank account immediately when leaving the country as some outstanding invoices may remain and direct debits may still be in place. In addition, insurance companies, the tax office, landlord and other companies may need to refund outstanding balances.

Any direct debits and standing orders should be cancelled. A list of all direct debits can usually be obtained from the bank upon request. Before cancelling a direct debit, it is recommended to ensure that all invoices have been settled.

Many banks allow clients to close accounts and change addresses online. If this service is not available, accounts should be closed in person or by sending a registered letter.

Credit card companies will also need to be notified of a new address to which to send statements.

Income tax

The new address should be provided to the tax office (as indicated on the last tax return).

Mail Forwarding

Post can be forwarded to a new address for an annual fee. The service must be organised at the local post office or online via Canada Post at least five working days before moving.

  • For more information and to apply to use the mail forwarding service: Click here

Vehicles and Driving

Cars and bikes

In the event of exporting a car or motorbike, the owner must follow the applicable procedure for importing a car to that specific country. Contact the local Embassy or Consulate for information on registration procedures and local regulations in the destination country.

Insurance

If requested, Canadian insurance companies can provide a proof of no-claims bonus or the level of discount applicable when the policy is cancelled. Because the discount percentage and the associated level of no-claims bonus are not identical in all countries, it is important to ensure both are indicated on the certificate.

Exporting Pets

Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of additional vaccinations and quarantine. Moving an animal will almost certainly require documentation and possible additional vaccinations or similar medical treatment.

  • For information on exporting pets from Canada: Click here

Further Information

  • Information for Australians from the Australian Automobile Association: Click here