Once your temporary corporate housing or permanent home is secure, you’re ready to setup mail forwarding. If time permits, I try to schedule the first day of activation during my last week of stay at the old address. This way, it let’s me monitor whether mail forwarding has been setup correctly and catch anything that has slipped.
These services are easily setup online, and can be found under the terms “change of address” and “mail redirection”.
On the menu bar, select “Products & Services” then “Receive >> Change My Address”. Select “Permanent Change of Address”.
Canada Post requires 3 business days for the change of address to take effect, and a 6-12 months subscription. The rates differ, depending on whether the old address is residential or business, and where the mail will be forwarded. Despite being country neighbours with the United States, the change of address mail redirection rate is the same an International address. As of May 2013, the rates for change of address to the US are $136 CAD for 6 months and $226 CAD for 12 months. Should you need to extend the change of address service, extensions can be made online during your initial subscription period.
United States Postal Service (USPS):
USPS change of address can be completed online or by telephone for a nominal $1 USD fee. This fee is simply used to verify your identity where your old address is also your credit card billing address. To save the $1 USD verification fee, obtain and complete the USPS Change of Address Form (PS form 3575, yellow card) in person at your nearest USPS location.
USPS suggests allowing 2 weeks for the change of address to take effect. A 15 days to 12 months* subscription is available. (* After the first 6 months, you can extend it for another 6 months.)
This USPS.com “Forward Mail” page does a good job of highlighting the service differences between mail forwarding and change of address. Click the tabs “PFS” and “Change of Address”, respectively, for details.
Both the Canada Post and USPS websites have a good summary about these services, but if you’re confused about the full list of features, the agents will be able to answer your concerns. Good luck!