Transfer (port) US cell phone number to Canada

@mrandmrs

  • Does google ask for PIN on the existing carrier account before porting?
  • How long does the process to port take? GV says it can take up to 3 days.
  • If you have OTP for any Indian bank accounts, do those still work with number on GV?

For the first two questions, I don’t really remember anything since it was 2 years ago.

We did not have our US numbers linked to any Indian accounts so there was no reason for us to wonder about OTPs but I would assume that if it worked on your existing number, it would work on the GV number too. We get all the text messages from our US banks similar to how we used to receive them earlier.

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Finally got around to transferring my US number (on T-Mobile) to GVoice.

Steps I followed:

  • Created a new email id and set it up with Google Voice number (with my T-Mo number as forwarding number)
  • Got the TunnelBear app on Mac for VPN (Free, Made in Canada, not shady)
  • With the VPN set to US, went through the settings on voice.google.com and started the porting process following the prompts
  • For TMO to GV transfer, I needed account number, first/last name, PIN, mailing address on the TMO account.
  • entered the details, paid $20, and started the porting. About 24 hrs later, my phone had no signal from TMO.
  • Checked on Google voice and transfer had gone through.

Things I checked after the transfer:

  • iMessage works as expected
  • No need to change WhatsApp
  • Just had to update settings in the Google voice app to make and receive calls on wifi and cellular, so now I can use it on my phone data.
  • I got some verification codes on GV for a Canadian service tried to login.

The whole process was quite effortless (will update here once I try it for US and India accounts).

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This is awesome , thanks for sharing the steps @ntn .

btw, the VPN was only required once while you were doing the porting, right?

that’s correct.

When you enter your US phone number that is to be ported, if you have a non-US IP address, it’ll give some generic error and you cannot proceed.

Once you are on a US IP address, you can check if the number can be ported or not.

So I was trying to create a new account to transfer another number, and it looks like Google Voice is tightening the screws.

This is what I tried:

  • First, I created a new Gmail account without using VPN, then trying to setup voice, it wouldn’t let me select a number (always ended up with a “something went wrong” after selecting a GV number)

  • Then tried with the VPN on (US IP address), still the same issue.

  • Tried again with VPN-US, by creating another email account. I could select the number, but the selection didn’t persist. So back to “Something went wrong”.

Probably going to ask someone in the US to setup a new gmail account, with GV number and then follow the porting process I posted two months back.

Hi @ntn thanks for the updated information. Moving to Canada next week just wanted to check with you these things. Currently I am an AT&T customer

  1. Should I start the porting process before I leave the country? or can it be done after I moved to Canada? because you recommended above better to do it while in USA since GV is a US based service
  2. Once I porting process is completed in USA how should we go about getting the DATA during the travel(Since we are driving from Texas to GTA)

Thank you

In my case, transferring the other number worked after I got it done by someone based in the US.

If you have that option after moving to Canada, you can do the same.

If not, probably transferring before moving is a better option. You could get a prepaid data/call SIM or join someone’s postpaid plan for the duration of your move (which have US/Canada talktime/sms and data). I dont know which current post-paid / prepaid plans are ideal though.

just fyi, you may not have access to your phone number while it is getting transferred from AT&T to GV, for up to 24 hrs.

Once transfer goes through, your google voice will be setup with your US phone number, and you can have a new temp US phone number until you settle down in GTA.

Got that, thanks for the update. I will get it done with my friends as well once I get there.

I don’t think you can do that. You’ll have to get a Canadian number. Some USA providers will give you seamless portability to use your number in Canada (eg tmobile) while you transition

T-mobile has a plan for $20 a month with unlimited text and call in Canada and Mexico. This is useful for people looking to keep their USA number for few days/months. I enquired because of my situation and thought of sharing with community here.

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No data?
and what is the plan name?

@ntn: Thank you so much for the clear step-by-step instructions. This is super helpful!

We just moved a week ago from the US and wanted to check if you’re still able to get text messages that are directed to your T-Mobile number. We will be getting a new Canadian number, but I’m looking to port over my US T-Mobile line to Google Voice. However, as we are in the process of transitioning, I want to make sure I don’t miss out on two-factor authentication codes sent to my T-Mobile line, especially for banking.

I did come across a few posts elsewhere that stated Google Voice prevents text messages, whereas calls work. Could you please confirm, @usa2can, @Ontario20, @ntn?

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Welcome to Canada!

I’m still getting the messages (almost 3 years). However now it’s mostly the spam messages I’m getting :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much :slight_smile:

Really helps to know that you’re still getting messages. I’ll probably plan and port my number sometime next week. Once again, really appreciate the detailed instructions in the previous post.