Transfer (port) US cell phone number to Canada

Has anyone ported their US cell number to Canada?
Is it even allowed?

I have heard folks move to Google Voice in US to retain their number, but can we port it to a Canadian provider later?

Appreciate your experiences.

Thanks

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Hi, I am in a similar situation. Would like to know if you were able to figure this out. Would really appreciate your help in this matter.

You can’t do that (port your number).

Even though both Canada and the United states are on the North American Numbering plan and share the same country code, they have distinct area codes (The first 3 digits of the phone number). A provider can only port in a number to an area code that they are licensed to operate in. None of the Canadian Telecom providers are licensed to operate in the US and vice-versa.

The best you can do is with a VOIP provider + Google Voice. The general idea is outlined as a FYI below -

  • Step 1 - Port your phone number into Google Voice or get a new Goolge Voice number and share with your contacts
  • Step 2 - Create an account with a VOIP provider that allows call forwarding globally and get a US number with them
  • Step 3 - Get a Canadian phone number and have the VOIP provider from step 2 forward calls to that number
  • Step 4 - Setup google voice to point to your VOIP provider US number

Now I did say that you couldn’t port your number over but you could potentially retain your US number by continuing with a US cell plan. Some options are

  • Google Project Fi
  • Tmobile Magenta
  • AT&T Prepaid/Postpaid

None of these are for long term use exclusively outside the US but how often these terms are actually enforced is anybody’s guess.

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Does anyone know if Google Voice can receive text messages? I need text and voice. I don’t might just using it over WIFI. I mostly work from home
I’m ok to spend couple of more dollars to retain my number and get text/voice.
What is best plan in this scenario?

Heard it can receive regular text messsges, but not from banks, like passcodes, etc. . It’s all hearsay, haven’t tested it myself

Do you know any reliable provider that can still get text messages from banks? That is my main requirement as i still maintain and plan no to offload my assets in US

I have been using Google voice for 1.5 years since I moved to India and wanted to retain my US number. I do get text messages but not from banks. In order to receive messages from banks, the Google voice number needs to be linked to a number with the carrier. I have email alerts set up for the banks and receive the rest of the texts/calls on Google voice.

We recently tried to use google voice app and it says its not available in your country (canada). how did you get over it?

I have been using it through the URL - https://voice.google.com

You need to use a VPN, you can only sign up with Goolge voice in the USA. After you are setup, you can use it anywhere.

Hi, just double checking that if i sign up for Google Voice while still in the US, it will work in Canada when I get there for me to place/receive calls and texts from there, correct? Not looking to port my US number - rather, I would just like to have some phone access as soon as I land so that I can contact folks in and out of Canada. Thanks.

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Calls work . Pretty sure text won’t .

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Calls, texts everything works.

I’ve been using GV for a moth now exclusively in Canada after having moved.

INTERAC doesn’t accept my GV number though, so I just have email set up.

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That’s good to know. So you are using a GV number which you activated while in US, right ?

Did you try

  • providing this number to US bank accounts for security texts/contact information?
  • Any luck with porting your USA number to a Google voice number ?

Thanks

Yes, I had activated the GV number in the US 4 years ago.

  • I have been using this with these banks - Charles Schwab, Discover. Additionally it also works with Amex, Citi, Bank Of America, Capital One and a couple of other American credit cards that I have. Apart from this it also works with my SBI NRE and NRO accounts that I had opened in India.
  • I didn’t port my US number to GV. I got a new GV number when I first started and then over the years have always given out my GV number. I’ve used different MVNOs for GV to redirect to including T-Mobile Prepaid, Ultra, Ting, Mint Mobile. Currently I’m using AT&T prepaid which has Canada roaming and hotspot included.
  • For porting to GV, you should check with @ntn as he’s doing that after moving to Canada.

I’ve been giving this GV number everywhere in Canada, my bank, utilities all accept it without question. The only issue that I faced was with INTERAC, when I tried to add this phone number they rejected it as being an invalid phone number. I suspect that they will only accept a valid Canadian number.

Let me know if you have any other questions about my setup.

Thanks, it’s very helpful.
I Am still using my US ATT number in Canada on roaming (its working great, the only problem being sometimes it goes to 3G).

I would be interested to know more about how you have used redirection from GV to ATT prepaid. That’s something which could be helpful to many folks (as well as to other providers). Could you help share the process.

thanks

I’m waiting to be done with a few other things for which I have given my US number, and then I’ll do a transfer to GV. Will update here when I try it.

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I have started moving my contact number to GV number I got in US few years back.

quick questions:

  1. what is the Mobile device address you provide : is it @txt.voice.google.com

  2. Also, have you successfully received text messages on the GV number from discover, BofA, chase, etc ?

  3. Did you also change your home address on these banks online to a canadian address? atleast for discover, it does not show a canadian state option while changing address.

Thanks

  1. Not sure, where is it asking you for this?
  2. I’ve received texts from BoA, I don’t bank with Chase. My wife has a Chase CC and GV works for her. The only bank where I’ve heard people have issues is Wells Fargo.
  3. For some banks that only accept US addresses I’ve changed it to my sisters address, she is in the US. For others like BoA, I’ve updated to my Canadian address.

We had GV numbers in the US which were obviously different from the T-Mobile numbers which we had. Our T-mobile numbers were linked to GV though.

When we moved out of the US, we just gave up the existing GV numbers which we had and instead ported out T-Mobile numbers to GV. Since the banks already have those numbers, we did not have to update them anywhere.

We have been receiving calls and texts without any issues from BoA, Chase and Ally for 2 years now.

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