How to migrate from UK to Canada

how to migrate to canada
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Canada is one country that has one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the whole world. Thousands of individuals all around the world immigrate to Canada every year for many reasons but because of this it makes for a land of diverse cultures. Recently since the United Kingdom voted for Brexit there has been an increase of people wondering how to migrate to Canada from the UK.

Are you looking for how to migrate from UK to Canada? Then read this article carefully.

There are many Canadian Immigration visa categories that you can apply for to become a resident of Canada including:

  • Skilled Workers and Professionals
  • Family Sponsorship
  • Provincial Nominees
  • Quebec Skilled Workers
  • Business and Investor Migration

Immigration Options for UK Citizens

Skilled Workers and Professionals

Express Entry: Canadian Immigration Program that allows immigrants to live and work in Canada as a skilled worker through Express Entry. The new system will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to pro-actively assess, recruit and select immigrants who are skilled and/or possessed the relevant qualifications under federal economic immigration programs:

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Express Entry program will also allow individual provinces and territories to use the system in order to recruit suitable candidates as part of the Provincial Nominee Programs so that labour market demands are met.

Family Sponsorship

Family sponsorship is a way to reunite families in Canada. In fact, the Canadian government believes in keeping families together, and prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications. Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or,
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or,
  • permanent resident of Canada

Provincial Nominee Program

Applicants for Canadian work visas under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) enjoy a speedy visa application process. Intending immigrants under PNP should have the necessary skills, proper education, sufficient work experience, and a passing language examination result for semi or low-skilled trades or professions.

To qualify under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), a Canadian province or territory must nominate an applicant. Many Canadian provinces have an arrangement with the national Government of Canada in order to carry out their prerogative of nominating immigrant workers who would like to establish themselves in their respective province.

Quebec Skilled Workers Program

Foreign workers who want to settle as permanent residents in the Canadian province of Quebec may be eligible for immigration to Quebec through the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. The Quebec Skilled Worker Program is a points-based initiative, operated separately from the government of Canada’s own programs for skilled workers. Successful applicants may bring accompanying family members to Quebec, and a job offer is not required.

Business and Investor Migration

Canada offers large opportunities to foreigners who want to do business in Canada. Every year, thousands of ambitious business people come into Canada and there is certainly no reason why you can not be among them. The objective of the Business Immigration Program is to encourage investment and employment in Canada through the migration of people who have the ability to successfully establish or invest in a business in Canada.

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Living in Canada for British

Lifestyle

Just like the Brits, Canadians love their sports, animals, barbecues, pubs and families. They also share a similar reserved nature and have a habit of apologising without reason as well as having a preoccupation with discussing the weather. You will find that the Canadian culture has more in common with British culture than American and they tend to share a similar sense of humour; however, there are plenty of differences too.

Ice hockey is more than just a sport in Canada, it’s a way of life and a great way to socialize with people who have lived here for a long time (either expats or Canadian born locals). Many families like to get away from the cities at the weekend and head to rural cottages. This is particularly common with families and friends. Again, this can be a great way to get to know people.

Because Canada is such a vast country many people do not go abroad on holiday but choose to explore other aspects of the country. From experiencing the Northern lights in Newfoundland to whale watching on the west coast or taking a trip across the interior, there is plenty of adventure on offer. However, flights can be more expensive than the low-cost budget airlines we are used to here in Europe.

Just like in the United States, tipping is a huge part of the culture and lifestyle in Canada. To leave a bar or restaurant without tipping the waiting staff is considered offensive and will not make you popular. Most waiting staff can only make their living from tipping so bear that in mind whenever you are handed a bill. The UK state pension is payable in Canada which can make the country a popular destination for retirees. However, it is worth noting that, unlike claiming this benefit in the UK, you will not be eligible for annual increases.

Dress

Canada, as a Western nation, has no particular rules or public conservatism over dress codes however public nudity is not expected, even on beaches (should  the weather allow) and casual clothing is fine for most occasions. Formal functions will require smart dress but otherwise you should dress according to the prevailing weather conditions. That said, if you are situated in the north of the country or expecting to endure a harsh weather then it is worth investing in quality thermal clothing and a decent winter coat.

Getting Around

The public transport system in Canada consists of trains, ferries, buses and three rapid transport systems in the major cities; the Toronto Subway, Montreal Metro and Vancouver SkyTrain.

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The rail network is underutilized with most usage across the extensive network being put to commercial usage rather than intercity passenger travel. Trains do run between cities but are slower and as expensive as using buses or cars. Commuter networks are used in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto with the latter also having a streetcar system. Light railways exist in Alberta, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary which does ease traffic in the cities. There are a good many bus operators with Greyhound offering the most extensive service across Canada as well as into the USA. Fares are very reasonable and you can save 50-70% on air fare by travelling via bus. The 4,400 km journey between Toronto and Vancouver would cost £350 by air and take around 5 hours whereas a bus ticket would cost around £160 yet take 65-70 hours to complete. For this you would need to factor in a few nights at motels; for some the experience of travelling across country is worth the extra time involved.

Driving in Canada

Canadian drivers have a reputation for being pushy and erratic; speeding and tailgating are common as well as signalling as they make a manoeuvre and not before. The road network extends to Alaska in the north and connects the USA in the south. The conditions and maintenance standards are good.

Canadians drive on the right-hand side of the road.

You can use your UK driving license for a limited period whilst in Canada and you should arrange to get an International Drivers Permit here in the UK before you leave. This provides a permit which is translated in both French and English and allows you to drive in the country until you pass your Canadian Driver’s Test. The benefits of doing so will be felt with lower car insurance.

Weather

The climate in north of the country is predominantly characterized by perma-frost with temperatures rarely reaching above zero. The south benefits for the traditional four seasons albeit more notably extreme than here in the UK. Winter temperatures can fall to as low as -25oC and summer can bring balmy highs of 35oC. Springs are mild and autumn falls with a pleasant and defined crisp transition. Central areas can vary significantly to the east and west coast with Vancouver in the west experiencing a far more settled and temperate range. From average lows in the winter of 1-3oC and average highs in the summer of 19-22oC, the climate in Vancouver does not tend to experience extremes of temperature. By contrast, Toronto in the East falls to around -10oC in the winter with slightly higher summer temperatures.

Cost of Living in Canada

The cost of living in Canada is comparable to the United Kingdom with only the cost of rent being markedly different at just 4.86% lower. As with the United Kingdom, regional differences exist and the prices of consumer goods can vary a great deal. For instance, the cost of monthly utility bills ranges from £47.34 per month to £143.19 per month and even milk can range from £0.81 to £1.84 per litre.

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When it comes to putting together a budget, it is important to have an understanding of how expensive each city is compared to your predicted income so using a site such as Numbeo can help you prepare an accurate cost of living forecast.

Rent

Rental prices in Canada are, on average, around 5% lower in Canada than the UK. As you would expect, costs in the cities are higher than in rural areas and there are regional differences in rental prices.

Transport

The cost of transport in Canada is much lower than that in the UK with a litre of fuel costing on average 40% lower than in the UK (£0.67). Cars are also cheaper to purchase with a new car (VW Golf or equivalent) costing around 24% lower than the UK. Likewise, travelling by taxi can also be significantly cheaper with fares being up to 70% lower. A 1km fare in Vancouver will cost £1.14 compared to £4.00 in London.

Buses are a popular way to get around and tickets are between 20-30% lower than the UK with seasonal monthly passes being up to 60-70% lower.

Domestic air fares by comparison with the budget airlines available across Europe are higher in Canada. This is mainly due to a lack of competition in the country combined with the low demand (remember that the density of the population is incredibly low).

Trains are another way to travel in the country but is less common than you would expect. Fares vary depending on the time of travel and the length and route of the journey. By and large fares are much higher than the UK and you can expect a patchy standard of service.

Schooling

There are plenty of schooling options in Canada from the government funded state education system to the private and international schools that are set up in most large towns and cities.

If you want your children to follow a British curriculum, then you can expect to pay around £12-15,000 for day schooling and £30-40,000 for boarding for the best independent schools.

However, there are a large range of institutes to choose from and seven-day schooling at some schools can come in for as little as £15,000 per annum. There are other schools that offer scholarship programmes so you may need to research what is in your local area to see what the budget will allow. Remember that some companies offer school fees as part of their relocation remuneration package.

Foreign nationals studying at university in Canada can expect to pay around £9,000 per year for tuition fees which is comparable to the maximum fees in the UK.

About Sifon Udoh

I am a geography graduate and a graphic designer. Passionate about sharing ideas and tips online.

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