Thinking of moving to Canada? Our ultimate guide details everything you need to know to move permanently, including requirements, visa options, jobs, where to live and moving your personal belongings.

Are you considering moving to Canada from the UK? The prospect of a new adventure, embracing a different culture, and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Canada can be enticing.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through different immigration options, requirements, and benefits that await you in the Great White North.

Short Summary

  • Canada is welcoming new migrants in 2024, offering a range of pathways for skilled workers, entrepreneurs and families.
  • Explore Canada’s immigration options to find the best pathway for you – work permits, study visas or permanent residency programs.
  • Consider costs and legal assistance when moving to Canada from UK – healthcare & health insurance are also important!

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Canada is welcoming new migrants in 2024

This year, Canada has set its sights on welcoming 465,000 new permanent residents as part of the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan. The Canadian government recognises the vital role immigration plays in supporting businesses and addressing skills shortages in key sectors. This welcoming approach makes Canada an attractive destination for those considering a move from the UK.

Several immigration options are available for UK citizens, including work permits, study permits, permanent residency programs, and the Express Entry System. With various pathways to achieve permanent resident status, the Canadian government offers multiple opportunities for skilled foreign workers, entrepreneurs, and families to make Canada their new home.

Would you like information on job vacancies and visas if you’re moving to Canada? Click Here

1. Why Move to Canada?

family migrating to Canada

Choosing to move to Canada can be a rewarding decision, both personally and professionally. The country’s breath-taking natural landscapes offer endless opportunities for exploration and outdoor activities. Imagine weekends hiking through stunning forests, skiing down impressive mountain ranges, or simply soaking in the serene beauty of the countless lakes that dot the country.

Canada’s vibrant cities such as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are not just cultural hotspots teeming with arts, cuisine, and diverse festivals, but also thriving economic centres. The country boasts a robust job market across various sectors including technology, healthcare, and natural resources, offering numerous career opportunities. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, switch professions, or even start your own business, Canada provides a fertile ground for professional growth.

Living in Canada also means immersing yourself in a society that values inclusivity and multiculturalism. You will find a welcoming and tolerant community ready to embrace you. And with Canada’s progressive and straightforward immigration policies, making the move can be relatively hassle-free, especially with various visa options designed for skilled workers from the UK.

Additionally, Canada offers a high quality of life with a cost of living that is often lower than many UK cities. The nation’s top-notch healthcare system and a strong emphasis on achieving a healthy work-life balance further enhance the appeal of Canadian life. In essence, moving to Canada from the UK is not just a change of scenery. It’s an opportunity to enrich your personal life and advance your career while experiencing the warmth of a welcoming and diverse society.

There are so make many great reasons to move to Canada that it’s easy to see why it’s so popular for migrants not just from the UK but across the world.

Key facts about Canada (2024)

Categories Information
Population 39,107,046
Key Attractions Niagara Falls, Stanley Park, Notre-Dame Basilica
Capital Ottawa
Largest Population Cities Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton
Official Languages French, English
Canadian Currency Canadian Dollars
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
National Holiday Canada Day

2. Exploring Canada’s Immigration Options

If you’re a UK citizen considering a move to Canada, it’s essential to explore the different immigration options available. From work permits and study permits to permanent residency programs and the Express Entry System, the Canadian government offers a variety of pathways to help you achieve your dream of living and working in the Great White North.

Each of these pathways has its own set of requirements and application processes, so it’s important to research and understand the details of each before making a decision. Additionally, you should consider the cost of living.

Work Permits

Work permits are a popular option for UK citizens seeking employment in Canada. Work permits are essential to work in Canada. There are two main types of them – the Open Work Permit and the Employer-Specific Work Permit. The Open Work Permit allows you to work for any Canadian employer. It is only available in limited situations, while the Employer-Specific Work Permit requires a valid job offer from a specific employer. These permits can be valid for up to four years. However, the duration is at the discretion of the issuing officer.

Young British citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 can also explore the International Experience Canada (IEC), which offers an open temporary working visa for up to two years. This program is an excellent opportunity for young professionals to gain work experience and build connections in Canada while enjoying the country’s vibrant culture and stunning landscapes.

Study Permits

For those seeking educational opportunities in Canada, a study permit is required for programs lasting longer than six months. To obtain a study permit, UK citizens must apply online, have a valid passport, be accepted by a designated learning institute, provide proof of funds, and pay the application fee.

The study permit application process includes submitting an online application, providing necessary documents, and paying a $150 CAD fee. The permit is typically valid for the duration of the program of study, plus an extra 90 days.

Studying in Canada not only provides access to quality education, but also opens doors to future employment and permanent residency possibilities.

Permanent Residency Programs

If you’re seeking long-term residency in Canada, various permanent residency programs are available for UK nationals. Options include Express Entry, skilled worker programs, business or investment programs, and family sponsorship programs. Having a valid job offer can significantly increase your chances of success in some of these programs.

Eligibility for Canadian citizenship requires holding permanent resident status, residing in Canada for at least three out of the last five years, passing a citizenship test, and demonstrating knowledge of English or French. To be eligible, you must have filed taxes in Canada for at least three consecutive years. Additionally, other criteria must be met.

Achieving Canadian citizenship opens up new opportunities and secures your future in this diverse and welcoming country.

3. The Express Entry System

Application for Canadian visa

The Express Entry System is an online immigration management tool that manages applications for Canada’s economic immigration programs. It evaluates applicants based on age, language abilities, schooling, work experience, and other criteria to select the best candidates for permanent residence in Canada.

In the following subsections, we’ll discuss eligibility criteria, Comprehensive Ranking System, and the application process under the Express Entry System.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible under the Express Entry System, applicants must have at least one year of skilled work experience, be proficient in English and/or French, and possess a Canadian or foreign educational credential with an Educational Credential Assessment report. Skilled worker applicants must also meet specific eligibility criteria, such as education, language ability, and work experience.

Meeting these criteria is essential for successful entry into the Express Entry pool. It’s crucial to provide accurate information and documentation to support your application, as the Canadian government uses this information to assess your eligibility and rank you within the pool.

Comprehensive Ranking System

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) is a points-based system that ranks applicants in the Express Entry pool. It evaluates candidates based on their skills, education, language proficiency, work experience, and other factors. The higher your CRS score, the better your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply for a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa.

The CRS considers various factors, such as age, language proficiency, education, and work experience. For instance, a candidate with a university degree, high language proficiency, and several years of work experience in a skilled occupation may score higher than a candidate with a high school diploma and no work experience. This ranking system ensures that Canada selects the most qualified applicants for its economic immigration programs.

Application Process

The application process for the Express Entry System starts with creating an online profile. This profile requires you to provide personal information, work experience, language proficiency, and details about any dependents accompanying you to Canada. Once your profile is submitted, you’ll be ranked in the Express Entry pool based on your CRS score.

If you receive an Invitation to Apply, you’ll need to fill out an online application form and submit a permanent residence application along with supporting documentation within 60 days. The Canadian government will provide a personalised document checklist, guiding you through the necessary supporting documents for your application.

The processing time for Express Entry applications typically takes around six months.

Would you like information on job vacancies and visas if you’re moving to Canada? Click Here

4. Immigrating as a Skilled Worker

Young people moving to Canada with flag

Skilled workers play a crucial role in Canada’s economy and have multiple pathways to achieve permanent resident status. The Federal Skilled Worker Program is a popular option for skilled workers seeking to immigrate to Canada from the UK.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program evaluates applicants based on their education, work experience, and language ability in English or French. This points-based system ensures that Canada selects the most qualified applicants, contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.

With the right skills and experience, skilled workers can achieve permanent residency and enjoy the many benefits of living and working in Canada.

5. Immigrating through Business or Investment

Canada business and investment

Experienced business owners and investors can also secure permanent residency in Canada through various programs. The Owner-Operator LMIA, CUSMA, and CETA Treaty investor pathways offer opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to establish or invest in businesses in Canada.

Navigating the Canadian immigration system and selecting the right program can be challenging, but with the right guidance and resources, business owners and investors can successfully immigrate to Canada. Establishing or investing in a Canadian business not only opens doors to permanent residency, but also contributes to the country’s economic growth and creates job opportunities for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

6. Family Sponsorship Programs

family with Canadian passport

Canadian citizens and permanent residents have the option of sponsoring family members to join them in Canada through family sponsorship programs. Eligible sponsors can bring their spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents to Canada for permanent residency.

However, certain restrictions apply to family sponsorships. The sponsor must be 18 years or older and financially capable of supporting the family members they are sponsoring, regardless of their own financial standing.

By meeting these requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can reunite with their loved ones and provide them with the opportunity to live, work, and study in Canada.

7. Moving to Canada for Retirement

Canada offers a welcoming and vibrant environment for UK citizens planning to retire. Retirees can visit Canada for up to six months without a visa, but should explore other immigration options if they wish to stay longer. Working and earning residency before retiring or setting up or purchasing a business in Canada are potential pathways for a long-term move.

However, it’s important to note that UK state pensions will not rise with inflation if retirees move to Canada. Therefore, careful financial planning and consideration of healthcare, housing, and other living expenses are essential when moving to Canada for retirement.

8. Studying in Canada: Opportunities and Requirements

Canada offers an exceptional education system that attracts many UK citizens each year. If you’re planning to study in Canada for less than six months, you don’t need a visa. However, for programs lasting longer than six months, a study permit is required.

To obtain a study permit, UK citizens must apply online, have a valid passport, be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution, show they have enough funds for tuition and living expenses, have no criminal record, and be in good health.

Studying in Canada not only provides access to world-class education, but also opens doors to future employment and permanent residency opportunities in the country.

9. Navigating the Canadian Job Market

move to Canada job opportunities

The Canadian job market offers various opportunities for skilled workers. However, work permits typically require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA process ensures that there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents available for a specific job before hiring a foreign worker.

For UK citizens seeking employment in Canada, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and processes associated with obtaining a work permit and navigating the Canadian job market. With the right skills and experience, UK citizens can secure employment in Canada and contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.

Would you like information on job vacancies and visas if you’re moving to Canada? Click Here

10. Costs of Moving to Canada

The costs of moving to Canada from the UK can vary depending on factors such as transportation, distance, and the size of the household. Removal costs start from around £920 for a small move in a shared container and can go up to £4,900 for a full 20 ft container.

Additionally, individual applicants need approximately $15,500 CAD to immigrate to Canada. Fees associated with immigration programs, settlement funds (at least $10,000 per person), and living expenses should also be taken into account when planning a move to Canada.

Careful financial planning and budgeting are essential to ensure a smooth and successful relocation.

NB: The above costs are just rough guidelines and do change regularly.

11. Healthcare and Health Insurance for UK Citizens & Permanent Residents in Canada

UK citizens and permanent residents in Canada can access public healthcare, which covers medically necessary services such as hospital care, doctor visits, and prescription drugs.

However, it’s a good idea to also obtain private health insurance to cover additional costs and services not included in public healthcare.

You will need to have arranged private healthcare before immigrating depending on the province you are settling in as most have a time period before you will be eligible for public healthcare.

Private insurance companies offer private health insurance in Canada and covers services such as dental care, vision care, and prescription drugs not covered by public healthcare. By securing comprehensive healthcare coverage, UK citizens and permanent residents in Canada can ensure they receive the best possible care and support during their time in the country.

12. Legal Assistance for Immigration

Canada migration agents giving professional advice

Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be complex and challenging. Seeking professional legal assistance can help you understand your options, assess your eligibility, and guide you through the application process. Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are trained and qualified to provide advice and representation in immigration matters.

Legal assistance services can help you with eligibility assessments, application forms, and paperwork, ensuring your application is complete and accurate. By seeking professional guidance and support, you can increase your chances of success in achieving your dream of living and working in Canada.

At PSS International Removals, we have worked with the friendly team at Brazolot Migration Group for many years. We don’t know anyone better placed to advise you and work out the best pathway for you to reach Canada.

You can request a free initial consultation with them here. They’ll be happy to give you some advice on suitable visas and job opportunities.

13. Where to Live in Canada

move to Toronto Canada

Deciding where to live in Canada can be an exciting prospect, given the diversity and appeal of its many regions. If you’re drawn to the vibrant rhythm of city life, you might consider Toronto, the largest city in Canada, located in Ontario. Toronto is a bustling metropolis known for its cultural diversity, impressive skyline, and thriving arts scene. Ontario, beyond Toronto, offers a mix of picturesque towns, vast forests, and the famous Great Lakes.

On the west coast, Vancouver, nestled in British Columbia, is a compelling choice. Known for its stunning natural beauty, Vancouver is surrounded by mountains and the Pacific Ocean, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. British Columbia as a whole is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from its rugged coastline to vineyard-covered valleys.

If you’re a lover of history, and culture, and are proficient in the French language, Quebec might be the province for you. As the centre of Francophone Canada, Quebec has a rich history and a unique blend of North American and European cultures. Its capital, Quebec City, and the metropolis of Montreal offer a taste of old-world charm mixed with modern living.

The Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta offer abundant open spaces with rolling farmlands, majestic mountains, and bustling cowboy cities for those drawn to a quieter, more rural life. These provinces are also the heart of Canada’s agricultural and energy industries, providing many job opportunities.

Lastly, the Atlantic Provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador offer a coastal lifestyle rich in maritime tradition. Here, you’ll find friendly communities, stunning ocean vistas, and a slower pace of life. These provinces, known for their fishing, farming, and burgeoning tech industries, offer a unique blend of old-world charm and new-world opportunities.

In essence, whether you crave the excitement of city life, the tranquillity of rural living, or the charm of coastal communities, Canada’s diverse provinces offer something for everyone.

14. International removals and shipping to Canada from the UK

shipping to Canada

Moving to a new country involves many considerations, and safely transporting your personal belongings is a significant one. If you’re relocating from the UK to Canada, you might be considering taking your household furniture and personal effects. After all, these items make your house a home, providing comfort and familiarity in a new environment.

That’s where we come in. As an experienced UK-based international removal company, PSS International Removals specialise in making your move as stress-free as possible. We offer a comprehensive service, ensuring that your furniture and personal belongings are carefully packed, shipped, and delivered to your new home in Canada. We adhere to the highest international standards and have expertise in navigating the rules and regulations related to international shipping and customs clearance.

Our team understands the unique challenges of international removals. From packing your items with utmost care to dealing with customs clearance, we handle every aspect of the journey. With options for both sea freight for larger or economy moves and air freight for shipping boxes, we can also offer a solution that suits your timeline and budget.

So whether you’re moving to the bustling city of Toronto, the beautiful landscapes of British Columbia, or the culturally rich province of Quebec, you can rest assured that your precious belongings will be in safe hands. Let us take care of your removal and shipping needs, so you can focus on the exciting adventure that awaits in Canada.

For more information about moving to Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Winnipeg, Alberta including Edmonton and Calgary, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Vancouver and British Columbia, Ottawa, Quebec including Montreal and Toronto and Ontario you can visit our removal pages.

15. Next Steps On Moving To Canada

In conclusion, moving to Canada from the UK offers numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. With various immigration options, including work permits, study permits, permanent residency programs, and the Express Entry System, UK citizens can find the right pathway to achieve their dream of living and working in Canada. By carefully considering the costs, healthcare, and legal assistance for immigration, UK citizens can successfully navigate the Canadian immigration system and embrace a new life in the Great White North. The journey to a new life in Canada starts with a single step – are you ready to take it?

If so, complete the form below, and you can receive a free no-obligation consultation or an invite to the next free Canada You CAN Go! webinar event.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I just move to Canada from UK?

Yes, you can move to Canada from the UK; however, you will need a valid visa under the Federal Skilled Worker, Study, Business, or Work Permit programs. Canada is currently actively encouraging migrants, so if you have the right skills and experience, it can be a reasonably straightforward process. We recommend you first arrange a free consultation with a professional migration agent who can guide you through the application process.

2. Is it hard for a British person to move to Canada?

Yes, it can be a challenge for British citizens to move to Canada, but options are available to make the process less difficult. With the correct visas and paperwork, UK nationals could easily begin their journey to settle in Canada.

The Canadian government also accepts many British qualifications and work experience, making the migration process somewhat easier.

3. How much does it cost to move from UK to Canada?

There are several costs you need to consider in addition to visas. Flights to Toronto and Vancouver start from around £600.

Removals and shipping costs for your belongings can cost anywhere from £920 to upwards of £4900 for a full container from the UK to Canada. Generally speaking, the cost will vary based on the size and weight of the items you are moving.

Whatever your needs, you can expect to pay somewhere in that range for a removals service.

In addition, having a budget for covering your expenses, rent and living costs for the first few months will be helpful.

4. How can I immigrate to Canada from UK without job offer?

You can immigrate to Canada from the UK without a job offer by applying through the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominee Programs, The Family Class and Entrepreneurship Programs.

You can gain permanent residency in Canada by meeting their eligibility criteria and successfully scoring points based on language proficiency, education, and work experience.

5. How to move to Canada?

To move to Canada in 2024, you should check if you need a visa and find a suitable immigration pathway. Then, apply for the permit, prepare for the move, and finally make the move itself.

You have many options, including Express Entry, Family Class Sponsorship, LMIA Work Visa, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), Canadian Investor Immigration, or other services and information such as Start-up Visa, Caregivers, and Self-Employed Visa.

Make sure to do your research and start planning now so that you can be successful in your new life in Canada!

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