Moving to Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Revolut Contributor

 · March 10, 2020  · 03/10/2020

If your dream is to move to the land of hockey pucks, maple syrup and toques, you are not alone. Moving to Canada is a desirable choice. With the country’s diverse community of friendly people, breathtakingly beautiful scenery, stable political system, and free basic healthcare, it’s no wonder relocating to Canada is a popular option for many looking for a fresh start.

So, where do you even begin when moving to Canada?

First things first, you’re likely asking yourself whether moving to Canada is even possible. We’re here to answer that question...

Can I just move to Canada?

How easy is it to move to Canada? The reality is that moving to a new country is usually a complicated process. Canada is no different – but if you have set your heart on a new life in the north, don’t feel daunted. It is possible, provided you’re willing to put in the time and energy, stay abreast of the rules and understand the specific requirements that pertain to your situation.

Before getting started, decide what your goals are when it comes to relocating to Canada. Your search for appropriate avenues will firstly be dependent on how permanent you want your move to be.

The options include:

  • Short term study or work permits, if you are looking for an adventure that will land you in Canada for a limited time period. This is an ideal option if you aim to complete a program of study, embark on a short-term work contract, or explore Canada on a gap year (or two).
  • Permanent Residence, if you’re looking for a long-term way to immerse yourself in Canadian life. As a Canadian Permanent Resident, you will be able to seek employment in any field and / or study at any Canadian institution. You will also be eligible to receive provincial health coverage. It’s important to note that as a “PR”, you will be expected to pay taxes on your annual earnings.  
  • Citizenship, if your goal is to fully participate in civic life in Canada and have the same rights and responsibilities as all Canadians. Citizens can vote and run for local, provincial and federal government.

Once you clearly define your moving goals, it’s time to figure out which of the available routes will best suit your intentions.

I want to move to Canada. What do I need?

Here are some of the options that might be available to you if you are looking for a long-term stay:

For Canadian Permanent Residence

  • Express Entry: Through this fast-track program, skilled immigrants are given the opportunity to apply for Permanent Residence status within Canada through an online system. Some of the criteria that are assessed in this program are:
    • Education levels
    • Professional experience
    • Language ability
    • Personal information, such as current nationality, age and family details
    • Specifics of a job offer, if this is relevant

Your next question may be: Can I go to Canada without a job offer?

With the Express Entry program, it is unlikely that you will need a job offer. Rather, the program looks at your potential to contribute to the Canadian economy.

  • Family Sponsorship: This option may be available to you if you have family that already reside in Canada.  Options in this category include:
    • Spousal / Common Law sponsorship
    • Dependent children sponsorship
    • Parent and Grandparent Program

For Citizenship

This is a lengthier process and can be accomplished once you have resided in the country for a period of time. The requirements for citizenship are:

  • Be a Permanent Resident of Canada
  • Live in Canada for at least 1,095 days of a 5-year period
  • Be up to date with your Canadian taxes
  • Prove that you are able to communicate in at least one of the official languages (which are English and French)

Ready to start making the move? Now it’s time to:

Check in With Your Home Country Requirements

Moving to Canada requirements differ depending on where you originate from, and what citizenship you currently hold. Here are some quick tips that will help you navigate your way to Canada from where you are at the moment, considering the passport you might have.

  • Moving to Canada from the UK. If you are intent on moving to Canada from the UK and are between the ages of 18 and 30, you’re in a great position. You may be eligible for a working holiday visa for up to two years through the International Experience Canada program.
  • Moving to Canada from the EU. The good news is that Canada needs skilled workers to fill specific gaps in the job market. Entering the Federal Skilled Worker program is an excellent way to find yourself across the Atlantic, starting up your new Canadian life.
    Moving to Canada from the US. As a neighbour to Canada, you are well positioned to make the move across the border, provided you play well within the bounds of the system. It is worth noting that, while the USA, Canada and Mexico have signed the new USMCA agreement to replace NAFTA, the immigration tenets of the old system are still in place. Find out if you’re eligible for a work visa through the International Mobility Program.

Once you have decided which program to follow, it’s time to work through the logistics. Understanding the financial ramifications of your intended move is the way to do it. So…

How much money do You need to immigrate to Canada?

This is a bit of a “how long is a piece of string?” question – and the length of yours will depend on how permanent you want you move to be, what resources you already have in the country, and whether or not you will be slotting into immediate employment.

To get you started, we’ve compiled these fast facts about the fees involved in some of the moving to Canada options:

Note: All costs are in Canadian Dollars (CAD) and are accurate at the time of writing.

  • Working Holiday Visas will cost $150, with an additional fee of $100 for an open work permit 
  • Permanent residents must pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee, which is $490. In addition to this, you will be charged an application fee dependent on the category you are applying in: 
    • Family sponsorship comes at a fee of $475 for the sponsor and $75 for the applicant
    • The fee for the skilled workers category is $550 per applicant and $120 for their children
  • The Citizenship fee is $630, including the administration fee

While these figures are useful to know, it’s important to remember that setting up life in a new place can come with a host of hidden costs. Your current financial institution may charge you conversion fees that see your money dwindle when it is converted into Canadian dollars, but...

Unbudgeted banking costs are the last thing you should worry about when you make the trek to your new Canadian life. Revolut understands this all-too-common immigration conundrum. With our free Standard account, you can exchange in 30 fiat currencies (including Canadian Dollars) up to 5,000 GBP (6,000 EUR / 6,500 USD) per month without hidden fees, and the benefits increase further with the Premium or Metal subscriptions.

For more information, check out the Revolut pricing plans here.

When you find yourself staring out at Lake Louise, taking in the magnificence of your first Canadian fall, or skipping between the Cherry Blossoms in the spring, the work you put in to making this dream a reality will all be worth it. Canada is going to look so good on you!

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