With high livability and life satisfaction rankings, a varied climate and strong Commonwealth ties, it is easy to see why online searches for moving to Canada are at an all time high.
Canada shares much more with the UK than just the Queen, universal healthcare, metric system and a unique sense of humour – all things that might make you feel more at home when moving to Canada. If you are Scottish, you’ll be in good company! Around 15% of the country can trace full or partial Scottish ancestry, making it the third largest ethnic group in the country.
Getting a Canadian Visa
Getting into Canada, even from a fellow Commonwealth country, is not usually a straightforward process. Canadian immigration lawyers (in the area you are planning to immigrate to) can advise on the correct procedures, visas and make sure all your paperwork is submitted correctly. Though it might be an expense, it should save on potential unforeseen hassles. You can visit the Canadian government’s website for more information on the Canadian visas available, as well as an online questionnaire to help determine your eligibility.
Finding a Job in Canada
The largest job sites in Canada are Monster, Indeed and Jobboom. Many people also use LinkedIn Jobs to help find work. For part-time or non-permanent type work, the Gumtree equivalent Kijiji is also very useful. Unemployment is relatively low in Canada, and while it varies across the provinces, it currently hovers around the 6.5% mark. The employment market is generally very strong, with Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia showing the largest job growth over the past year.
Finding a Home in Canada
Canada is a vast country with many different cities and smaller towns, each with their own distinct identity. If you have the choice of where to live, consider smaller cities such as Saskatoon, Waterloo, Halifax or Ottawa. They have all the amenities of a larger centre but with lower costs of living, cheaper housing and more space. If something larger interests you, cities such as Vancouver and Montreal are bustling metropolises. Known for their healthy outdoor living, beautiful waterfront locations and culture, they are also close to the United States.
Depending on whether you are buying or renting, there are multiple ways to find accommodation in the short or long term when moving to Canada. Popular websites to find longer term rental accommodation are Walk Score, rentfaster, padmapper and viewit. For buying property, centris is a great resource full of amalgamated listings across Canada. Websites such as Kijiji can also be helpful, but as with all peer-to-peer sites should be used with caution.
Moving Your Belongings to Canada
Transporting your whole life across an ocean can be daunting, but using the trusted international removals service from Removal Services Scotland can make the whole process a lot simpler. Whether it be Vancouver, Ottawa or Montreal – RSS is on hand to ship your belongings anywhere in Canada. A free and transparent quote from RSS can give you the peace of mind that you are not alone in safely moving your precious reminders of home, which can make all the difference when moving to Canada.
Taxes in Canada
Unlike the UK, most Canadians must file an annual tax return. There are many online resources to assist you with your tax return, including free and paid software to help you complete and file your tax return online. If your circumstances are particularly complex, or if you aren’t very confident with numbers, hiring an accountant to file on your behalf is always an option.
Healthcare in Canada
Canada enjoys mostly free healthcare through a system called Medicare (which is broadly similar to the NHS). Dental however is not covered and must be paid for privately. You may need to wait for up to three months as a permanent resident in Canada before you are eligible for free health care. Before moving to Canada you should put your own interim arrangements in place to cover the gap. More information can be found on the Canadian Government’s website.
Where UK sports conversation is dominated by football, Canada is ruled by the hockey season (known only as hockey, no need to qualify it with the ‘ice!’) Running from October to April, the game remains an integral part of the Canadian culture. Winters can be cold and harsh, but with the huge amount of outdoor sports opportunities, there is no excuse for spending the winter indoors. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, downhill skiing, snowboarding and kite skating on ice are all exciting leisure pursuits.
The Weather in Canada
The east coast of Canada enjoys four distinct seasons. The summers are hot with plenty of sunshine and much less rain. Temperatures regularly hover between 25 and 30 degrees celsius for the months of July and August. On the flip side, winters are much longer and more intense than those in the UK. The central parts of Canada and the east coast see heavy snowfall from December until the end of April (sometimes into May) with temperatures dropping as low as -40! The west coast of Canada however has a climate similar to the UK, with shorter, milder winters, as well as more rain and cooler summers.
Languages in Canada
If you are moving to one of Canada’s French speaking cities, such as Montreal or Quebec City, you will need to brush up on your French. There are strict language laws in the province of Quebec to keep its French language and heritage alive. If you don’t speak any French at all, moving there might be tricky. Similarly, the capital city Ottawa has bilingual requirements for all of its government workers. Furthermore, non-native speakers must take and pass French proficiency tests. However if Ottawa (ranked the best Canadian city to live in 2017) is on your list, don’t let the language barrier put you off. There’s a booming tech sector and many other non-governmental jobs to choose from.
Canada is a vast country that could easily take a lifetime to explore. If you are considering moving out of the UK, then Canada is an exciting choice. Its beautiful scenery, distinct seasons and high scores for standards of living make it an easy place to fall in love with. However make sure you do your research before moving to Canada. Choosing the right removals company, starting your house and job search early and considering investing in an immigration lawyer will help to make your move as smooth as possible.
About The Author
Sarah Morgan is an award-winning Wedding Photographer. Originally from Canada, Sarah has been living and working in Edinburgh for the past 12 years. As someone who clearly identifies what makes her home country so special, she knows exactly what it takes to make it in Canada.