5 Tips for Moving to Canada

By  //  August 5, 2021

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Canada has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, with an increased interest for those looking to move to a new country and start fresh. From universal health care to stunning scenery and a strong entrepreneurial culture, Canada has lots to offer.

If you’re thinking of moving to Canada, there’s a lot to consider. Here are five tips to help with your research and simplify the process.

Research Your Desired Location

Canada is a massive country — the second largest in the world by land mass. The community-minded culture creates a common misconception that everybody knows each other. In reality, it’s easier for Canadians to get to the USA than to parts of their own country.

Take some time to research the best area for you, based on your preferences and life experience. Many people choose to move to one of the three major cities: 

■ Toronto, Ontario

■ Vancouver, British Columbia

■ Montreal, Quebec

However, there are endless rural and alternative urban options worth considering as well. For example, Halifax, Nova Scotia is on the east coast and is surrounded by incredible beaches and a quaint, small-town mentality. Calgary, Alberta is considered the “Texas of Canada” and boasts a large city life close to the Rocky Mountains.

Take the time to research your options for moving to Canada and pick your top three choices to start your new life. Entry requirements sometimes vary from province to province, and it’s important to understand what’s required in advance when immigrating to Canada. 

Consider Taking a Language Test

Canada is a bilingual country with two official languages: English and French. Taking an official language test can help expedite your entry. If you’re moving to Quebec or New Brunswick — two predominantly French provinces — consider taking the Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF). 

If you’re moving to any of the other provinces, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are beneficial.

Investigate Your Entry Options

There are several work permits, visas, and entry options for getting into Canada. The best option for you will depend on several factors. According to Express Entry PR, an Express Entry is often the easiest for those who are eligible. There are also options like the Startup Visa, a work permit, various Provincial Nominee Programs, and family sponsorships.

It’s beneficial to work with an immigration expert to determine your best entry option, as the eligibility requirements can be complex and nuanced.

Get a Full Health Check-Up

One of the baseline requirements for entry is being in good health. Those moving to Canada are required to go through the CIC medical exam. This exam looks at everything from blood panels to dental to vision. You may be subjected to chest x-rays, STD tests, or other standard checkups.

Take a proactive approach to health screening before submitting to CIC medical. By doing so, you’ll discover any issues that need addressing before going through the immigration process.

Understand the Pros and Cons of Universal Health Care

One of the main draws to life in Canada is universal health care. For those coming from the USA, “free” healthcare is incredibly attractive. However, while there are several benefits to universal health care, it’s not without its flaws.

Many immigrants will be surprised by doctor shortages and extensive wait times for appointments. Coverage options will vary based on the type of visa or permit you have to enter Canada. It’s also important to note that some things aren’t covered by public health, such as dental and vision. For these specialized services, you’ll have to pay out of pocket or pay for private insurance coverage. 

Final Thoughts

Moving to Canada is a costly endeavor and can take a significant amount of time to finalize. It’s worth working with an immigration specialist to walk you through the process and help you find the best point of entry. Consider starting a savings fund and taking a proactive approach to streamline your entry into Canada.