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Moving to Canada

A comprehensive guide to moving to Canada

If you have been dreaming of moving to Canada, our comprehensive guide will help you learn all the necessary steps and requirements to go to Canada by yourself or with your family and loved ones.

If you have been thinking about how to relocate to Canada, or perhaps wondering how hard or easy it is to go to the Great White North, then you have come to the right place. In this useful guide, you will quickly discover why settling in this country is very popular among expats. For starters, there are many great benefits to residing in Canada.

Canada is consistently ranked in the top 50 of the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. On the InterNations Expat Insider 2018 survey, the country ranked number 13 under Quality of Life, and number 7 under Safety and Security. Under Ease of Settling in, Canada ranked number 14, and for Working Abroad the country was number 15.

This, along with many other reasons, is what makes Canada such a wonderful country to live in – but that does not mean that the process of getting there is easy or straightforward.

This guide outlines essential things to know when heading to Canada such as information on the relocation process, visas and work permits, housing, healthcare, banks and taxes, education, work, and living.

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Relocating

The process of moving to Canada is anything but simple, however, rest assured that this relocation section makes preparing for your expat adventure abroad much more manageable. If you are looking for information on moving, shipping, and storing household goods in Canada, this section has this and more, including importing your car and shipping large furniture. This section also gives information on home goods storage, both long and short-term, plus information on what you can pack when relocating to the country. Yes, there are in fact limits to what you can bring!

Before you start packing your bags, you will need to make sure you have a full understanding of customs laws and rules. For example, what are the limits on alcohol and tobacco? What food is prohibited? Did you know that you can bring in cheese into Canada? So long as it is nothing more than 20kg. This section covers all of these questions and more.

Perhaps you have a fluffy, four-legged friend tagging along with you. This section provides full information on entering the country with pets, such as dogs, cats, and other creatures. We also include which breeds are banned such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, and other crosses. Our guide outlines the required vaccinations and other travel documents you will need.

But man’s best friend is not the only one with recommended vaccinations for Canada. This relocating section goes over the vaccinations required for Canada and other health requirements for immigration, including the medical exam and what you can expect during it. For example, be prepared to fill out a medical questionnaire, and physical test which will include measuring your weight, height, testing your hearing and vision, taking your blood pressure, feeling your pulse, listening to your heart and lungs, feeling your abdomen, checking how your limbs move, and more.

Surely all of this is bound to cost you some money. How much should you be budgeting for your relocation to Canada? This section gives you an overview of work permit fees, pet relocation costs, and even duty you may need to pay upon arrival to Canada. This way you can get a sense of just how much you should be saving and putting aside before your big migration.

So, before you book that ticket to the Great White North, read this relocation section.

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visas-work-permits

Visas & Work Permits

When moving to Canada, you will need to figure out how to get a Canadian visa and work permit. Admittedly, this will prompt lots of questions regarding the Canadian visa application process, Canadian visa requirements, Canadian visa types, and even the cost for a Canadian visa (155 CDN (117 USD) for a Canadian work permit).

As a worker wishing to come to Canada, the type of work permit visa you apply for depends on the kind of work you do. There is a particular way for skilled workers and business people to enter the country, and even methods for your families to come along with you under the family visa. This is what is known as the country’s Express Entry system which we cover in this section. Wishing to be a self-employed worker? There are requirements and a process for that too, all of which is outlined in this section. We cover Canada’s unique self-employment program which is open to people with exceptional artistic or athletic experience, who can make a significant contribution to culture and sports in the country.

If you are someone wishing to relocate to Canada permanently, this section will explain how to apply for a permanent resident card and a temporary residence visa (TRV) (also known as a visitor visa). What about the country’s immigration point system? What are the sorts of things you will be ranked on? In Canada, their point system is known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). It assesses applicants based on language skills, education, professional experience, age, employment, and more.

This section answers many more of these questions and covers other information – from work permits, permanent residence application, and the various immigration programs of Canada.

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housing

Housing

Finding accommodation in Canada is one of the first things an expat will have to think about when planning a move to the Great White North. The good news about Canada is that it is a country with lots of options and types of housing, including long- and short-term rentals, and furnished and unfurnished apartments. This section will explain how housing in the country works including information on how to rent a house in Canada, how to buy a house in the Great White North, and all the documents you will need.

This section also goes over average house prices and average rent across major cities in Canada. This way you will have a better grasp of the real estate market before you commit to anything, and even before signing your lease. For example, did you know that the country’s most affordable city is Windsor, Ontario? In this southernmost city, you pay 750 CDN (564 USD) for a one-bedroom and 990 CDN (744 USD) for a two-bedroom. Meanwhile, Canada’s most expensive city in terms of rent was Vancouver, British Columbia, as of 2018.

Wondering how to get in touch with your family once you arrive? Surely, they will want to know you have made it safe and sound to your new home away from home. This section has got you covered with information on utilities in the country and different providers such as Rogers and Bell. You will be able to set up your internet, mobile phone, and television in no time after reading this useful housing section.

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healthcare

Healthcare

The healthcare system and health insurance in Canada can be tricky for an expat. While getting sick might be the last thing you want to think about as you are preparing for your exciting expat adventure aboard, it is indeed important to consider and be knowledgeable about. You never know what can happen.

Canada has free public healthcare available only to its permanent residents and citizens. Therefore, if you are an expat without permanent resident status, you will want to make sure you are covered under some sort of international insurance plan – otherwise, costs for any medical services will be extremely pricey. For example, a non-resident can pay up to 5,000 CDN (3,759 USD) per day should they find themselves in need of hospital stay.

This section gives a clear overview of all of this including the functions of the country’s healthcare system, getting health insurance in Canada, and how to find a doctor, dentists, and other specialists. Be prepared to wait a while to see a medical professional in this country. The country’s wait times for a doctor is one of the system’s major cons and, in comparison to other developed countries, Canada has the longest average wait times.

This section even covers information on giving birth in the country should you find yourself pregnant while abroad. Like with everything else, you will want to make sure you have some type of health insurance as an expat if you plan on having a baby here. Otherwise, if you are not eligible for the public healthcare system, and without health insurance, the cost of a regular delivery can be anywhere between 5,000 CDN (3,759 USD) to 8,000 CDN (6,015 USD). It is even pricier if you require a C-section delivery (anywhere between 10,000 CDN (7,521 USD) to 12,000 CDN (9,025 USD)).

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Banks & Taxes

Opening a bank account in Canada is a necessity in this day and age, and it will undoubtedly make your everyday life in the country much easier. Thankfully it is very easy—even for non-residents and expats! This section gives an overview of the documents you will need, especially if you are a non-resident, to successfully open a bank account. Typically, you will require your passport, immigration papers, a second piece of identification, and Social Insurance Number.

This section also goes over the best banks in Canada, best online banks in the country, international banks in Canada, non-resident bank accounts in the Great White North, Canada’s tax rate, information on how much the tax is in the country, and understanding the tax system in the Great White North. The good news about Canada is that it has tax treaties with a number of countries around the world so, as an expat, you avoid double taxation.

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education

Education

International schools in Canada are abundant, so expat parents wishing to enroll their kids in one need look no further than this section. This section provides a list of some of the best schools in the country including international schools, primary schools, secondary schools, universities—even language schools!

Wondering between public or private school for your child? The major difference will be school cost. While public schools are funded by the government, if you opt for private education, be prepared to pay anywhere between 4,000 CDN (3,008 USD) to 26,000 CDN (19,553 USD) in tuition fees annually.

After reading this section, you will have a better understanding of the education and school system in Canada, and all you can expect from school life in the country.

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working

Working

If you have been wondering what it would be like to work in Canada, then this section, filled with career and job search tips, is for you. This section covers everything from how to get a job in the country, self-employment in Canada, the average salary in the Great White North, minimum wage across the provinces, business culture, and even Canada’s Social Insurance Number (SIN) and how to apply for one.

This section gives information on the most in-demand jobs in the country along with salary details and an overview of the Canadian job market, which is on an upward trend. If you are a skilled worker, look for jobs in the manufacturing, service, real estate, or communications sectors. These are all important industries to Canada and have been experiencing growth in the past years.

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country-facts

Country Facts

Is it expensive to live in Canada? The answer is yes, it can be moderately costly to live in the Great White North. The cost of living in Canada is high and will undoubtedly need to be factored in when deciding to move there but, of course, the cost of living in this country will vary depending on the region and city you choose to settle in. For example, while Toronto is a popular expat destination, it is also the most expensive city in the country in terms of average cost of living. This section will give an overview of what the cost of living is like in some other major Canadian cities and provinces.

Along with this, this section will provide information on cultural and social etiquette in Canada to help you avoid an embarrassing social faux pas, plus information on driving and public transportation in the country.

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Update on: September 20, 2019
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