moving to canada

Moving to Canada: What's it all About?

Written by Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
1st July 2016 (Last updated on Friday 19th January 2018)

Canada is one of the most popular countries in the world for UK citizens to move to. The country has close ties to the UK, ease of access and a high standard of living. That being said, there are strict immigration laws for those moving to Canada.

This week, we will introduce you to the Canadian way of life by outlining the climate, culture, cost of living, employment industry, healthcare and types of Visas to apply for if you're considering setting up a new home there.

The Weather

If you enjoy both sun and snow, Canada is the place for you! Just be aware, you will probably experience extremes of these seasons. Apart from certain areas like South Ontario, winters in Canada are incredibly cold and snowy, reaching temperatures as low as -25°C. Summers are very hot, and generally the seasons have short transitional periods. As long as you are prepared with the right clothing and attitude, you'll be fine!

The Culture

Diversity is central to Canada's ethos. The country is bilingual, with two official languages – French and English. In any of the major cities and rural areas, you'll come across a plethora of languages, religions and cultures.

Of course, you don't need to let go of your own cultural values when you move to Canada, but it's important to keep an open mind and evolve so that you can adjust to the different cultures.

You might even find you become immersed in the sports - ice hockey and lacrosse are incredibly popular in Canada, and are the official summer and winter sports, respectively.

Cost of Living

Before you move to Canada, make sure you do your research and find out the basic cost of living to make sure you can actually afford to live there. Toronto and Vancouver (especially the downtown areas) are relatively expensive, as well as the flourishing area of the North Alberta town of Fort McMurray – however, these areas also have higher salaries.

Montreal is rent-controlled with lower property values and low rent, but also lower salaries. So if you're moving to Canada, make sure you move to a region you can afford!


Applying for jobs is always a lengthy and time consuming process, and may be much longer than you are accustomed to. Before moving to Canada, prepare ahead by:

  • Bringing enough funds to keep you afloat for a few months if you don't immediately get a job.
  • Be prepared to take a non-career job short term so you can earn while looking for a job you actually want.
  • Research the best way to look for jobs in Canada – follow the resume format and networking styles.


Canada has largely-free healthcare and has most services provided by private entities. Although healthcare is paid for using federal funds, it's administered by different provinces. Health cards are issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health to each person who enrols, and everyone received the same level of care.

However, depending on the type of visa you have when you arrive in Canada, you may or may not receive a health card.

Types of Visas

Here's a rundown of the different visas for your move to Canada.

Points Based Immigration

A popular option for immigrating. You can apply to immigrate with the independent visa, with eligibility checked through a points system.

Plan ahead if you're going to use this system, as there's a range of factors taken into account. You now want to aim for 67 points overall generally. The following will affect your points:

  • Education – Your level of education equals a up to a maximum 25 points.
  • Language Ability – A maximum 25 points is up for grabs for those with a high grasp of both French and English language.
  • Employment Experience – Years spent at a job and your experience level can also influence how many points you get, to a maximum 21 points.
  • Age – If you're aged between 21 and 49 years old, you can get the maximum 10 extra points.
  • Arranged Employment - When a job awaits in Canada, this works in your favour and can help you get up to 10 points.
  • Adaptability – A range of factors are covered here, which include your partner's education levels, if you've ever lived or studied in Canada before, or whether you have Canadian family: a maximum of 10 points can be obtained. You also need to prove you have the savings to cover a certain time, though if work is arranged this isn't necessary.

Family Visas

Here are the Canadian family visas available:

Canada Family Class Visa

If your family is moving over, permanent residents may sponsor a relative to permanently live in Canada.

Canada Spouse Visa

If married or a partner of a citizen of Canada, the Spouse Visa could be for you. A visa whereby your spouse sponsors you for 3 to 10 years to live in Canada.

Employment Visas

Certain industries in Canada actively seek international workers, generally through points systems or a specific job, so obtaining a work visa can be a lengthy process.

Canada Work Permit Visa

A visa to live temporarily in Canada and work for a local company for a certain amount of time. It's not permanent, though it may help your further applications. It may be long-winded, as the position will have to be unfilled by Canadian worker.

Canadian Entrepreneur Visa

Encouraging investment an business in Canada, get a visa through business.

Canadian Self-Employed Visa

Business-based, can lead to permanent residency. Start a business in Canada, earn enough, all while employing Canadian workers.

Canada Investor Visa

Got the capital? Apply for residency through investing in Canada.

Canadian Experience Class Visa

For previous temporary workers or those that have studied in Canada. This route is for those wishing to make their temporary visa, permanent. It'll help if you're acclimatised to Canadian culture and customs.

Compare My Move in Canada

So, Canada is a very popular country to visit, especially for people moving from the UK. Although the weather can reach very low temperatures, the right clothing and attitude make it manageable. Diversity is central to the Canadian way of life, so being open-minded and adaptable to a different way of life will take you a long way.

Of course, it is important to do your research and make sure you can afford the region you are moving to, and depending on why you're moving, whether it is with your family or for work, what kind of visa you need.

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