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Thread: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

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    Default Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Hello Miami Beach 411.

    I am a 18 year old male, living in Toronto (Canadian Citizen) I just recently finished high school. I really want to move to Miami to live as soon as possible. I have family members that live in Biscayne Bay a couple minutes from South Beach that are willing to sponsor me so I can move to the United States. When I move there I won't have to pay rent or any bills and have my own car because my family there is pretty wealthy. I also have $20,000 invested which will go towards schooling fees If i'm able to get into Miami Dade college or University Miami. Both my parents and family in Miami has agreed that this is a good idea, and I really want to achieve this. Would it be possible for me to do this? Pros/Cons of moving to Miami? Is this a good Idea? Should I just finish up college/university here in Toronto they move there when I am finished?
    Last edited by JasonGatto; 04-18-2012 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Wow Jason, it sounds like a great start to living in Miami. If you can move here with a place to stay and family, then you are way ahead of everyone else moving here. UM is a great school, you should look at attending there if you can. What are you studying?

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Hi Jess thanks for responding.


    Yeah it's quite an advantage to have family living in in Miami. I plan on becoming a pilot but going for a degree in business as a back up plan. Is there any way I can claim in-state tuition if I stay with my family in Miami for a certain period of time? because I did a little research and tuition for non Us citizen at Miami Dade college is $26,000 a year and tuition at UM is $39,000 a year which is exceeding my budget for school by a tremendous amount.


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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Yeah, as an international student you'd be pretty screwed.

    To get in-state you'd have to first become a legal U.S. resident (which takes some time) and live in Florida for one year as a non-student. So, basically, no you couldn't unless you wanted to wait a long time to do so and just work here for a few years until everything was in order.

    However, if you want to live in Miami, going to school here is a good start. Maybe apply for some scholarships and that will cut your cost down. You won't be eligible for any federal student aid since you're not a US citizen. But maybe some private scholarships.

    Also, just FYI, Univ of Miami is a private school. So tuition is the same regardless of residence. It may be more for International, but it's still gonna be over 30K a year.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Thanks for the info Matt.

    Well I am 18 now and planning on moving to Miami september this year. Do you think I can achieve legal U.S. residence by the age of 21? or does it take many more years than that? My family in Miami also brought up something called "Sponsoring" I'm not to familiar what that really means but would that be of help of them sponsoring me? to achieve my goal faster.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    You can't really establish resident status by just living in the US for a few years. It depends on what visa you're on. It will help if you can ask your relatives what type of sponsorship they're talking about. Generally if they are not your parents or brother or sister or husband/wife, the only sponsorship they can offer is by offering you a job in a business they run (and there are guidelines about what type of job).

    Without knowing more I'd say you'll be better off completing your college education in Toronto, has better schools and will be cheaper than Miami. You can always apply for graduate school at UM later.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    A sponsor is someone who supports a foreign relative in their process to immigrate to the USA and obtain their Green Card (permanent residence). It's not a matter of acheiving your goal "faster" - it's to be able to acheive it at all -- without sponsorship you can't become a permanent resident, period. It doesn't just happen by you being here for some amount of time.

    If it's done by a relative, it's not associated with a job, or work - that's an altogether different type of sponsorship that's done by a company sponsoring you specifically to work for them, with a "work visa".

    Either way, you can't - (er, well aren't supposed to) work in the USA until you either go through the whole process & get your green card -or- are hired by a company who provides the work visa. And you won't be able to claim in-state residency for the purpose of attending university during the process either - you can only claim residency after you get the Green Card.

    The sponsor 'petitions' the government on behalf of the immigrating relative, by submitting various applications & forms to the U.S. Customs & Immigration Service (USCIS), and jumping through a bunch of various documentation hoops, until the last step which is the in-person interview with USCIS. The whole process takes takes anywhere from 18 months to 3 years to complete (depending on the various factors of your specific situation, and the country you come from). So yep, it is possible that you could get it all done by the time you turn 21.

    If they are not "immediate" relatives (mother, father, sister, brother, spouse or child), they can still sponsor you; they just have to submit an additional document called an "I-864 - Affidavit of Support"; This means they are legally bound to be financially "responsible" for you while you are present in the USA; so the government knows that you will not be here working, and that your financial well-being is taken care of, instead of you looking for work to support yourself while you're here going through the greencard process.

    Once you go through the whole process, you get your Green Card, which means you become a permanent resident (not a citizen, but you could continue on to do that if you want, after 3 years of being a green card holder).

    I'd guess your family already knows about how this process works, or they wouldn't have suggested it, but if you want to read up on it, here's some info:

    http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Resources/A1en.pdf

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/usc...00082ca60aRCRD

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/usc...00082ca60aRCRD
    Last edited by Catt; 04-20-2012 at 04:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    So it looks like you either will pay International tuition or go to school elsewhere. It's ok. Miami isn't going anywhere.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Thanks for the information guys.

    Man this really sucks lol, I thought it was way easier than this. Although the last option that Catt gave sounds pretty good right now, really considering doing that. My family there are pretty wealthy so im sure they wouldn't mind supporting me for a a couple years while I go through this process. Hopefully it doesn't put a tremendous delay on my education.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    it doesn't have to delay your education - you'll just pay more for it.

    and I would imagine that if family has offered to sponsor you, they know what it means and what it entails - perhaps that includes helping with the costs of said education.

    and don't feel bad, most people think it's easy peasy to immigrate here.... just a walk in the park, lol, then when they find out what it REALLY takes, many never go through with it....
    Last edited by Catt; 04-20-2012 at 05:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonGatto View Post
    ...Although the last option that Catt gave sounds pretty good right now, really considering doing that. My family there are pretty wealthy so im sure they wouldn't mind supporting me for a a couple years while I go through this process. Hopefully it doesn't put a tremendous delay on my education.
    I am sorry to be a wet blanket here, but Catt's information is not correct (or possibly being misinterpreted). The I-864 Affidavit of Support is not sufficient to qualify you for any resident (immigrant) visa. It is only used as a supplement in cases where there is doubt that you could support yourself.

    For example, say your father was a US citizen, and he sponsored you for an immigrant visa, and you then wanted to go live in the US. If you happened to be poor, your father would also need to file an Affidavit of Support before they'd let you enter (or you'd have to job first, or show you had funds of your own etc.)

    Another example, suppose it's your Uncle who's rich and a US citizen. Any affidavit of support he files is useless for immigrant visa purposes because he cannot sponsor you for an immigrant visa based on relationship. (There could be other workarounds, as I mentioned, he could offer you a job in his company and you could somehow convert from the employment visa status to an immigrant status at some future date, but that's another story).

    Of course if your Uncle is paying for your (non-resident) college tuition, then you'd qualify for a student visa and can travel and stay on that basis, and in that case an affidavit of support will be needed.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    well yes rk, that's what i said. i never said that is the ONLY form needed to qualify for residency - i said it is submitted as "an additional document" - meaning 'in addition to the standard paperwork and forms used' - as part of the whole sponsoring/greencard process; when the sponsor is not immediate family.

    it says right on the USCIS website that "If your relationship does not qualify you as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, then you may be in what is called a “family preference category.”

    in other words it is possible even for non-immediate family members to sponsor, they just have to go through some additional hoops, additional forms like this one, and there is a waiting list, based upon 'seniority' of the applicant's country - i.e, the applicant would be in line "behind" the 'immediate family' petitioners, which are given priority. (also from USCIS link above).

    i've gone through the process as a sponsor - just so you know i'm not talkin outta my butt. LOL.

    The student visa idea is another great option - it would at least make getting the education easier; although it wouldn't get him residency.
    Last edited by Catt; 04-20-2012 at 07:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Ok, thanks for the clarification. On reading your post carefully I see that is what you were saying as well. I got the impression from Jason's post that he thought an affidavit of support was something he could use to convert to resident status later on, which is not possible.

    Edit: and I should add, as a Canadian Jason does not really need an affidavit of support to enter the US.
    Last edited by rk; 04-20-2012 at 06:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Catt, I just saw the second part of your new message. On what basis did you petition for a cousin? That must have been in a special category like asylum or refugee. The relative immigrant visas don't go beyond brother or sister.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    oh yes, it's very true that it's WAY easier doing this from Canada than, say South America or the Caribbean. of course the individual situation also counts, but that's the standard info from the governing body....

    in any case a good immigration counselor or lawyer is the BEST support anyone can have when doing this. it's a complex process. not necessarily complicated, but complex - loads of detailed minutiae to get done .... and every stinkin little thing has to be done "just right". imho, attention to detail is possibly THE most critical thing to keep in mind when embarking on this journey!

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    ah - you know what, you're right. let me go back and edit that, now that i think on it, she already had her own visa to come here, and we petitionoed for adjustment of status after she was already in the country legally on her own....so that isn't the standard process.

    but nonetheless, the bit posted above regarding the “family preference category” might well still apply here for Jason's situation.
    Last edited by Catt; 04-20-2012 at 07:26 PM.
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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Quote Originally Posted by Catt View Post
    ... the bit posted above regarding the “family preference category” might well still apply here for Jason's situation.
    It might, if Jason's Miami relatives are in one of the following categories:

    (1) US citizens, and his parents, brother/sister, or wife.

    (2) Legal resident Aliens, and his parents (if Jason is unmarried) or wife.

    Jason should probably find out more about how his relatives are planning to sponsor him, and for what type of visa.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Hey RK and Catt, The person who is willing to sponsor me is my mothers sister (my aunt) would that be acceptable for this? And to answer your question Rk i'm not to sure about the whole VISA situation because this is my first time every going through something like this, but tomorrow "hopefully" I am calling her to verify and layout somethings so I will let you know the exact information tomorrow morning if that's alright with you?

    I also want to point out that you guys have been so helpful I greatly appreciate it
    Last edited by JasonGatto; 04-20-2012 at 08:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Jason, unluckily an Aunt is in the same group as Uncle, i.e. cannot sponsor you for any visa directly based on the relationship. However, if she has a business she can offer you a job and apply for a visa that way (with limitations). Or she can offer support that has nothing to do with a visa, such as room and board, or introduce you to someone else who can offer a job.

    I still think you'll be smarter and way ahead in the long run to finish college in Toronto. You can then either apply for a job in the US or graduate school (where assistantships and in-state tuitions are much easier to get).

    Speaking of jobs, Canadians have a big advantage over most other nationalities thanks to nafta. With proper qualifications (at least a BA/BS) you can apply for jobs on more or less equal footing with Americans, and get a visa quite easily. There are several restrictions, the most important being that the job must be in certain approved fields, and match your field of study in college. We discussed this last month in another thread. Here is the link:

    Looking for a job with Canadian Visa?

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    Default Re: Relocating from Toronto Canada to Miami

    Hey RK, I'll talk to her about getting me a job at where she works and relay that information back to you and let you know. And yeah your right in the long run it would be better to finish school in Toronto cause i'll only be in minimal debt. I found this useful that may be of help I am going to apply to the Florida - Canada linkage institute <http://www.international.ucf.edu/fcli/> and pray that I get accepted, the only downfall to the "FCLI" is that it's only good for University Of west Florida and Palm Beach state College. How far is the West Palm area from Biscayne Bay?

    Let's say if I do get accepted to a school in Miami, If I maintain good grades while I am there and graduate with honors would it be hard to for me to get a job in the U.S. since I am Canadian?
    Last edited by JasonGatto; 04-21-2012 at 09:59 PM.

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