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16 Eastcheap, 5th and 6th floor
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 3880 0575

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:30pm

It’s easy to see the draw for Brits to pack up and make the switch across the pond. But what will a move to Canada involve? To help answer your questions, we’ve devised a rough guide breaking down all you’ll need to know when moving to Canada.

Canada is one of the Western world’s most popular countries to immigrate to. Its vast land area offers a spectacular blend of snowy plains, picturesque mountains, immense forests and glorious coastline.

It also possesses excellent cultural opportunities with a range of city and country destinations inhabited by its famously friendly folk. Canada has two national languages, with English and French spoken across the nation.

Moving to Canada from the UK

The idea of packing up and starting a new life in Canada is always going to create a few questions. For Brits looking to make the move, one of the first steps is working out how easy it will be to set up camp in a new country.

Moving to Canada will require some form of visa regardless of whether you’re looking to stay for a couple of years or the rest of your life. If you are under 30 years of age, The International Experience Class (IEC) program may be a suitable visa.

The IEC is available to anyone aged between the ages of 18 and 30 looking to live and work in Canada for a short period. The IEC grants UK migrants a two-year temporary working visa if they can show evidence of at least 1,560 hours of work as either a full-time or part-time worker over the last three years.

Candidates that meet the required criteria will be randomly selected from a pool throughout the year. Successful applicants will then have to show a minimum financial base of $2500 CAD, a return ticket home to the UK and proof of health insurance.

How to move to Canada after 30

For UK nationals over the age of 30 looking to live in Canada, the best option is to apply for a permanent residency visa. There are many avenues you could take depending on your work situation and Canadian family routes. The permanent residency visas are:

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

Skilled Workers and Professionals

Obtaining a Skilled Workers and Professionals visa usually requires going through Canada’s Express Entry system.

This system evaluates immigrants based on criteria such as age, skills, work experience, education, existing valid job offers and adaptability. From this, they determine whether they will be beneficial to Canada.

Want-to-be expats who show strong evidence of all evaluation aspects will be prioritised over others. There are three economic immigration programs under the Express Entry umbrella. The programs are:

1. The Federal Skilled Worker Program.

2. The Federal Skilled Trades Program.

3. The Canadian Experience Class.

These programs allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to identify candidates who are most likely to thrive economically and offer them the best chance of achieving permanent residence.

The Express Entry system is quickly becoming the Canadian government’s go-to means of admission; it’s estimated that 2021 will see three times more admissions through Express Entry than in 2017.

Family Sponsorship:

For British citizens looking to join family members in the Great White North, applying for a Family Sponsorship might be a quick and easy visa option.

By committing to support foreign relatives with any necessary financial needs, family members in Canada may be able to offer sponsorship if they are:

  • Over the age of 18.
  • A Canadian citizen or,
  • A person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or,
  • A permanent resident of Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program:

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) can help Brits fast-track their permanent residency application. This visa applies to immigrants who meet all the desired criteria, such as skills, education, language and work experience. And are focused on moving to one particular province.

The province can nominate certain immigrants that tick all the right boxes. They can have their application put on top of the pile. There are 11 provinces in Canada that currently participate in the PNP with varying criteria and eligibility.

Quebec Skilled Workers Program:

British expats with their hearts set on a life in Quebec, may find the Quebec Skilled Workers Program a more accessible way to achieve permanent residency in Canada.

As you might have guessed, this initiative is specific to the Canadian province of Quebec and operates separately from the Canadian government’s program for skilled workers. It uses a points-based system for eligibility and may offer the opportunity to bring family members into Quebec without the need for a job offer.

Business and Investor Migration:

This visa seeks to offer fantastic residency opportunities to foreign business owners, entrepreneurs and investors looking to move themselves and their business to Canada’s shores.

Business-savvy Brits may be successful in their application if they currently operate a successful business. Or, if they have business experience and are looking to set up a business that may bring employment and other financial opportunities to Canada.

Moving to Canada for work

First and foremost, working in Canada usually always requires a work permit for any British citizen. The application process for a work permit usually takes around five weeks to complete. You can check here if you will need a permit to work in Canada.

Before hiring a foreign worker, Canadian employers may need a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

This assessment is used to show a need for a foreign worker in a particular job. It will also suggest that no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available to fill the role. Once an employer has an LMIA, the foreign worker will be allowed to apply for a work permit. To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:

  • A job offer letter,
  • A contract,
  • A copy of the LMIA and the LMIA number.

As well as a work permit, you will also need to get your hands on a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Once you have acquired a SIN, you can expect to receive similar treatment to National Insurance in the UK.

How much does it cost to move to Canada?

The cost of moving to Canada varies depending on the type of visa or program applied under. For a working holiday visa, such as the International Experience Class, the fee is $150 CAD per person.

If you’re a UK national, arriving via a skilled worker visa, the cost is $550 CAD, plus $550 CAD for a spouse and $150 CAD per child.

For UK migrants applying via family sponsorship, the fee is $1,050 CAD per adult applicant and $150 CAD for each dependent child. As soon as permanent residency is confirmed, an additional fee of $490 per person is added.

These fees are unlikely to change for UK migrants with existing valid job offers in Canada. Unless employment has been arranged prior to arrival, Brits will have to show evidence of “settlement funds”.

These funds equate to $10,000 CAD per person and an additional $2,000 CAD for each dependent. This is necessary for British expats to prove to Canadian authorities they have the means to support themselves financially for at least six months.

Moving to Canada with pets

The UK loves a pet, with an estimated 12 million households hosting a furry friend. The thought of leaving a pet behind is, for many, as serious as leaving a family member. Fortunately, bringing your pets along for the ride to Canada is easy, depending on the type of pet(s) you have.

Cats and dogs can be brought without a fuss if the correct paperwork is in order. They will also require a rabies jab within the last twelve months before the journey.

The cost for importing a cat, dog or ferret is $30 CAD. You’ll be charged an additional $5 CAD for more than one of any of these pets.

To pass the Canadian pet inspection, UK pet owners must be able to show a rabies certificate or a veterinary certificate. A European Union pet passport may also be accepted. Your dog or cat will not require a rabies certificate if it is less than three months old, but you will have to prove its age.

Importing birds to Canada is slightly more difficult and may involve a minimum of 45 days quarantine. In addition, the fees for importing a bird are considerably higher due to the quarantine requirement.

An important permit for a bird costs $35 CAD and an extra $35 CAD for inspection. The quarantine fees are $100 CAD for the approval of a quarantine site for the bird and $130 CAD for overseeing the quarantine period. As you can see, this all adds up.

It is also worth noting that some animals may be prohibited from entering Canada. Most common domestic pets do not fit into this category, but it’s always worth checking the Canadian government’s requirements for bringing your pet into their country.

Healthcare in Canada

Canada’s healthcare system, referred to as Medicare, is a proud feature of the nation. In many ways, it is similar to the UK’s NHS system, in that Canadian permanent residents have access to primary care services without having to splash the cash.

Once you receive permanent residency to a province in Canada, you will be granted access to medically necessary hospital and physician services. They may be required to wait three months before this comes into effect.

Canada’s healthcare system is different to the UK’s in that it uses 13 provincial and territorial health insurance plans as opposed to one national plan.

The federal government plays a role in setting national standards and providing funding for health care, but the management, organization and delivery of health care are conducted by the provincial and territorial governments.

Sending money to Canada

Once you’ve gone through Canada’s immigration process, you’ll need to find a way to transfer your funds to your new home. This will be especially pertinent to you if you’re buying Canadian property.

When it comes to converting a large amount of currency, it’s important to get it right. Not doing so can leave you with an uncompetitive exchange rate and faced with a deluge of hidden fees. All of which can cost you. This is usually the case if you opt for a high-street bank.

When you choose Privalgo, you’ll able to use a leading pound-to-Canadian-dollar exchange rate, and you’ll never be charged any hidden fees. All this can amount to you saving a hefty amount on your international transfer.

And it doesn’t end there. With our intelligent solutions, you also have the choice to lock in a favourable exchange rate, allowing you to mitigate the risk of market movement.

To get a quote, discuss solutions, or to have a chat about the currency markets, get in touch today. Book a free one-to-one with one of our currency specialists today.

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