Thinking of moving to Canada, the world’s second largest country, offers plenty of prospects to skilled Britishers looking to shift base. It is a popular choice not only for its modern cities but its natural beauty and quality of life as well. If you are considering migrating to Canada, there are a few things you need to figure out first:
Each year thousands of skilled migrants move to Canada to fill labour shortages. If you plan to migrate to Canada, finding a job that will sponsor you should be a priority. Do your research here and learn about the skill shortages that the country is looking to fill. You can also use professional immigration consultants (like Migrate Me) to help find jobs that suit your skill set and experience.
Before you prep to relocate, you need to make sure you’ve planned your finances. Calculate how much it’ll cost you to buy or rent a house, travel, tide you over till you find a job. You might also find that you need to upgrade your skills to meet Canadian job requirements, so you need to budget for the expenses during that time. You should also be aware of how much money you can move from the UK to Canada, and the items you can import duty- and tax-free.
There are plenty of cities to choose from when you’re deciding where you want to live in Canada. Culture, weather, lifestyle and health services differ from one city to the next, so do your research before making your choice. Also, the country is officially bilingual, with almost a quarter of its population speaking French. So that should be another consideration when you decide. The larger cities – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – are modern and the most popular choices. Although if you prefer a more laid-back pace, consider smaller cities like Halifax or Ottawa.
All citizens and permanent residents are eligible and can apply for health insurance in Canada. What you need to remember is that health insurance is different in each territory and province, and your coverage might not extend to other territories or provinces if you’re travelling. Additionally, you might need to wait to be eligible for public healthcare. If this is the case, you will need to buy a temporary private health insurance policy within five days of arriving in your province or territory. A delay here might mean insurance companies denying you coverage. So plan and budget for this.
Visas for Canada can be a complicated process. If you or your partner has a valid job offer with a recognised company that is willing to sponsor you, your chances of gaining permanent residency are much stronger than if you do not have employment in place.
If you don’t have a job offer, and plan to immigrate permanently, you should consider approaching an international migration consultant (Migrate-Me can help you here) to guide you on your eligibility, the best way to plan your application and assist you in getting the right permits for you and your family.
There are several visa categories that you can apply for depending on your eligibility. You can find more information on the Canadian visa application process, at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.