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.
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!
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Once you have done your research and decided where to go, Comparemymove.com's partners offer free International removal quotes and you can end up to 70%!