Moving to Canada: what you need to know

Canada has long been a favourite destination for UK expats. As the second largest country in the world, Canada has no shortage of things to do and places to go, boasting everything from stunning, snow-tipped mountains to bustling, metropolitan cities.

If you’re preparing for a move to The Great White North, here’s what to expect from the emigration process and expat life once you settle in:

Applying to work or study

British citizens applying to study or work in Canada will require an Eletronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly there. To study, you will need a study permit. Working in Canada may require a work permit depending on the type of work you intend to undertake.

Shipping your belongings

Once you have arranged accommodation in Canada, you will need to ship your belongings over using an international removals company. When your belongings are being shipped over, it is important to remember that in Canada you must be present in Customs in order to clear them – if not, they will be “held in bond” by the Customs Office.

Cost and quality of living

Canadian property is generally more affordable than in the UK and many other countries. Overall cost of living can also be lower, depending on the city you settle in.

At the time of writing, Canada is 2nd in the Social Progress Index, demonstrating a very high quality of living compared to the rest of the world, especially in access to education and healthcare and personal rights.

Population

With much of its vast landmass uninhabited, Canada is among the world’s lowest in population density. While this varies across the country, even the most populated provinces are far more dense than much of the developed world.

Language

Approximately 85% of Canadians speak English, although only 58% recognise it as their mother tongue. Much of Canada is French speaking, especially in Quebec, where it is the official language.

Climate

Canadian weather varies across the country and throughout the seasons, though winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, with temperatures sometimes dropping below -40°C in the interior and Prairie provinces. Snow can cover the ground for almost six months a year in noncoastal regions, and can persist year-round in parts of the north. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C, while some interior regions can exceed 40 °C in summer months.

See also: How does Canadian culture differ from the UK?


With partner offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expatriates to Canada every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

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